Downton Abbey star Elizabeth McGovern has said that she was not as impressed with the second season of the hit ITV show as she was with the first.

The American actress who plays Cora, Countess of Grantham, made her comments in an interview with the Los Angeles times. The first season focussed on events after the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 up to the outbreak of the First World War while the second season was set during and just after the First World War.

The series which was created by Julian Fellowes attracted some criticism during its second run over its complicated plot details.

She told the newspaper "There is a slightly different tone to the second season, partly because the show had to deal with this huge elephant which is the First World War, and in some ways Downton Abbey wasn't set up for that.

"What's made the show successful and different is that attention to character detail and that's what the audience likes...

"Writers (in the second series) had to do a lot of glossing over the domestic life, and some of the small moments between characters that characterised the first season."

Answering a question about events moving too fast she said: "I was feeling that a little myself. It's kind of a taste thing, and the show in the first season was more to my taste".

Season three of the drama is currently filming and it will see actress Shirley MacLaine come in to play McGovern’s on screen mother.