Julian fellowes

Fellowes fluffs it: Downton Abbey – A New Era reviewed

Downton Abbey: A New Era is the second film spin-off from the TV series and, like the first, it doesn’t have to try especially hard if at all. It could be two hours of Mrs Hughes darning socks or two hours of Mrs Patmore concocting something disgusting (kidney soufflé?) or two hours of Lady Grantham requesting tea in bed and fans would still love it to the tune of whatever the last film made. (Millions.) That said, I have always had a bit of a soft spot for it. As the theme music starts up and we get that first sweeping vista of the estate, it feels reassuring and familiar,

Old-school Sunday-night family viewing: ITV’s Belgravia reviewed

The world may be going to hell in a handcart but some things remain reassuringly unchanged: Julian Fellowes period dramas about feisty dowager duchesses, social climbing and snobbery, say. I like and admire Fellowes so I don’t want him to take this the wrong way. But when I say that his new series Belgravia (ITV) borrows from the same template he employed so successfully with Downton Abbey, and before that Gosford Park, and also in that series set on the Titanic that didn’t do quite so well, I’m not trying to suggest he’s a one-trick pony. More that he’s a canny chap who understands his market, has found the perfect