CRAIG BROWN: Terrible news creeps up on the Crawleys!

CRAIG BROWN: Terrible news creeps up on the Crawleys! 

Lord Grantham (looking at the grandfather clock): My goodness. Is that the time? It’s 1928. Last year was 1927, and the year before that, 1926. If I’m not much mistaken, next year will be 1929. The 1930s are almost upon us, heralding all manner of upheavals, both domestic and international. A word of advice: the times are changing, and we must learn to change with them. If you’ll excuse me, I shall now go and change.

Lady Cora: Wise words, Robert.

Lady Mary: Be that as it may.

Enter Carson the butler.

Carson: I have a letter for you, m’lud. I fear it may contain news of the upsetting variety.

Lord Grantham: A word of advice: the unopened letter is destined to remain unread.

Lady Cora: Wise words, Robert.

Lady Mary: Be that as it may.

Lord Grantham reads his letter with a troubled expression on his face.

Downton Abbey: A New Era (pictured), was released last week in cinemas, it follows on from the 2019 film Downton Abbey

Lady Cora: Bad news, Robert?

Lord Grantham: Yes, bad news.

Carson: Not bad news, m’lud?

Lord Grantham: Yes, Carson. Bad news.

Lady Mary: Be that as it may.

Enter Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham.

Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham: Not bad news?

Lord Grantham: Yes, bad news, indeed, Mama. A word of advice: news that is bad is less palatable than news that is good.

Lady Rochester: I trust it’s not bad news.

All turn to look at Lady Rochester.

Carson: Might I jog your memory, m’lud? This is the busybody Lady Rochester, who made a brief appearance in a village fete eight years ago. She was last seen adjusting her hat in the foreground, unaware that, somewhere in the background, Lady Edith was embracing a ne’er-do-well of uncertain origins who was later to meet his death in a tragic accident in a rackety motor car driven by a reckless Russian aristocrat who was, I believe, blackmailing Lady Mary at the time.

Lady Mary: Be that as it may.

Lord Grantham: Ah, yes! Lady Rochester! Do forgive me! The world is going so fast that these days I find it hard to keep up! My goodness! Is that the time? It’s 1929! The 1930s are almost upon us!

Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham: To meet one’s death in a tragic motor accident while being driven by a reckless Russian blackmailer is very middle-class.

Lady Cora: Bad news, Robert?

Lord Grantham: Eh?

Lady Cora: You mentioned bad news?

The new film is set in 1927 and centres on the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Downton

Lord Grantham: That was several minutes ago, my dear. The world has moved on. My goodness, is that the time? It’s 1931. We’re already well into the Thirties, and it can’t be long ’til the Forties. If I’m not much mistaken, Bobby Moore will shortly be leading the doughty England team to victory in the 1966 World Cup.

Lady Cora: I wonder what became of Lady Rochester?

Lord Grantham: Lady Rochester? Remind me…

Carson: I regret to say, m’lady, she died in a tragic accident involving a derailed train, a faulty stepladder, a hurricane, a sawn-off shotgun, a falling tree and an alligator. But, happily, her memory will always live on.

Lady Mary: Be that as it may.

Lady Cora: Robert, dearest. Have you finished reading that letter yet?

Lord Grantham: Letter, dearest?

Lady Cora: The letter containing bad news?

Lord Grantham: Ah, yes. I’m delighted to announce that, in a dramatic twist, the bad news has turned out to be good news. Whatever it was we were all expecting has, most fortunately, not occured. This means that the tragic event that might have occurred will not now occur, which will leave plenty of room for another event, perhaps less tragic, to occur instead. So we should all breathe a sigh of relief.

Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham: Spare me the sighs of relief. All sighs are vulgar, but the sigh of relief is the most vulgar of all.

Lady Mary: Be that as it may.

Daisy: Beg pardon, Mr Carson.

Carson: What is it now, Daisy?

Daisy: Is it true His Lordship and family will be travelling to the French Riveria for no good reason, leaving the Downturn estate in the none-too-capable hands of a motion picture company shooting a silent black-and-white melodrama starring a screen goddess who, it will soon emerge, is common as muck?

Mrs Patmore: Mind your language, Daisy.

Daisy: Sorry, Mrs Patmore.

… to be continued 

Source: Read Full Article