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Dynasty Abbey

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Is it just us or did 'Downton Abbey' go a bit bonkers this week with a plotline that wouldn't have been out of place in 80s mega-soaps 'Dallas' and 'Dynasty'?

Sunday's episode saw a badly burnt war veteran drop the bombshell (no pun intended) that he was actually Patrick Crawley, the heir to Downton Abbey. Yes, that's right, the one who everyone thought had drowned on the Titanic in the first-ever episode.

The patient, who had been transferred to Downton Abbey while he recovers (what a coincidence!), claimed that he had been rescued from the Titanic but had suffered from amnesia for several years (very 'Sunset Beach'), hence the reason he didn't let them know he'd survived.

Conveniently his injuries were so bad (well, we assume they were underneath all those bandages) that he was no longer recognisable.

As it turns out, he was an imposter and at the end of the episode he was abducted by aliens (very 'Colbys'). OK, so we may have made that bit up.

[See also: More Downton Abbey gaffes spotted]

Now, 'Downton Abbey's executive producer Gareth Neame has hit back at claims the show has turned into a soap, saying: "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. The narrative unfolds with speed and energy."

He added: "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."

You certainly can't argue with an average of 11.5 million viewers per episode.

Next week it all goes a bit 'Who shot JR?' as the hunt begins for Mrs Bates' killer. Was it Mr Bates on that fateful trip to London when he returned with those mysterious scratch marks on his face? Nah, far too obvious.

Our money's on O'Brien. We reckon the dour lady's maid delivered the fateful blow with her button box.

Yes, it's crazy - but it's still our favourite drama on TV at the moment by a mile.