At first Downton won that battle. But as the episodes went on I was unsettled to discover that it was actually, whisper it, a little bit rubbish. Meanwhile I was enjoying the non-live episodes of Spooks a lot more than I thought I would.
After week 4 I did the "switch". Now Spooks would be watched live and I would get around to Downton later. Probably.
Episode 5 of Spooks was a pretty good one. The gang kidnapped a CIA guy because they reckoned he was up to no good. This called for some action with Lara Pulver hanging out of a car firing a gun. Her cheekbones were looking particularly lovely in that episode.
After the cliff-hanger ending (Harry captured by bad Americans!) I turned over to ITV1+1 (I think) to watch the later broadcast of Downton.
I lasted about 10 minutes before I turned the TV off in disgust. That was just after Mary dropped her cup of tea juxtaposed with Matthew going over the top.
I mean, really...
I came to the sudden conclusion that I didn't care about any of the characters (with the possible exception of the middle daughter Edith who I am finding strangely more attractive as time goes on). I don't care about Bates and his on-off wedding with the maid lady. I don't care about the Irish chauffeur and his working man speeches. I certainly don't care about Matthew and Mary
So I skipped the rest of episode 5.