Downton Abbey bosses defend 'far-fetched' storylines

Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville

Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville

'Downton Abbey' bosses have hit back at criticism that the show has become ''ludicrous and far-fetched'' and is now more like a soap than the period drama it is billed as.

'Downton Abbey' bosses have defended the drama after it was slammed for being "ludicrous and far-fetched".

The show's executive producer Gareth Neame has hit back at criticisms the ITV1 period drama has become more like a soap in recent weeks, explaining the show - which is set during World War I - is shot in a "contemporary" way.

He said: "It looks at all aspects of the lives of its key characters and perhaps in that respect could be compared to a soap. But 'Downton' is, however, a very different type of drama.

"First and foremost it is a period costume drama that is filmed very much in a contemporary style, which I hope adds to its appeal."

Gareth was forced to defend the pace of the second series - which was set in 1916 during its first episode and is due to end in 1919 after just eight episodes - after it was criticised for developing too quickly.

He added to the Daily Mirror newspaper: "The narrative unfolds with speed and energy. Given that ratings are high and a much wider audience enjoy 'Downton Abbey' than previous period dramas, it would suggest that people are enjoying the pace of the show."

But Gareth explained the disapproval was unjustified because an average of 11.5 million people watch the show on Sundays, compared to the 9.4 million tuning in during the first series.

He said: "It has become one of the most talked-about dramas in a generation. It is hugely gratifying that the show has struck a chord with viewers."

Despite the criticism of the show featuring "far-fetched" storylines, the 'Downton' creator Julian Fellowes recently explained an episode in which Turkish diplomat Kemal Pamuk (Theo James) suffered a heart attack and died after going to Lady Mary Crawley's (Michelle Dockery) bed for a night of passion was based on a true story.


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