To be really disturbed and upset about last nights Downton Abbey? SPOILER ALERT

(174 Posts)
CiderBomb Mon 07-Oct-13 09:15:31

I won't say what happened in case there are people on here who haven't watched it yet, but I was really, really shocked by that one scene in particular and can't get it out of my head this morning. Just when people were saying that they thought it was getting boring they go and throw that in. And a much loved character as well...

I'm not one of these sad people who complains about things on television, especially when they happen after the watershed, but I found that really shocking and it seemed to come from nowhere.

I know it happens all the time in real life, even today, but bloody hell sad

Mrsdavidcaruso Mon 07-Oct-13 09:24:55

Yes I saw that scene and I wont say what happened. I was shocked as well

pinkdelight Mon 07-Oct-13 09:26:31

It was a shame as the episode was really quite boring apart from that, as though they thought everyone else can just noodle around waiting for an opera singer with no real story or drama, but it's fine cos we'll stick an xxxxx in just before the end. I think they felt like they were doing the Godfather, cutting between the opera singing and the traumatic thing, but you're right, it wasn't at all in the spirit of Downton. Obviously something had to happen to make Anna and Bates more interesting, but that felt very extreme and out of kilter. If you think how the incident with Mr Pamuk in series 1 was handled, it's like a whole different world.

Seems Viv agrees

Mama1980 Mon 07-Oct-13 09:29:39

Me too. Completely unnecessary I felt. My dd 15 was very upset by it.

Lcbirdy Mon 07-Oct-13 09:41:36

YANBU. Can't say much more than that, really.

Calloh Mon 07-Oct-13 09:43:28

Downton is such a nightmare really because at the beginning of each series everyone is on a fairly even keel and you just know that a whole load of torrid awfulness is going to happen to a fairly amiable bunch of people who, each time they think they are sorting themselves out, will be swept back to see again.

Last night though was particularly awful and I am assuming there are going to be a whole load of repercussions, and presumably some sort of result that can happen after that sort of thing? Sorry if sounding weirdly cryptic but trying to not spoil

bootsycollins Mon 07-Oct-13 09:44:14

It was violent and shocking, I also woke up with it playing on my mind.

I agree, but I think that its made worse because its actually badly written. Its a serious storyline and I think that something like that should be written very carefully. Now the backdrop is that Bates and Anna are exceptionaly close and have in the past picked up on each others feelings and what they are going through. Then all of a sudden last night, it would be obvious to anyone that she had not fell but Bates seemed really unconcerned by it really and just stood there looking somewhat cold. So straightaway they`ve changed the characters to fit the story.

If they are going to tackle such a distressing storyline, I just think it should be done with care.

angelfire Mon 07-Oct-13 09:45:10

I was shocked.
It was shocking.
I watch Downton because it is escapism - another world away from the one where I live - things that I have heard about and read about but have no direct day to day knowledge of - the empire, standards, service, cigars after dinner. Lovely escapism. And then this - this ugly, horrible, screaming, heartbreaking violence.
Totally horrid

Sorry to sum up, I felt they had played out a very violent scene with such little thought, just to spice it up.

midwifeandmum Mon 07-Oct-13 09:46:43

I adore downtown but that scene when all u hear is screaming - made me feel upset and sick. I suppose they had to make Anna a bit more interesting

LineRunner Mon 07-Oct-13 09:48:33

It was shit, wasn't it? Rape as mass entertainment.

I said on the Telly Addict thread I might not watch it again. The comments here have convinced me not to.

Mumsyblouse Mon 07-Oct-13 09:49:00

Can I suggest that you report your post to MNHQ and ask them to put 'spoilers' and 'triggering' in the title, because I don't think it will be possible to have a full discussion without mentioning what happened and it really is worth discussing.

quoteunquote Mon 07-Oct-13 09:49:55

I hope that everyone who is upset, will help stop all the cuts to rape support services, which have all been cut to the bone, none existent in many areas now.

Unfortunately rape/sexual assault was and is a common part of life, so is bound to be a part of a period drama that covers such a range of lives.

Tuppenceinred Mon 07-Oct-13 09:50:41

I agree that the series is badly written. Was already commenting to DP "What's got into Bates?" as they worked away building up his radical change of character. (He has always been completely secure about his relationship). By the end of last night's episode I'd decided to stop watching it, and will find it quite easy to stick to that.

wifey6 Mon 07-Oct-13 09:51:40

I agree...I found it very distressing & shocking.
I hope the repercussions of this are handled delicately & with care in regards to how they play this out

Scarletskies Mon 07-Oct-13 09:52:10

I too found it upsetting and unnecessary, I couldn't sleep afterwards. I thought the way it was filmed and minimal amount of time dedicated to the incident itself particularly shocking. Horrible, horrible

Tuppenceinred Mon 07-Oct-13 09:54:08

Surely anyone with any sense who hasn't watched the episode will avoid a thread that refers to "last night's Downton Abbey"?

Nusatenggara Mon 07-Oct-13 09:54:21

It was awful, Downton is normally wooden and laughable, that scene was very upsetting.

CiderBomb Mon 07-Oct-13 09:56:59

See, I thought the scene was exceptionally well acted, and we didn't really see all that much, but it's not what I've come to expect from Downton. I think I've always seen it as quite tweet really until now.

midwifeandmum Mon 07-Oct-13 10:02:19

Well we can all guess what the next major story line with Bates and Anna will be? Anna pregnant and Bates will think its his baby. Until mrs hughs lets it slip

Mumsyblouse Mon 07-Oct-13 10:03:39

What I didn't like about it was that Anna had to change her personality to fit in with the storyline of her being raped. She was always an exceptionally level-headed and straight-forward person- I felt making her have fun and almost flirt to the annoyance of Bates was victim blaming, or at least a device to make her somewhat vulnerable whereas she would have been vulnerable anyway, even if she had been her usual self and then someone attacked her (which was quite plausible).

She is an amazing actress though, which was why it was so distressing, and her first thought to save her husband was authentic. I just didn't like the build up to it as it wasn't necessary.

kilmuir Mon 07-Oct-13 10:07:45

I missed bits of it. Why does she need to save her husband

FreakinRexManningDay Mon 07-Oct-13 10:09:16

I was disappointed in the almost entertainment value of a very sensitive and important thing. It was a brilliant opportunity for bringing XXX into the forefront and how true effects and depth. Instead it felt very surface treading and like it was thrown in at the end.

It was shocking wasn't it ? sad

I agree in thinking it was well acted by the character Anna though.

As usual the script and characterisation wasn't really well developed enough, for example in the conversation between Mr Bates and Anna - I'm sure he would have shown more concern? So, that was a bit un-realistic

In some ways a good thing to raise awareness of rape and sexual assault ?

Mumsyblouse Mon 07-Oct-13 10:10:51

Because if she got him and told him, which is what Mrs Hughes wanted to do initially, he would then attack/kill the man concerned. He has already been framed for murder once and her reasoning was that he would hang this time. So, she kept it to herself to save him from doing something he would regret -if that makes sense.

Patilla Mon 07-Oct-13 10:11:31

I hated it and agree about the way they changed her character earlier in the programme.

To be honest I found the last series fairly depressing and was hoping it was a blip but it seems not.

It would appear that they are set upon Downtown being a gritty soap in fancy dresses. I shan't be watching it again.

fluffyraggies Mon 07-Oct-13 10:11:34

I don't watch Downton, but my mum and aunt does and i hear the major story lines from them weather i like it or not and it sounds to me as if Downton is turning into a '20s Eastenders' now. How sad

Although i never watch it (don't watch much telly at all) i always find it comforting that there are 'decent' programes available, like Downton, without the endless depressing, sensationalist dark story lines of Enders and Corrie and the like. (don't watch them either but you hear about their plots in convo. and on news)

Apart from all that it is sad that rape is considered fair game for pushing up numbers.

pianodoodle Mon 07-Oct-13 10:13:07

I don't watch it but from what I've read I think I'll stick to my old "Upstairs Downstairs" DVDS!

wigglesrock Mon 07-Oct-13 10:13:16

I hadn't watched any of this series and watched it last night through boredom.

She's a brilliant actress and I thought Mrs Hughes was very good as well. The scene I thought was filmed very well, but I hated the cutting to the singing - it felt very contrived.

When I started to watch it, my first thought was "why have they fecked about with Mr Bates & Anna's character so much" So I agree its like they were changing them to set up this storyline, which I fear may have been decided upon completely for ratings angry

Our local continuity announcer gave a warning re violent & distressing scenes before the show started, so I'd a fair idea what was coming.

Sallyingforth Mon 07-Oct-13 10:25:24

I think Downton should have come to a natural end with the last series, but of course it is a real money-maker for ITV (I'd love to know how much Tesco were paying for the commercials). So they had to 'spice it up' to keep the viewers interested.
This latest twist has caused a lot of controversy so it will probably push up the viewing figures for the rest of the series. I agree that 'Anna' was acted very well. Her future career is assured.

SirChenjin Mon 07-Oct-13 10:31:33

I thought it was very good, and thought Joanna Frogatt was excellent - it was very distressing, and it was meant to be. Although the juxtaposition of the singing/event downstairs seemed a bit contrived it also had to effect (imo) of contrasting the entertainment upstairs and the horror downstairs - and knowing that they were unable to hear her screams made it even more awful.

MsUumellmahaye Mon 07-Oct-13 10:31:49

yip, quiet sensible anna wouldn't have been raped so they had to create flirty fun anna! thats how it felt to me sad poor show

Nancy66 Mon 07-Oct-13 10:33:49

I found it disturbing but can't make my mind up how I feel about it and whether it was appropriate or not.

I think it was well performed and entirely credible. I also think that a married woman at that time would probably never report such a thing.

I just hope hope hope that they won't make her pregnant - but they will of course.

SirChenjin Mon 07-Oct-13 10:34:00

I think that most of the characters have become more 'fun' to represent the societal change that took place in the 20s?

Viviennemary Mon 07-Oct-13 10:39:27

I was shocked and horrified by it too. It was just so unexpected. But I expect this did happen in those times and covered up in the same way. I didn't think it was wrong to have this scene. Very well acted and realistic I thought.

jammiedonut Mon 07-Oct-13 10:44:30

It was a little to little mo and eastenders for me, particularly as she'll have to be around her attacker in the oncoming episodes. It seemed very at odds with downton as a whole, even the way it was shot. They've handled some delicate matter in the past, and done it well, so this felt gratuitous to me.

LadybirdSpots Mon 07-Oct-13 10:49:14

I was horrified too, and it chilled me to the bone. Even now thinking about it I feel sick.

But these things do happen in real life, and in a way it's good that they're not portraying life as lovely and twee.

I've loved Downton since day 1, but I don't know if I'll be watching it anymore. It's going to be so distressing watching Anna over the next few weeks, and like someone else said up thread,I watch it to escape, not to sit there and feel depressed.

springybiffy Mon 07-Oct-13 10:52:48

I didn't catch the beginning and don't know if there was a warning - there should have been. It was very distressing to watch and I agree that Anna suddenly not being her relatively sober self gave the impression that she'd asked for it angry . Crap and irresponsible portrayal imo.

I thought the loud singing showed it drowned out Anna's screams. Very upsetting scene.

quoteunquote Mon 07-Oct-13 10:54:29

It wasn't unexpected, was it, as at the start of the program they did announced , there would be scenes that some might find disturbing, so it was fairly obvious that was going to happen, as the build up of the male role and focus on anna.

VenusDeWillendorf Mon 07-Oct-13 10:58:14

Thing is, Julian fellows isn't a great writer anyway, but when he sees dollar signs in his eyes, any sense he might have had flies out the window.

I mean DA has never been great, a bit-- sodden-- wooden with fancy dress, but now he's cynically 'gritted it up' for ratings.

I stopped watching after series one actually, and I'm glad I did now!

jonicomelately Mon 07-Oct-13 10:59:02

I doubt the writer (Julian Fellowes) came up with the storyline to cynically push up ratings. It doesn't really have a problem in that department both in the UK and around the world and it's incredibly insulting to suggest that. I have no doubt he's included the storyline because the sexual abuse of women in that period was endemic. Downton's never claimed to be light and fluffy and has dealt with death in childbirth and pandemic infections in the past.
I thought the episode dealt with it well. It portrayed the distress and vulneribilty of victim without being overly graphic. It'll be fascinating to see what the reaction from the US audience is.

tadpolesarseholes Mon 07-Oct-13 10:59:31

I was really upset and i could not get to sleep last night.I find myself now still thinking about it.I thought that Downton was meant to be a 'cosy' and 'gentle' sunday night programme.

milk Mon 07-Oct-13 11:03:49

Downton Abbey has lost a viewer!

Mumsyblouse Mon 07-Oct-13 11:09:27

Was Downton really fluffy and cosy- it went through the first ww fgs- with people being maimed and dying? What about the mum who gave her baby away? What about Matthew?

I'm sure that sexual aggression and rape was endemic as it was bound to be in a very hierarchical society in which women did not even have the vote til the end of the 20's. The victim would have been blamed, her reputation sullied and her prospects diminished, even if it was rape by another servant. Sadly all this would have been true to life- the only thing I object to is the change in Anna's personality because the old Anna would have been at risk of rape too.

squoosh Mon 07-Oct-13 11:10:13

It was pretty shocking, I had no inkling it was coming. But rape happened then just as it happens now so I don’t think it was inappropriate. I’m sure the actress who plays Anna is happy to have a demanding storyline to sink her teeth into after two series of ‘Yes, Mr Bates’. I agree with everyone else that we can probably predict where the storyline will progress to.

They have form for this though, Sybil’s deathbed scene was shocking as hell!

SirChenjin Mon 07-Oct-13 11:10:38

jonicomelately - completely agree.

Bowlersarm Mon 07-Oct-13 11:12:08

What happened?? Can someone sum up in a couple of sentences? I take it Anna was raped? (Can't believe anyone still reading doesn't know what happened-apart from me!)

I haven't watched this series at all and not likely to but loved the previous series.

jonicomelately Mon 07-Oct-13 11:13:06

I don't think there was any huge personality change. Anna's always had a fun side. She accompanied Rose to a dance last week for example.

But joni it's not a public information or open university programme is it .... so "pushing up ratings" whether cynically or otherwise, or to put it another way engaging with their audience, is always going to be part of their remit.
I guess the question is whether they were able to balance that with the integrity of their characters and the story-line, and respect for the whole area of sexual assault, including their viewers experiences.

Mumsyblouse Mon 07-Oct-13 11:16:15

Anna went to the dance on the instructions of someone else to try to keep Rose out of trouble. She has always been 100% behind the most miserable dour husband of hers. Her behaviour and the strain on their relationship was not convincing and felt artificially exaggerated to then create a situation in which she was alone with/flirted with this other servant. The whole episode, I kept thinking, why is she behaving like that, why is he behaving like that, and then it all became clear.

I'm torn with this. I hated the episode last night and was very upset by it.

But, we should be upset and horrified by rape shouldn't we? It's a sickening, life shattering event and if we didn't find it distressing then they would be something wrong with us.

jonicomelately Mon 07-Oct-13 11:22:57

juggling of course it isn't a documentary but I've heard julian fellowes give a speech about downton. Firstly, he's an extremely nice man who'd be horrified people would hink he's using rape to further his own career. He's keen on using real stories and incorporating these in downton. He will have researched this problem with sexual abuse and subsequently decided to incorporate it in order to highlight the issue. It isn't pleasant but then again nor is the slaughter of millions of men in the first world war, the spanish flu pandemic and the death of mothers in childbirth, all of which have been explored in the show previously.

Nancy66 Mon 07-Oct-13 11:30:02

Bowlersarms _ there was a house party at Downtown. One of the guests had a good looking, very amiable valet. He was flirty with Anna, she was friendly back. Bates (Anna's husband) didn't like it.

During the concert Anna got a headache and went down to the deserted kitchen (all the domestic staff were upstairs watching the concert) to get an aspirin. While there the valet came up behind her and made a pass at her. She rejected him and he raped her.

We saw her being struck, knocked to the floor and then very roughly carried to a room. Her screams are not heard because of the concert.

Valet is seen adjusting his clothing and going back to the concert. Anna, clothes torn, face bloodied is found crouching and weeping in a corner by Mrs Hughes.

Anna says she cannot tell Mr Bates (her husband) as she knows he will kill the valet and he's already been in prison once.

DuchessFanny Mon 07-Oct-13 11:30:26

Joanne Froggat (sp) is a brilliant actress and she was very, very good ... But it wasn't for me, as I said on the other thread ( had to find one to vent last night as was so upset ) I missed the warning and didn't see it coming. I kept thinking someone would come to her rescue and that would be the drama ... for us Downton is a fairly gentle tv show ( despite war and death previously -- I found this MUCH more horrific ) and I went to bed tearful, upset and feeling a bit sick. Woke up and it popped in my head again . Seriously considering whether to stop watching as it was so depressing and if you're not expecting it ( like if you choose a gory film or even watch the news !) then it's not good for me sad

CiderBomb Mon 07-Oct-13 11:34:32

I think this storyline will obviously lead to a pregnancy, and we will be left wondering who the daddy is . I'd prefer it if it they didn't go down that route as it seems a little bit too obvious, it would be far more interesting to see how this terrible event impacts on Anna and her relationship with her husband.

Hmm, I just don't think it's a black and white issue that's all - whether different issues and situations are being used as the basis for drama and/or to "push up ratings"
For example hundreds of films have been made about the first and second world wars - is it right that this be used as entertainment ?

I think there's a middle ground between "using rape to further his own career" (which would be quite a shocking thing to think) and "incorporating it in order to highlight the issue" (which possibly overstates his altruism)

jonicomelately Mon 07-Oct-13 11:38:34

We don't know if it will lead to a pregnancy. People on here have decided it will, but then they have also decided that JF has made the decision to include a rape storyline to boost his ratings. I could talk all day about the fact that this isn't how scriptwriters think but I don't think people will want to hear that.

squoosh Mon 07-Oct-13 11:43:57

JF also wrote a TV series on the sinking of the Titanic but people didn't accuse him of using the deaths of hundreds of people to further his career. This is something said specifically when rape is the topic.

I don't rate him particularly highly as a TV script writer but I don't see why people are so shocked at the inclusion of rape as a storyline, it's a depressingly everyday occurrance.

Bowlersarm Mon 07-Oct-13 11:46:14

Nancy66 succinctly described. Thank you! Poor Anna.

midwifeandmum Mon 07-Oct-13 11:47:51


She saved bates by not telling him about the rape. She begged mrs hughs not tobtell him as she knew bates would murder him and end up bck in prison

jonicomelately Mon 07-Oct-13 11:57:11

The other thing is JF always portrays the mood of the servants as more jovial when there's a special occassion in the house. The fact that the staff were allowed to go upstairs to watch Dame Nelly would've made the atmosphere very different to usual. As I've said I don't agree with the people who say Anna is always dour. She isn't! Part of the charm of the relationship of Bates and Anna is their different personalities. And as Nancy says, the man was flirting with her but she was just being friendly back. The real story is that she did nothing wrong but some sleazy man took it upon himself to see an opprtunity to exploit. Writers of period drama have an underlying desire to make things that happened in the past resonate with a modern audience. JF will want to highlight how different things were then, but also, in some respects how depressingly little has changed.

SHarri13 Mon 07-Oct-13 12:11:38

I found it really distressing. I don't try and pretend stuff like this happens in real life but I do actively avoid any fictional stuff about it so was upset about this. Was there a warning as I'd recorded it so didn't see the credits at the start. I just don't see Downton as 'this' kind of programme.

MrsDavidBowie Mon 07-Oct-13 12:11:40

I agree with squoosh..... I don't get the angst over the storyline.
It is post watershed, it's a programme for adults, and I don't see Downton as having to be all cosy and warm and snuggly.

Why there has to be a warning before it, defeats me.

Coffeenowplease Mon 07-Oct-13 12:23:38

They killed off two main characters last season - that was enough to put me off. Im glad Im not watching it , seems to be becoming more and more unrealistic.

gazzalw Mon 07-Oct-13 12:29:09

There was a warning before it started for sure..

I've just turned it on but I don't think I want to watch it now.sad

Mollydoggerson Mon 07-Oct-13 12:42:20

I suspect she will have conceived as a result of the rape. She will struggle during the pregnancy and eventually Bates will find out and kill the perpetrator.

BTW what was the past story between Tom and the new Lady's maid?

MarysDressSways Mon 07-Oct-13 12:44:26

There was a warning before the programme that there was scenes of violence that some viewers may find distressing.

It WAS distressing, but I think it was handled well - the suddenness and brutality was really shocking which works on a dramatic level, and it IS a drama.

I was looking forward to Nigel Harman being in it before!

MarysDressSways Mon 07-Oct-13 12:50:59

I enjoyed that blog Mary, thanks!

The sort of thing I'd write if I could get my head around all the characters and what they're all up to ....
But completely agreed with all the points about the writing and characterisations smile

Well I watched it. Poor Anna.

I felt like they changed her behaviour to fit in with the story, but is that because in the 1920's that was how people thought? "She asked for it"? Or am I thinking too deeply.

It was disturbing and I don't think they (Anna and Bates) will come through this.

Nigel Harman always plays baddies, doesn't he?

As horrible as it was last night, I believe the follow-up will be more triggering and distressing.

Mr Gillingham will be leaving shortly because the concert was the last night of the house party. Problems will only arise if Lord Gillingham is a frequent guest, which if his obvious interest in Mary is followed up he will be.

I don't like Bates at all. I think he did murder his first wife, and that he is a very dangerous man. I think he would blame Anna and Mr Gillingham.

Interesting to see how she's going to explain away the very obvious black eye etc tomorrow. Nobody with two brain cells to rub together is going to believe that, but they might well be tempted to believe that Bates who shouted at her angrily in front of half the staff might have got a bit rough at home.

MrsDavidBowie Mon 07-Oct-13 13:25:36

And Anna's acting was a welcome relief from Lady Mary. A cricket bat has more stage presence than that one.

I am fascinated by Lady Mary's arms.

They're bizarre!

I agree MrsDavid that Mary's woodeness does look like lazy acting (or directing ?) at times, and not just a grief stricken state of shock smile

squoosh Mon 07-Oct-13 13:30:41

I'm still not sure if Lady Mary is a crap actress or just channelling the Celia Johnson style stiff upper lip really, really effectively.

Perhaps she just needs better support in terms of a good script and better direction - I don't place all the blame for the effect of her character at the actresses feet - just some of it!

Bramshott Mon 07-Oct-13 14:20:30

Hmm, glad I've seen this. DD1 (10) loves Downton and usually watches with us (on catch up) but it doesn't sound like this one's going to be suitable...

SunshineMMum Mon 07-Oct-13 14:22:46

I was a bit shocked, it did come out of nowhere, but agree with others, this has been series has been a damp squib so far.

SaggyIsHavingAPinkKitten Mon 07-Oct-13 14:28:43

It was a bit grim! And very shocking for a sunday night!
Shock factor aside, it was all a bit predictable!

bootsycollins Mon 07-Oct-13 14:55:02

Lady Mary's hard work, be interesting to see Michelle Dockery playing other roles, has anybody seen her in anything else?.

Clawdy Mon 07-Oct-13 15:55:32

She was a very good Ophelia opposite John Simm's Hamlet at the Crucible in Sheffield a couple of years ago.

Grumpywino Mon 07-Oct-13 16:17:41

I'm frankly amazed how seriously people take a tv show, and now also realise my life, and emergency sector job, is not as dull as I previously thought as I found 'the scene' was tastefully done, reflecting the horror of such an attack without actually showing it (remembering The Accused here amongst others). Similarly confused by Lady Mary, can't decide if rubbish acting or direction. Anyway, not bad for light entertainment, marginally better than the dreaded X factor and similar tripe!

orangebiscuit Mon 07-Oct-13 16:34:28

I thought it was too much for this show. But then they didn't flinch at killing off a beloved character and new dad on Xmas day, so shouldn't be surprised.

Perhaps Downton felt it needed to be a bit more gritty like The Village?

SirChenjin Mon 07-Oct-13 16:40:26

Oh god - now The Village is depressing

Mumsyblouse Mon 07-Oct-13 16:50:25

I think Lady Mary's acting is spot on, I've noticed that a lot of posher people hardly move their lips when speaking and she has that slight condescending air off to a tee. Rose is unauthentic in her manner in the extreme (and no I don't buy that this was typical of the 20's).

But- Anna/Joanne is a brilliant actress, really brilliant. That's what made it so awful, I think, her distress was really distressing.

Oh I think Rose is quite good Mumsy - just posh in a more lively way than Mary ? Are they meant to be sisters though ?
< clueless at following plot grin >

spanky2 Mon 07-Oct-13 16:56:56

So glad I had warning from catching the actor involved being interviewed on This Morning. Downton isn't the type of programme to confront issues. As a victim of said crime I would have been really upset if I didn't already know. Again I watch it for escapism. mind you I didn't approve of them killing Sybil, Matthew or the miscarriage.

Rose is Robert's cousin's daughter, isn't she? The Gleneagles family they visited while Mary was up the spout, who then took up a diplomatic post Somewhere Hot, so Rose escaped to Downton.

squoosh Mon 07-Oct-13 17:06:55

As an aside, the footman that Rose was dancing with was v cute, much better looking than the chinless toff she ended up with.

CoolStoryBro Mon 07-Oct-13 17:10:16

Personally, I thought it was really well done. Joanne Froggatt acted her heart out. Downton has never been just an escapist drama because they've covered LOADS of issues in previous series, it just seems a bit glossier because of the era it's set in.

The fact is, it's fictional entertainment and there are many, many programmes that have dealt with rape in a far more heavy handed way than Downton did last night.

Oh thanks Horry - can't pretend to really follow all that (haven't really watched much up to now but am getting hooked - mainly quite like a Sunday night period drama on autumn evenings) but makes sense anyway that Rose wouldn't be Mary's sister as Mary was married to Matthew after all (well known son and heir) So, OK, she's a cousin (that'll do for now!)

JamieandtheMagicTorch Mon 07-Oct-13 17:15:19

Joanne Froggatt is a fine actress. There are some others who are being wasted on this shite - badly-written storylines that are over in a flash.

I did not see it last night - didn't watch for the first time as I've decided it's a waste of time. I can see why others are cross about this storyline - the rest has been so unbelievable and almost comical, that this seems incongruous

I was bloody shocked, we watch on catchup to speed through the adverts and missed the warning sad

Joanne Froggatt is an excellent actress and I thought the scene itself was actually well done. Shocking content but well done. I agree with other posters that the change in personalities of Anna and Bates was weird, I commented to DH that it was weird before the attack happened.

Of course she will be pregnant sad

NickerlaGill Mon 07-Oct-13 17:46:02

Lots of people on the TV page were moaning about there being no real plot in the new series and it being drab and predictable. This was on after 9pm, we didn't see any real violence. Lots more really scary stuff on TV. This is just a TV drama - it's not real!

Can we all agree though that Lord Downtons (god forgotten name) acting is getting crappier each week please grin

I only watch it for Dame Maggie and even shes getting a bit soft now.

NickerlaGill Mon 07-Oct-13 17:54:20

The really horrible part was that Mrs Housekeeper didn't hesitate to promise she'd keep quiet about it. Rape was an everyday hazard for the servant classes and Anna would probably be sacked if she made a fuss. At least that part is 'real'.

MissMalteser Mon 07-Oct-13 18:40:00

Am I the only one who thought the friendliness of NH's character was an angle, so to speak, he was a predator who picked his victim carefully and went out of his way to forge some kind of 'friendship' beforehand, either to get his kicks or to justify it in his mind somehow... I honestly didn't see anything to indicate victim blaming at all.

GeorginaWorsley Mon 07-Oct-13 18:58:08

I agree subject shocking but it was shown after 9 pm,in fact rape scene nearer to 10 pm.
There was a warning beforehand re violent content.
I don't agree that Sunday drama has to equal cosy either.
Many years ago the nation was gripped by 'the Forsythe Saga' which iirc featured marital rape or something similar?
Downton has covered 'distressing' topics before,such as first world war,Spanish flu,pre eclampsia,etc
I hope it now explores society's reactions to sexual assault in 1920's.

Clawdy Mon 07-Oct-13 19:29:22

Joanne Froggatt is such a good and versatile actress. Anyone remember her in Coronation Street years ago playing Zoe, a sullen and rather unpleasant single mum? Just about as different from Anna as you could imagine.

BreatheandFlyAway Mon 07-Oct-13 22:40:52

It made me feel sick and I couldn't get it out of my mind. Why does it need portraying? People suffering violence themselves would be watching DA for the warmth and feeling of it, which was wilfully and violently shattered by last night's episode. I feel I never want to watch it again and it was one of the very few programmes I looked forward to.

Rape or abuse as a storyline makes me feel sick and shows that the man who wrote this cannot understand how endemic it is for women even today and that it is therefore not an appropriate thing to dump into a previously warming, lovely family drama. If I want to watch gritty sexual violence (I don't BTW, which is why I liked DA sad), I would choose a different programme on the tv, not DA.

It's obviously done for the shock factor, trying to make a name for himself, pushing boundaries and all the other crappy reasons why men think it's OK to make entertainment out of violence against women and children. How about a male rape scene, huh? Oh no, he wouldn't dare rock that boat.

CiderBomb Mon 07-Oct-13 22:46:01

I remember her as Zoe, she left to join a cult didn't she. She was in Bad Girls shortly after Corrie and I think her character ended up committing suicide? That was also quite shocking at the time.

CoolStoryBro Mon 07-Oct-13 22:50:49

I found the most disturbing part was Lord Granthams terrible acting and the fact he gamboled the family money away. Again. hmm

squoosh Mon 07-Oct-13 22:53:12

I think people are taking this WAY too seriously.

ScarerAndFuck Mon 07-Oct-13 23:24:53

I'm going to go against the grain and say I don't think they changed the characters or their relationship with each other to create this storyline.

I don't think Bates' dislike of Mr Green was jealousy, or that Anna enjoying herself was flirting or a change from her normally serious character.

She's always been that little bit bubbly, and although she controls herself, you do see that side to her and it's one of the things Bates normally seems to like about her.

She asked why Bates didn't like Green and he said he just had a bad feeling about it. I think everyone else assumed jealousy but I think it was something else, some intuition about him.

When you are secure in your relationship, as they both seemed to be, then jealousy doesn't come into it so easily and neither does the worry that you might be seen as flirting if you are friendly with someone else.

Which I think is all Anna was. She does like to enjoy herself, she learned those dances in the Christmas episode as much to make Bates happy as to enjoy herself.

And I don't think Bates believed her for one second when she said she fainted and then spoilt her dress. I just don't think he wanted to push her. He trusts her and I think he knew she had a reason for behaving a little oddly, he just has no idea how bad it is.

The scenes we did see were absolutely shocking, I'm not surprised at all they gave a warning before the programme started. But I'm glad we didn't actually see more than we did because it kept it as a serious issue rather than trivialised. And hopefully it's opened some peoples eyes as to how brutal rape is.

zower Mon 07-Oct-13 23:37:06

probably better to watch Straw Dogs in that case.

regardless, i am aware that rape, violence and murder are continually served up ad enrtertainment on british tv, even on feministy progs like Scot & Bailey (IMO).

frankie4 Mon 07-Oct-13 23:48:35

I am put off watching so many things on tv as I don't want to watch rape. Most police, detective, drama, soaps etc programmes have rape in. Many porn films online have rape in so there are obviously many men who enjoy watching it, but as there is so much rape on tv does it follow that people enjoy watching rape on tv? Many other bad things happen a lot in real life like domestic violence and bullying, or horrific accidents, but we don't see as much of this on tv, just a lot of rape as it obviously has a sexual side to it. It really upsets me.

Darkesteyes Mon 07-Oct-13 23:54:53

Joanne Froggatt is a bloody good actress I remember her in Corrie I also remember her playing Sam Tylers/John Simms mum in Life on Mars.
There was an interview with her in last months Psychologies. Shes in a film called Filth by Irvine Walsh out in cinemas at the mo playing a widow.
She comes across as very down to earth This interview was conducted by Irvine Walsh so it was really interesting to read.

Darkesteyes Mon 07-Oct-13 23:58:26

James McAvoy is in it as well
Which reminds me the Drama channel are re showing State of Play from Wednesday.

SamHamwidge Tue 08-Oct-13 00:07:32

I am disappointed with what they have done with Bates and Anna this series, after all they went through while he was in jail I was hoping that they'd have a little bit of wedded bliss and maybe a little baby, instead they were both shoved downstairs without storyline as though the previous two series had never happened. And now this sad
It's a shame that many characters who started off so strong have become damp squibs.
I think they should end its run soon, I would hate to see it become truly awful.

squoosh Tue 08-Oct-13 00:20:50

What does Straw Dogs have to do with Downton? Straw Dogs features a highly dodgy rape scene, the rape in DA wasn't actually shown. It wasn't gratuitous.

hollyisalovelyname Tue 08-Oct-13 00:27:29

I bet Anna will be pregnant and the guessing game of 'whose the father' will start.
Glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks Lady Mary is rather wooden.
I watch Downton but i do think it is overated.

I think its a ridiculous suggestion that Julian Fellowes is trying to make a name for himself at this point let alone do it with a moderate rape scene.

It wasn't particularly comfortable viewing and I can totally empathise that personal experience of sexual assault would make it all rather harrowing but I'm much more shocked about how seriously some people take it rather than the actual scene itself.

It was well acted, you barely saw anything, it was never said that she was raped, all totally implied meaning that it could be explained away to families who watch it.

I thought they had specifically made Anna have all this fun with Nigel's character so that in the future when the truth outs (as it always seems to so conveniently on tv), someone will turn round and do some massive victim blaming. They've set up to show attitudes I thought rather than reinforce them.

A previous poster mentioned male rape. As we haven't seen the new scene yet its hard to tell but it did look like something of this kind was going on with Tom and the new female servant. We see her plying him with alcohol and then then it looks like next week he's talking about not remembering what happened and apologising. Maybe there is a male sexual assault, maybe she takes advantage of him.

ProphetOfDoom Tue 08-Oct-13 03:29:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MistressDeeCee Tue 08-Oct-13 05:39:07

Ive followed Downton from the beginning and I found the scene with Anna totally shocking. Was watching with my teen was the way he hit her then dragged her to the room it stuck in my mind for a good while. I turned on 5 minutes after programme started so I didnt see any warning. I suppose I just didnt want to see it on Downton & wonder about rape as a shock tactic to increase ratings kind of thing. Possibly followed by lots of depressing harrowing scenes of a bewildered Bates and bitter, shaken up Anna..and marriage going downhill, with a pregnancy thrown in. Probably. I dont just didnt sit right with me. Its a Sunday night drama, cant they leave all that alone? Yes Mary is wooden but her mother is even worse, seems to have been dumbed down completely.

MrsDavidBowie Tue 08-Oct-13 07:08:39

Why all this "Sunday night drama has to be pure and unsullied"?
Is that a rule I've missed along the way? confused

I never watched Call the Midwife, but I gather it wasn't all sweetness and light...even programmes like Heartbeat had grittier episodes.

squoosh Tue 08-Oct-13 10:17:59

I agree MrsDavidBowie, the very reason I don't bother with a lot of Sunday night telly is because of this idea it's supposed to be 'milk maids frolicking in country meadows dappled with sunlight'.

Call the Midwife had some pretty bleak episodes.

And that's a good point about the predatory new female servant TigOld.

drudgewithagrudge Tue 08-Oct-13 11:19:19

I would bet a million pounds she is pregnant. It always happens in plays. Not happy with using rape as a plot device.

squoosh Tue 08-Oct-13 11:24:58

Why is rape off bounds a plot device? You never hear anyone complaining about Midsomer Murders and their mountains of murder victims.

Bubbles1066 Tue 08-Oct-13 11:30:12

Call the midwife had a very upsetting back street abortion themed episode; not easy viewing at all. I agree Sunday evening entertainment isn't always happy. I'm in two minds about Downton. On one hand it was awful but then rape is and I'm sure rape was prevelant back then (just like now) so I do feel it was appropriate.

I also don't agree that Sunday nights should be all songs of praise and joy.

Surely its a good time to raise issues if thats when people sit down as a family. It starts a discussion.

The scene was hardly graphic, he hit her once and then there was some screaming. If people were displeased that certain members of the family had seen it then surely it could be explained away. I watched it with my teens who weren't disturbed at all. There was a lot of "oh poor anna" but its a fact of life unfortunately.

It also highlighted to me how vulnerable the servants or anybody was in those big houses, that they weren't like real homes, more public places. I think its good they raised the issue of rape and reminded people that it happened then too. Surely if they just brushed that topic under the carpet, you could technically accuse them of saying its a modern problem and that supports this idea that its because women now wear skimpy clothes or go out drinking etc. It would be an indirect example of victim blaming.

Julian Fellowes has said in an interview I heard that he researches and makes an effort to raise difficult issues. I think we're going to now see a whole plot on the effects of rape and how difficult life was for women in that situation. It might be an education to some.

QuenellefireAndDamnation Tue 08-Oct-13 12:00:41

I watched it last night on Sky+. I was expecting something because I had seen this thread in active conversations.

I have been half expecting the story to come back to Bates and the question of whether he actually did murder his first wife to arise again. But even a man who didn't habitually go round killing people could be provoked to kill someone who raped his wife. If that's where they're going with it it's a bit extreme. I don't know...

I am disappointed that DA has taken such a nasty turn - I would watch Eastenders if I wanted gritty realism. But I appreciate I'm not the only viewer and some people like more to happen in a drama than everyday Upstairs Downstairs-type goings-on.

ScarerAndFuck Tue 08-Oct-13 13:00:10

frankie84 "Many other bad things happen a lot in real life like domestic violence and bullying, or horrific accidents, but we don't see as much of this on tv, just a lot of rape as it obviously has a sexual side to it. It really upsets me."

I think that most TV drama will feature rape at some point and in police drama I think you can expect it as it's a crime so naturally it will be something they come to sooner or later.

As for soaps and dramas, I think perhaps you notice what is close to you and it is upsetting, especially if they seem to trivialise it for entertainment.

I had a stillborn baby and now everything seems to involve someone losing a baby. In fiction at the moment it seems to be the default setting for so many books lately, usually accompanied by the grieving mother turning into some sort of villain of the piece, and it's on lots of programmes as well. Lose a baby in soapland or current fiction and you have to go out and steal someone else's because that's what we all do you know hmm That's not a hmm at you by the way, it's just at the lazy way these plots and story lines are put together.

Downton has featured a miscarriage I believe, although before I started to watch it.

And they do cover so many other subjects as well, soaps have covered domestic violence and bullying and horrific accidents and continue to do so. Not always well, or sensitively, but they do cover them.

I don't think they trivialised the attack on Anna, not in this particular episode anyway. The violence against her was shocking when he hit her and dragged her into the other room but they showed nothing else, just an empty corridor and her scream with nobody yo hear it. I think that was worlds away from entertainment as it wasn't at all comfortable or entertaining to watch.

And I'm not one for thinking kindly of people who use rape as entertainment. There are films I won't watch and books I won't read because I feel they are using rape to titillate and arouse and I think it's wrong. But I didn't pick up on that in this episode of Downton.

bnm Tue 08-Oct-13 13:12:26

I nearly didn't watch it because they announced just before it started that it contained a violent and upsetting scene. Told DH in disbelief that they would do this to Downton Abbey and as it progressed I thought they must have been mistaken but then as she was going down below I thought oh no here it comes. Continued watching and was glad it was over quickly but must say that because it was Downton Abbey it hit me really hard and then speaking to others on Monday heard they were all feeling the same and one friend switched off. I thought for affect it was done really well but that's not what I watch Downton Abbey for. If I want violence, shock and bad language I wouldn't be watching Downton Abbey. Why couldn't they leave well alone? I watch it for the costumes the gentility the manners the gentle wind down it gives. Having said that I nearly didn't come back to it because they had to kill off Mary's DH, maybe it's time to stop. I know how women were treated how women were made to feel about their honour and little has changed but it's not why I watch Downton.

SirChenjin Tue 08-Oct-13 13:26:34

Are you watching the same Downton I'm watching - the horror or WW1, a woman dying a horrible death in childbirth, murder, a fatal car crash, death after Doing the Deed etc etc? A gentle wind down Downton aint!

MistressDeeCee Tue 08-Oct-13 13:31:23

bnm agree 100%

ScarerAndFuck Tue 08-Oct-13 13:43:29

Lady Sybil's death was horrific wasn't it SirChenjin the was she was gasping for breath while they all stood and watched and nobody could help. I was upset for days after that.

squoosh Tue 08-Oct-13 13:49:08

Lady Sybil's death was really shocking. I expected her to die but thought it would be a bit of sighing followed by some fluttering of the eyelids and then she'd fall back gently on her lace pillows, a ladylike death.

MrsDavidBowie Tue 08-Oct-13 14:01:19

I'd forgotten about the death after Doing The Deed. grin

bnm Tue 08-Oct-13 14:18:14

GOSH - I obviously missed those episodes! In which case others who feel the same must have missed them too. Are you really talking about Downton????????????????

Ok will stop watching after all I never realised it was like that.

Are there any gentle wind down tv programmes???

Flicktheswitch Tue 08-Oct-13 14:19:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KillerKoalaFace Tue 08-Oct-13 14:22:13

I think the reaction to this episode shows just how emotive the subject of rape is.

So far in Downton we have had post coital death, death after childbirth, deaths from disease, a war, death from said war, maimings from war, a mother turning to prostitution and being separated from her child, miscarriage, death of a new father, homophobia and how homosexuality was treated as a crime and loads more.

But it's the rape storyline which has people saying is too upsetting an they'll not be watching any more.

Clearly it touches a nerve and rightly so. So maybe we should all be more vocal and get involved in things like Mumsnet's We Believe You campaign.

SirChenjin Tue 08-Oct-13 15:57:33

Absolutely. If anyone remembers the Forsyte Saga (both versions) it was the rape scene which horrified so many viewers (and rightly so). It is a horrendous crime, and I think that was conveyed by all 3 actresses. It's a hideous fact of life, and not one that should be hidden away out of sight imo.

MorrisZapp Tue 08-Oct-13 16:16:25

I thought it was a great episode, well acted by all. There was no explicit rape, although we all know its implied.

Can't understand this reaction at all. Rape and sexual abuse were rife in those days, as ever. And given all the other appalling things that have happened on DA, its hardly without precedent.

Actually I was surprised by not being shocked if you see what I mean. DH was sitting next to me on tenterhooks because it was potentially very triggering and upsetting, but actually I watched it fairly dispassionately with just an acknowledgement that it was horrible.

I'm expecting the fallout to be far more distressing and triggering. Because in reality living with the aftermath can be worse than the act itself.

Chesntoots Tue 08-Oct-13 16:43:39

I'm tempted to agree with Schmaltzing - Barrow does owe him, doesn't he? I think he could do it and not even skip a heartbeat.

squoosh Tue 08-Oct-13 16:44:50

I've forgotten why Barrow owes Bates!

squoosh Tue 08-Oct-13 16:55:44

Ah just googled it, it was the soap thing in O'Brien's ear.

I still miss O'Brien.

shebird Tue 08-Oct-13 17:05:13

It wasn't pleasant but there was a warning before the show and hardly shocking with what's on tv theses days. Not sure what all the fuss is about.

Tabby1963 Tue 08-Oct-13 17:52:29

I found it upsetting. I won't be watching any more sad.

GatoradeMeBitch Tue 08-Oct-13 17:53:57

I haven't watched this series. I cringed all the way through the last two series, it was like a melodramatic teenagers creative writing efforts had inexplicably been given a large TV production budget.

The first series was fluffy camp fun, it's just a shame it became so popular and convinced Fellowes that anything he farts onto a page is gold.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 08-Oct-13 18:10:13

I'd forgotten Sybil's death. Yes that was moving.

The WW1 stuff was crap, IMO

MistressDeeCee Tue 08-Oct-13 18:25:31

I just dont want to be confronted with 'issues' in so many programmes. Its wearing after a while. Whilst I think its good to be informed I live in the real world & dont want or need to watch drama series for real world info like this. Its fine to want an escape from it all when watching certain programmes, it seems to me. When they go along this line I normally tune out gradually anyway. cba. I hope the scenes dealing with the aftermath of Anna's rape are dealt with sensibly sensationalism or episodes dedicated entirely to that.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 08-Oct-13 18:29:39

I don't mind issues. I'd just like them presented in the context of a decendt programme that has shown some consistency of approach (like Call The Midwives).

I think my problem is that Downton has been so crap, shoehorning plots left right and centre, introducing characters and them buggering off, that this seems a bit of an insult

eddiemairswife Tue 08-Oct-13 18:51:07

We've had two weeks of people moaning that Downton wasn't as interesting as the previous series, and now we have hysterical reactions to a dramatic storyline.Downton is a drama; dramatic things happen in a drama. To those who are shocked, horrified, upset and never going to watch again because they want something cosy on a Sunday night I suggest you stock up with some Barbara Cartlands and let the rest of us watch in peace.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 08-Oct-13 18:54:40


Oh it's been rubbish for 2 series, not 2 weeks grin

But I will leave you in peace

MistressDeeCee Tue 08-Oct-13 19:09:54

ditto Jamie grin

BreatheandFlyAway Tue 08-Oct-13 22:20:25

Yes, I agree, it's been rubbish that I could happily enjoy because of pleasant atmosphere. Now they've effed that up, it no longer has any appeal. Never read a Barbara Cartland in my life, but I do prefer relaxing, convivial tv on the occasions when I watch - I'm not looking for EastEnders when I watch a period drama.

AveryJessup Wed 09-Oct-13 01:53:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kali110 Wed 09-Oct-13 04:05:54

Agree with you eddie!!
The writers are buggered either way.
Its a bloody tv show. Its showing how life was back then, it wasnt all sweetness and flowers!
Cant believe someone even said how unrealistic it was becoming, yes because deaths and rapes dont happen much in real life ...

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 09-Oct-13 07:32:39

YABU.. It's a drama. It relies on events and the reaction of the characters to those events to generate the stories. It's totally consistent with the series that some of those events are shocking. I think it was handled very well.

ScarerAndFuck Wed 09-Oct-13 08:17:07

I didn't think that at all though Avery.

Anna was just how she usually is, polite, friendly and happy. She treats everyone that way and does have a bubbly personality. She was in a more social situation than normal, with everyone arriving for the concert, and that was a big thing for the servants, it was as much a social thing as it was extra work.

In much the same way that someone now could go away for a work conference or chat like that at the office party.

They would have been changing her if they hadn't had behave as she did. If she had meekly listened to Bates and his bad feeling about Green she wouldn't have been the same Anna.

I don't think it showed her doing anything the deserve it. She happened to be the first woman he met at the house but I don't think it would have mattered how she had been towards him. She caught his eye but I think if the opportunity hadn't come up to follow her he would have attacked one of the other maids instead. He was a rapist looking for opportunity, I think that was clear.

I've also wondered if Barrow will be the one to take revenge, not just because he owes Bates but because Anna has always been nice to him as well. She was the one who was kind to him when Lady Sybil died.

kmc1111 Wed 09-Oct-13 08:26:09

I'm really surprised that anyone would be surprised. To me Downton Abbey is pretty bleak even in it's lighter moments. The characters rarely achieve any real happiness, and when they do it's quickly taken away. Something horrible happens to someone every single episode.

I enjoy the show for what it is, a soapy melodrama, and it's light viewing compared to a show like Breaking Bad or Boardwalk Empire, but it's not a fun romp. Off the top of my head we've had the show start with two men dying on the Titanic, a young man dying during sex, one of the servants purposefully causing a miscarriage in her employer, we've followed characters into the trenches and seen some die and some be injured, Downton was briefly turned into a convalescence home (lot's of sad stories there), there's poor Ethel being forced to prostitute herself and later losing custody of her son, the young woman Matthew was going to marry died, Bates was sentenced to hang (that whole story line was hideously depressing), poor Sybil dies horribly, Edith being jilted and now dating a man who's wife is insane, then Matthew's death. There's been illnesses and infertility and extra-marital affairs. And that's just the big stuff, there's been so many minor disappointments and sad moments for each character. And there's been violence before, obviously WWI, but we've also seen union riots (I think that's what they were anyway) and there was some brutal stuff with Bates in jail.

It's not a nice, gentle show about fancy people drinking lots of tea. It's a often very dark soap, and it includes all the usual tropes.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 09-Oct-13 08:29:04

I also thought that making Anna the victim was interesting precisely because she is very sensible, wise etc. 'It can happen to anyone' is the message there. TBH, after the horrible aftermath and repercussions have been played out, I'm hoping Anna gently gets her revenge on her attacker and we find him face down in the dolly-tub.

Itstartshere Wed 09-Oct-13 09:05:00

I haven't seen it but I've read about it. I think for me, I'm just a bit dismayed that it has been portrayed the way it has. It's rape because she screams, because he hurts her, because he drags her about. I just wish if it had to be in the story that they could have depicted rape as it usually happens, so that it might have triggered more debate about how rape is rape even if the person doesn't scream/isn't hit, etc. For me it just compounds the idea that rape is only rape under certain circumstances.

I'm also amused that people think Lady Mary is wooden. I think she has the character spot on; the upper classes were very reserved, it was not ok to show any emotion, and beyond that she's meant to be a cold fish. I love her.

Perhaps I am naïve in trusting the shows writers and researchers. I was upset by the episode, but to me that's a mark of good writing, because if I didn't care so much about Anna, or the scene wasn't depicted in the way it was, maybe I would have been shocked, but not upset.

I agree with the posters who have said the aftermath will be more triggering because for me its worse than the act itself.

I don't think the characters of Anna and Bates were changed, she was being friendly to the guest servants, and he absolutely knows that something is wrong, but he's not pushing her, he knows his wife and he knows that she has her reasons.

I fear that Anna will be pregnant, though I would prefer if she wasn't. Its the way that they handle the aftermath that I will judge, rather than the act itself.

I can see why people might see DA as light sunday viewing, but really, its not at all. I think that it would have died after series 2 if it had stayed light and fluffy, and everyone would be calling it unrealistic for not highlighting how difficult life was then.

Even now, I think it glosses over how grinding life was for the servants, there is very little mention of how long the days are, how little the pay is. Life as a servant in DA looks cushy tbh. I wouldn't want it to turn into The Village, but still.

squoosh Wed 09-Oct-13 10:27:29

'I'm also amused that people think Lady Mary is wooden. I think she has the character spot on; the upper classes were very reserved, it was not ok to show any emotion, and beyond that she's meant to be a cold fish. I love her.'

Hmmmmm, I'm just not convinced. She's wooden when she's happy, she's wooden when she's sad...... she's wooden. I get the frosty aristo thing but I'll reserve judgement on her acting chops until I've seen her in something else.

Yes, I agree squoosh, after all there's more than one poster here not completely convinced by her aristo in mourning act. But like I said I don't think the script-writing is supportive enough to the actors and directors in developing the characters. Not enough depth in anything!

squoosh Wed 09-Oct-13 10:59:14

I agree. The writing leaves a lot to be desired in terms of story lines being dropped and forgotten without any proper resolution.

I think JF holds his own script writing ability in far too high esteem.

SirChenjin Wed 09-Oct-13 11:03:06

She was in something else recently - can't remember what it was called. She was OK, not wooden at all. Not sure if she was brilliant though....

Itstartshere Wed 09-Oct-13 11:56:08

She was in Turn of the Screw, but that was kind of a similar role so not sure if you'd be able to compare. I'd love to see her in something else really different to see which theory is correct- if she's wooden or just playing the part like that on purpose. She just reminds me so much of a very upper class elderly relative of mine who was so similar in every situation and who was horrified by myself and my siblings when we cried or laughed or anything. Everything about her was absolutely restrained and I thought she didn't feel a thing.

CloverkissSparklecheeks Wed 09-Oct-13 12:53:34

It has just been discussed on Loose Women, they were generally suprised that DA would include that sort of story line.

SirChenjin Wed 09-Oct-13 12:57:46

Somehow their surprise doesn't surprise me!

CloverkissSparklecheeks Wed 09-Oct-13 12:59:30

I am a bit suprised as Janet usually disagrees with everything the others say anyway! I actually don't watch often but am sick off work.

SirChenjin Wed 09-Oct-13 13:38:58

I used to like it aeons ago when Kaye Adams presented it, but it's a bit like watching the TV equivalent of the Daily Mail nowadays

squoosh Wed 09-Oct-13 13:40:42

I'm sure I read that Kaye Adams is returning to the show.

SpookyRestingFace Wed 09-Oct-13 14:16:16

I absolutely adore Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary, could listen to her read a phone book. All chilly and cut-glass. For those who wonder how she is in a different role, try Hogfather - very different from Downton.

CloverkissSparklecheeks Wed 09-Oct-13 14:18:56

Every time I have seen it recently it appears to be following anything that is being discussed on MN!

BoffinMum Wed 09-Oct-13 14:56:47

Is Fellowes a MNetter?

He'll have a naice ham plot line involving Daisy next. Or Carson will have a breakdown and start serving Pombears with the sherry. Or Cora will start muttering 'Am I being so unreasonable' into her teacup at at Twatty. Or Pickle will join a 1920s version of Dadsnet to discuss engines instead of estates.


squoosh Wed 09-Oct-13 15:03:11

He's already done the bumsex story.

ScarerAndFuck Wed 09-Oct-13 15:14:54

"I'm sure I read that Kaye Adams is returning to the show."

This was the comment I could see in the 'threads I'm on' page and I was puzzling to work out when she had been in Downton before. blush

The one thing that really bothers me about Downton is the speed everything moves at.

Four year long war, done in three episodes. Die in childbirth, next episode that baby is is toddling. Widowed in a car crash, suddenly it's nine months later. It should be 1963 on Downton by now, because time passes so quickly.

Thewhingingdefective Wed 09-Oct-13 15:17:43

I thought it was quite a dull episode but that particular bit and the performance were very powerful.

squoosh Wed 09-Oct-13 15:21:48

ScarerAndFuck that really niggles with me too. Apparently ten years have passed since episode 1 yet kitchen drudge is still a teenage girl!

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