Downton Abbey Writing Tips
This season of Downton, I am trying to watch as a writer. (This is hard to do, as I keep getting swept away in the story/costumes/Grandmama’s dry wit!) However, when I was able to separate myself for a moment last night, I realized one (of many) clever things the writers did. They needed a way to get Mr. Doyle back in the house – and what better way but to give him a lowly footman’s job? First, however, they had to ‘get rid of’ a footman. Instead of killing him off (like a few other characters, ahem!), they had Jimmy hurt his wrist, making him unable to serve. Now, here comes the clever part. They made this scene do double duty. He didn’t just hurt his wrist – he did it while first making a fool of the other footman and then showing off by stupidly throwing the loosened jar in the air. By having him get hurt in this way, they reinforce Jimmy’s cad-ish, mean-spirited character while also getting him out of the way for a while.
Pretty schmartski, eh?
Thus, Downton Abbey Lesson One: Never let your scene do one thing when it can do two or more!
Can you think of other times they did this?