Ton Spittles looks at the week ahead on television

Will it be a happy ending for lady's maid Anna (Joanne Froggatt) and her batman-turned-valet husband John Bates (Brenda Coyle) in the final series of Downton Abbey on ITV1?
Will it be a happy ending for lady's maid Anna (Joanne Froggatt) and her batman-turned-valet husband John Bates (Brenda Coyle) in the final series of Downton Abbey on ITV1?

It’s time to say farewell to an old friend this Sunday when the doors open for the last time on the sixth and final series of Downton Abbey.

This ‘upstairs/downstairs’ costume drama about the Crawley family on ITV1 has proved a Sunday night crowd pleaser for the past five years, as well as collecting fans and awards from near and far.

So, sit back and enjoy all the comings and goings which shows the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) at her formidable best, Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) smiling at a surprise party guest, and just a hint that Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) might enjoy a moment of happiness with a mystery man.

This last look at a bygone age, and the secrets and rifts that threaten the unity of the family, starts in 1925 and is sure to keep viewers glued for the next eight weeks with a storyline that, according to actor Jim Carter, who plays butler Charles Carson, will need “two hankies” for the show’s final episode on Christmas Day before the various characters head off on different paths.

They aren’t the only ones going off to do their own thing as a band of intrepid “travellers” are already doing this on Channel 4.

Just when you thought that the reality TV series was “old hat,” Hunted (Thursday) gives a new twist with a silly and strained hi-tech version of “hide and seek.”

This involves 14 people, each of whom has been given £450 in a bank account, who are given an hour’s start as they attempt to evade capture for 28 days.

But checking their every move are a 30-strong team of experts who seem to know everything about their quarry whether it’s their email address, their car’s location or when they used the phone.

BBC1’s continuing drama classics on Sunday night is not to be missed. This short series, which has included Lady Chatterley’s Lover and An Inspector Calls, continues with The Go-Between, in which an old man re-reads his old diary and relives the summer where he played go-between for a rich young woman and her poor, farm boy love.

Bringing L. P. Hartley’s story of love, lies and class divides to life are Joanna Vanderham (The Paradise) as the heroine, Stephen Campbell Moore (The History Boys) as her fiancé and Ben Batt (Shameless) as her farmer favourite.