Three and a half seasons into the run of "Downton Abbey," the writers have yet to find a comfortable and accurate way to portray the radical left that was so important a part of British politics during the era. Not long ago, we were wondering whether the Irish firebrand Tom Branson was involved in the burning of a castle. That subplot died aborning. But Tom himself never seemed quite fully drawn in his radicalism. Before his reduction to his current form (in which he wanders the estate, plans to move to America and utters the occasional platitude), he would occasionally make some wild declamation at dinner and — well, and nothing. No consequences. Nobody cared.
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