Downton Abbey

The great Downton ended its fifth season last week. I was struck till the very end by its preoccupation with matters moral: it’s not primarily about the British class system or the recent history of imperial England–it’s about right and wrong, good and evil. The good may be flawed (Lord Grantham) and the bad may be redeemable (Mr Barrow), but there is hardly a moment when some moral crux is not at full throttle. Mrs Hughes is the still moral centre of the show, closely followed by Mrs Crawley–with Anna Bates always tearfully and stoically in the right. But I greatly admired the actions taken by Mr Moseley (aided by Miss Baxter) in tirelessly identifying the pub where Mr Bates had his lunch on the day Mr Green was murdered: this was such a beautiful example of selfless virtue, quiet and determined, and ultimately successful. Mr Pratt, by contrast, is simply hilarious in his petty vanity.

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