Shooting Times editor blasts Downton Abbey for wardrobe errors – Erm, so what?!

by Lynn Connolly

Tony Jackson, gun enthusiast and former editor of the Shooting Times, has hit out at Downton Abbey’s Christmas special for featuring a shooting party whose clothes don’t match up to the given time frame of 1919.

The Daily Mail states that, in the picture above, Jackson spotted several inaccuracies.

He said, “The scene is supposed to depict a shooting party in 1919-20, but they are dressed as though they are in the 1890s. It is full of errors.

“Why on earth didn’t they do their research properly and get it right?

“The guns are wearing leather gaiters – an item of clothing that would not have been worn during the Twenties.

“All would have worn stockings, plus fours and possibly light-coloured spats. The only people who would have worn gaiters would have been the hired help…”

Jackson also described the outfit worn by Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) as “completely wrong” and he added that his ensemble makes him look, “more like a groom.”

And Alastair Balmain, the current editor of Shooting Times, also claimed the addition of Lord Grantham’s (Hugh Bonneville) dog was an historical inaccuracy.

He said, “The yellow Labrador would have been highly unlikely to feature prominently on the shooting field until a few years later.

”Secondly, the English springer spaniels shown appear a bit small for the time and it is unlikely they would have been used as peg dogs, but would have been used by the beaters to flush game over the guns.

“More typical dogs for the guns would have been flat-coated retrievers.”

O well, that’s it then, I’m going to stop watching! No flat-coated retrievers? Yup, boycott time. *Rolls eyes sarcastically.

Responding to the criticism, a show spokesman said, “Our costume designers put in hours and hours of research and there are images from the time of Edwardian men wearing leather gaiters on a game shoot.”

Well, if I may lob in another two penn’orth, what Messrs Jackson and Balmain fail to note is that the majority of us who watch Downton – and love it – aren’t pedantic historians and therefore, don’t give a toss if the spaniels are a tad on the small side, or if the clothes worn aren’t exactly right, historically speaking.

And given that Downton has been nominated for four Golden Globes, I suspect the vast majority of us viewers are prepared to forgive the odd historical gaffe – if we even noticed any – when taking into account how incredibly good this drama is.

So there.

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.