"Brilliant" says a no-nonsense friend of ours.
Last night, an estimated 10 million viewers gathered eagerly on the nation's sofas for the return of Downton Abbey, ITV1's blockbuster hit drama series. Having left off at the outbreak of war in 1914, the story picked up two years later, with Downton's young men fighting the Battle of the Somme.
Julian Fellowes is the creator. Over 100 countries have acquired rights to broadcast the show, which has just won four Emmys. British country house life casts a theatrical spell.