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Harriet Walter

Change is in the air at 'Downton Abbey'

Change is in the air at 'Downton Abbey'

The Canadians were not very calm, and they were carrying on quite a bit.

But when you've driven more than an hour through the narrow roads of the English countryside on a blustery late summer's day, a brush with Mr. Bates of "Downton Abbey" fame can lead to forgivable violations of this island nation's ubiquitous wartime maxim.

"I got his picture," Tom Thorner of Vancouver excitedly told his wife, Val, about her favorite character, the show's bulldog of a butler played by Brendan Coyle. "He gave me a wink!"

"He did?" replied Val, grabbing her husband's arm for the photographic evidence. "Let me see."

"I gave...