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Downton Abbey

Sun Oct 6, 9-10.05pm, ITV

Series four, episode three
Something of a coup for Downton tonight, as the Crawleys manage to secure a performance from the legendary soprano Dame Nellie Melba. And something of a coup for ‘Downton’ tonight, as Fellowes and co manage to secure a performance from the legendary soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (as La Melba). No previews were available for this third episode, which pivots on a house party to which are invited suitors for both Mary and Edith.

We’re also promised ‘skulduggery and heartache’, as if you hadn’t guessed. ‘Downton Abbey’ tends to pull off these set-pieces with real aplomb, so we should be in for something of a feast for the eyes and ears (even taking into account the inevitable clunkers in the dialogue). Stunt casting aside, though, tonight should see the stirrings of longer narrative arcs to take us through to Christmas.

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