"Or take Tom, who is, by our way of thinking, easily the most interesting “upstairs” character right now and who has been rendered disappointingly bland and obsequious by Fellowes. You could write an entire series of epic novels based on the Irish revolutionary who married into English aristocracy, lost his wife, and wound up living a life he not only never saw for himself but actively despised for the entirety of his previous life. That’s some meaty stuff right there. But instead he dances with bejeweled dowagers at fancy parties and takes tea in the library with great ease and even skill, despite his protestations of discomfort. And even that would be something interesting to explore; this idea that under it all, he’s something of a hypocrite who loves the high life too much to cling to his former beliefs. But all Fellowes is doing with the character is showing him quite happily ensconced on the estate – but sporting a slightly furrowed brow. Dressed in gorgeous tweeds or white tie and tails – but ever so concerned about it. Sure, he’s talking about moving to America, but let’s see a show of hands: who thinks that’s really going to happen? No, he’ll wind up living in Crawley House or something, but he’s not going to leave the estate. He’ll stay and always pay lip service to the idea that he’s an outsider. And to be honest, he really should be more of one. The way the family treats him as a son is very sweet to watch, but kind of hard to believe. They seem even more protective of him than they were of Matthew, who was the heir apparent."