The script of Downton Abbey cannot compare with the authenticity, complexities & DEPTH of characters of the original Forsyth Saga and Upstairs, Downstairs.
In too many ways this series is an 21st. century's idea of how it was in 1912, rather than the reality. Despite their trumped up airs & graces, the same can be said of the modern day attention deficited characters of Downton Abby dressed up in Edwardian costumes that never seemed to fit.
The actors were fine but hardly resembled pre-World War One English aristocrats. The accents, liberties taken between the classes & the cold disconnect between the younger siblings of Doenton Abbey was particularily jarring.
This is mild soap opera entertainment (meringue), but admittedly, better than most TV fair, considering what's out there. Bonneville & Smith, as usual, do not disappoint with what they had to work with. Unfortunately, they don't appear to have signed up for the second series.
(Correction. Both actors will be in the second series.)
By the way, it was the business of a competent butler of a great house, during that period, to know exactly what was going on under his nose and to act accordingly. There are two servants below stairs who are not only snakes in the grass they are OPENLY vipors, deliberately muking things up below stairs & bad mouthing to undermine their employers upstairs.