Downton Abbey, unfortunate stereotypes and the lazy characterisation of Thomas Barrow
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Downton Abbey is back, brightening up our autumn nights with its delightful mixture of tears and humour, comfort and heartache, regret and optimism. It is televisual hot chocolate of the most satisfying variety and the UK would be a very sad place without it. However, not for the first time since it started airing in 2010, I have become a bit annoyed with it. Why? Thomas Barrow. Those who have been watching from the beginning will know that Thomas has been a villain of the boo-hiss-variety. He has filled the positions of first footman, head valet and now underbutler. In between he has been a Corporal and Lance Sergeant in the army. From the beginning Thomas was established as evil. He plotted against one of the most loveable and sympathetic characters, Mr Bates, stole from the house that employed him and manipulated young kitchen-maid Daisy into thinking he fancied her. He was and still is, as some would put it, a wrong-un.
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