There's plenty of sex and secrets, romance and treachery to go around in Downton Abbey.

There's plenty of sex and secrets, romance and treachery to go around in Downton Abbey.

Reviewer rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Reader rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (175 votes)

Seven, 8.30pm

The hasty conversion of Downton into a convalescent home for soldiers stretches credulity a tad and the Earl of Grantham's solemn pronouncements about life, the universe and everything to do with the war are getting a bit purple, but who cares? There's so much to enjoy about this series - above all its characters, but also the melodrama, the romance, the history and the beautiful costumes and faces. Season two is proving as seductive as the first.

This evening, Isobel Crawley takes her bossy tendencies to new heights, Lady Edith finds an unexpected niche and class boundaries continue to be challenged, much to the horror of the deliciously caustic Violet Crawley (Dame Maggie Smith), the dowager Countess of Grantham.

Smith and the butter and honey-voiced Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary) stand out from an outstanding cast. Can't get enough.