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Downton Abbey is a British television period drama series, produced by Carnival Films for the ITV network in the UK, and Masterpiece for the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) in the US. It was created and principally written by Julian Fellowes.

Series overview[edit]Edit

Series Episodes Originally aired Popularity

(average ratings per series)

DVD
Series premiere Series finale Christmas Special Region 2 Region 1 Region 4
1 7 26 September 2010 7 November 2010 N/A 9.7m 8 November 2010 11 January 2011 22 June 2011
2 8 18 September 2011 6 November 2011 25 December 2011 11.7m 7 November 2011

CS: 26 December 2011

7 February 2012 NZ: 7 December 2011

AU: 1 August 2012

3 8 16 September 2012 4 November 2012 25 December 2012 11.7m 5 November 2012

CS: 26 December 2012

29 January 2013 NZ: 7 December 2012
4 8 September 2013 November 2013 25 December 2013

Episode list[edit]Edit

Series One (2010)[edit]Edit

(1912–14)

No.

overall

No.

for series

Title Directed by Written by Original airdate Viewers (in millions)

final ratings are sourced from BARB

Running time

(excluding commercial breaks)

1 1 "Episode One" Brian Percival Julian Fellowes 26 September 2010 9.25 66 minutes
April 1912. Robert, Earl of Grantham, and his American-born wife Cora live with their three daughters and numerous servants in Downton Abbey. Though their way of life has existed for generations, news arrives that threatens the future of the title and estate. Lord Grantham’s cousin James Crawley, who is heir presumptive to the earldom, and his son, Patrick, have both died in the sinking of the RMS Titanic. Since Robert and Cora have no sons, a distant cousin becomes heir. Since there is an entail on the estate and Lord Grantham, for reasons of tradition, is not disposed to try to break it, this also means that the new male heir to the title will inherit the land and all the money Lord Grantham gained by marrying Cora. The eldest daughter, Lady Mary, had been engaged to Patrick, but now the land and wealth can no longer remain in the immediate family. Violet, Lord Grantham's mother and the Dowager Countess, is determined to break the entail, even though Lord Grantham and his lawyer seriously doubt this is possible. Meanwhile, Lord Grantham hires his former batman, the lame John Bates, to be his valet, to the consternation of the butler, Mr. Carson, and the other servants. However, a housemaid, Anna, takes a liking to him. Thomas, an ambitious footman who wanted the job, repeatedly tries to undermine Bates, with the help of Cora's maid, the vindictive Miss O'Brien. Cora and Carson convince Lord Grantham that Bates is unsuitable for the job; Bates is extremely upset at this news. The family is pleased to learn that the young Duke of Crowborough plans to visit, seeing him as an excellent match for Mary, but the Duke seems less interested in Mary than in prying in the servants' rooms, and his manner cools completely when he learns that Lord Grantham does not intend to fight the entail. It is revealed that the Duke had a romantic relationship with Thomas. Thomas had actually informed him about the possibility that Mary would inherit, hoping to get a job as valet in return. As the Duke cannot offer him the job, Thomas tries to blackmail him, but he reveals that he has managed to retrieve his love letters from Thomas's room and quickly burns them before Thomas can stop him. Lord Grantham has a change of heart and asks Bates not to leave. The episode ends with a glimpse of the new heir, Matthew Crawley, as he learns of his good fortune. 
2 2 "Episode Two" Ben Bolt Julian Fellowes 3 October 2010 9.97 49 minutes
September 1912. Matthew Crawley, a young solicitor and the new heir to the Grantham earldom and estate, arrives at Downton Abbey with his mother, Isobel. He is reluctant to adapt to his new mode of life but his mother feels that they should avoid satisfying the family's assumptions about their class and behaviour. Matthew ridicules the prospect of marrying one of the daughters, when Mary suddenly appears and he is immediately attracted to her. The Dowager is openly hostile towards Isobel, as is Mary towards Matthew. There is also some culture clash between the families due to their differing aristocratic and upper-middle-class backgrounds. Matthew astonishes the Dowager when he declares his intention to continue working as a solicitor. Isobel, too, is determined to hold her own against the Dowager and, as she trained as a nurse during the Anglo-Boer War, occupies herself with the local hospital. Meanwhile, Mr Carson is extremely distressed by a letter, and Anna sees him stealing food. It turns out that Carson is a former music-hall performer and is being blackmailed by his show partner Charles Grigg, now a petty thief hiding from the law, to whom he's been providing food and lodging. However, only Mr Bates, Anna, Lady Sybil and Lord Grantham are privy to this, so there is no fear of exposure. Lord Grantham is merely amused by Carson's background and pays off Grigg, threatening to turn him over to the police if he returns. The hostility between Mrs. Crawley and the Dowager escalates when Isobel pressures Dr Clarkson into performing pericardiocentesis on a hospital patient suffering from dropsy. The Dowager tries to prevent this, but the treatment is successful, and Robert decides to make Mrs. Crawley chair of the hospital board, feeling that his mother has too much control. The Dowager herself begins to consider the possibility of Mary marrying Matthew, but Mary is firmly opposed to this plan. 
3 3 "Episode Three" Ben Bolt Julian Fellowes 10 October 2010 8.97 49 minutes
March 1913. Cora is pleased when Lady Mary informs her that Evelyn Napier, the wealthy son of a peer and a possible suitor, will be visiting. However, he arrives with a dashing Turkish diplomat, Mr. Kemal Pamuk, who is in London for the Albanian independence negotiations, and Mary is completely smitten with him. Mary is not the only one: Thomas gets a little too close to the Turk. Pamuk offers to spare Thomas punishment for his indiscretion, provided he will do something in return. Edith tries to interest Matthew by offering to show him the local churches. To her disappointment, he is far more interested in the buildings than herself. Bates purchases a device to correct his limp, but this proves to be extremely painful and injurious, until Mrs. Hughes discovers it and makes him get rid of it. Gwen's (a housemaid) secret is revealed: she has been training to be a secretary, by correspondence. She is dejected by the other servants' scepticism and disapproval of her choice, but Bates and Anna encourage her, as does Lady Sybil. During and after dinner, Lady Mary has eyes only for Mr. Pamuk, but when he surprises her by forcibly kissing her, she rejects him. Undeterred, he goes to her room that night, led by Thomas. He seduces her, but in the middle of the night he suddenly dies in her bed. To avert a scandal, Mary is forced to seek the help of Anna and her mother to move Pamuk's body back into his own bed. Unknown to them, Daisy, the scullery maid, sees them carrying the body. Cora is horrified by Mary's behaviour but promises not to tell Robert, as it would break his heart. Mary is extremely upset by Pamuk's death. In the aftermath, from Mary's behaviour, Napier realises he does not have a chance with her. 
4 4 "Episode Four" Brian Kelly Julian Fellowes, Shelagh Stephenson 17 October 2010 9.70 47 minutes
May 1913. A travelling fair arrives in the neighbouring village. Anna becomes sick and stays in bed for a day, visited by Mr. Bates who brings her up a tray with a flower. Mrs. Hughes (the housekeeper) is reunited with a former suitor, who proposes to her again; She discusses her choices in life with Mr. Carson and eventually turns down the proposal after serious consideration but seems satisfied with her decision. Thomas asks Daisy to accompany him to the fair simply to annoy William, who is fond of her. Although Mr. Bates physically threatens Thomas, he is unabashed and leaves with a smirk. Molesley suffers from an allergic reaction to rue, which Violet correctly diagnoses after Isobel assumed it was erysipelas (much to the amusement and pleasure of Violet.) Carson fears there is a thief at Downton after doing inventory of the wine cellar and discovering quite a few missing. Lady Sybil continues her experimentation with feminism with the aid and inspiration of the new, politically minded Irish chauffeur, Branson. After visiting her dressmaker, she surprises the whole family by displaying an outfit consisting of bloomers, and Branson is seen admiring her from the window. 
5 5 "Episode Five" Brian Kelly Julian Fellowes 24 October 2010 9.40 49 minutes
August 1913. Bates discovers that Thomas is stealing wine from the cellar. Worried that he will be reported, Thomas attempts to frame Bates for stealing one of Lord Grantham's antique snuffboxes, but his plans are thwarted. Anna makes her feelings known to Mr. Bates, but he says they can't be together. Meanwhile, rumours are beginning to circulate about Lady Mary and the "handsome Turk". Daisy is finding it increasingly difficult to keep quiet about what she has seen, and after some cajoling from Miss O'Brien, she tells her story to Lady Edith, who reveals the truth to the Turkish ambassador. At the annual flower show, Isobel questions Violet's history of winning every year, and instead supports Molesley's father's arrangements, much to Violet's dismay. 
6 6 "Episode Six" Brian Percival Julian Fellowes, Tina Pepler 31 October 2010 9.84 48 minutes
May 1914. Lady Sybil's interest in politics and women's rights is kindled by the upcoming by-election and is the cause of major disagreement between her and Lord Grantham. Meanwhile, presumably as a result of Lady Edith's letter, rumours about Lady Mary and the "handsome Turk" intensify, reaching the ears of Carson and the Dowager herself. Violet confronts Cora, who is forced to tell her the truth, leaving Violet almost as shocked by her behaviour as Mary's. Edith finds an admirer in Sir Anthony Strallan, after he is impressed by her thoughtfulness and genuine interest in him. Miss O'Brien and Thomas continue to plot against Bates, trying to frame him for the theft of a wine bottle – which in fact Thomas stole as witnessed by Bates. Thomas persuades Daisy to testify against Bates, but her conscience leads her to retract her statement. However, Bates surprises Carson, Mrs Hughes and Anna by revealing that he was once a drunkard and has been in prison for theft; Carson is unwilling to let him go, realising that there is more to his story. Sybil makes Branson take her to Ripon under false pretences to attend the by-election count. She is injured during a brawl when the count gets out of hand, but is rescued by Matthew as he is returning from work. Lord Grantham blames Branson but Sybil defends him. Later that night Mary and Matthew talk and reminisce, leading to them confessing their love for each other. Lord and Lady Grantham are delighted to learn that Matthew has asked Mary to marry him, but to Cora's chagrin, Mary feels she cannot accept his proposal without telling him her scandalous secret. The Dowager apologises for her earlier harsh treatment of Cora, and they decide that if the match between Mary and Matthew does not come off, they will marry her off to some "Italian who is not too picky". 
7 7 "Episode Seven" Brian Percival Julian Fellowes 7 November 2010 10.77 64 minutes
July–August 1914. Tensions abound following the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The family returns from London after Sybil’s debutante ball, with the exception of Mary, who is staying with her aunt and has yet to give Matthew his answer. When, to everyone’s great surprise, Cora discovers that she is pregnant after eighteen years, Mary’s aunt, Lady Rosamund Painswick, advises her to reconsider marrying Matthew, since his situation would change completely if the baby turns out to be a boy. Mary learns from Evelyn Napier that it was Edith and not he who originated the rumours about her and Pamuk. Through a letter to O'Brien, Carson has discovered the details of Bates’ crime: while he was a soldier he stole the regimental silver. However, Carson, the Earl and Anna realise that Bates is keeping something back. After Mrs. Patmore’s condition worsens, Lord Grantham sends her to London to have cataractsurgery. Anna goes with her and discovers from Bates' mother that he took the blame for the silver theft on behalf of his wife, as he believed that he had ruined her life, although his mother does not agree with him. Mrs. Patmore is temporarily replaced by Mrs. Crawley’s cook, Mrs. Bird, whose cooking she fears will be preferred to her own. Mrs. Patmore accordingly asks Daisy to spoil the family’s meals, but her actions are discovered. Mrs. Bird sympathises with Daisy's loyalty, and upon Mrs. Patmore’s recovery and return, Mrs. Bird manages to win her over. Matthew is angered by Mary’s hesitancy following Cora’s pregnancy, declaring that her decision should purely depend on whether she loves him or not. Anticipating the war, Thomas finds a non-combatant role in the Army Medical Corps with the help of Dr. Clarkson. When Molesley finds Thomas trying to steal from Carson’s wallet, the Earl tells Carson to wait until after the upcoming charity garden party to act on it. Thomas opportunely hands in his resignation to join the Corps. Mary confronts Edith about revealing her secret and implies that she will exact revenge. Learning that Sir Anthony Strallan intends to propose to Edith at the garden party, Mary manipulates him into thinking Edith finds him old and boring, so he leaves in haste without explanation. O'Brien is angry when she mistakenly believes that Cora is going to replace her, and takes advantage of an opportunity to punish the Countess by leaving soap below her bath. She regrets it immediately but is unable to warn Cora, who slips and miscarries. There is further heartache when they find out the baby would have been a boy. O’Brien is extremely upset but the callous Thomas ridicules the staff for their sympathy for the family, and William for mourning his mother so deeply, leading to a fight between the two. Telephone service is installed in the house, and Sybil manages to get Gwen an interview as secretary for the phone company. When Branson conveys the good news that Gwen has secured the post, his obvious friendliness with Sybil leads Mrs. Hughes to warn him against getting too close to her. Molesley’s interest in Anna leads Bates to imply that he returns her affections. Mary is now prepared to marry Matthew and is heartbroken when he tells her he cannot be sure of her motives and intends to leave Downton. In the final scene, during the garden party, Lord Grantham receives a telegram and announces to all that the United Kingdom is at war with Germany, marking the beginning of World War I

Series Two (2011)[edit]Edit

(1916–19)

No.

overall

No.

for series

Title Directed by Written by Original airdate Viewers (in millions)

UK viewers sourced by BARB; figures include ITV1 HD and ITV1 +1 broadcasts

Running time

(excluding commercial breaks)

8 1 "Episode One" Ashley Pearce[8] Julian Fellowes 18 September 2011 11.41 

4.2 (PBS)

67 minutes
November 1916. The episode begins with a scene in which Matthew is fighting as an officer on the Somme. He speaks of returning to Downton during his leave, which is coming soon. However, he has news that he is newly engaged to Miss Lavinia Swire. When Lady Mary learns of Matthew's engagement, she tries to hide her dismay and tells the other ladies that a Sir Richard Carlisle, a newspaper mogul known more for expediency than ethics, is coming to visit her. However, when she is alone with Anna, she breaks down in tears at the news of Matthew's engagement. Meanwhile the servants are preparing for a benefit concert to help fund the local hospital.However, with Bates in London attending his mother's funeral and Thomas fighting in the war in the medical corps, the servants are hard pressed to keep Downton running. A new housemaid, Ethel, has arrived, but O'Brien immediately dislikes her and repeatedly pulls pranks on her. Bates tells Anna that he may finally get divorced from Vera and asks Anna to marry him in her stead. However, these plans are short lived when Vera turns up in Downton and threatens to expose Anna's part in Lady Mary's indiscretion with the Turk Pamuk unless he leaves with her immediately. Mrs. Hughes overhears Bates and Vera's conversation and later informs Mr. Carson of Vera's plot. Mr. Carson then brings this information to Lord Grantham, who immediately regrets how he dismissed Bates. Meanwhile, Sybil, anxious to do her own part in the war effort, begins training as a nurse, and at her departure, Branson reveals his feelings for her. Matthew and Mary, who patched things up when he attended the fundraiser, struggle with their respective situations. Matthew and Mary clearly still care for each other, but with Matthew engaged and returning to war, the timing couldn't be worse. Mary sees him off at the train station, giving him her lucky mascot, which he carries while fighting. The episode ends with Matthew meeting Thomas in the trenches on the front lines. Matthew and Thomas share tea in the midst of the fighting, and when Thomas expresses the irony that the footman is sharing tea with the lord he once served, Matthew tells him that "War has a way of distinguishing between the things that matter and the things that don't." Thomas, who was already clearly sick of the war, takes these words to heart and purposely gets himself wounded so that he no longer has to fight. 
9 2 "Episode Two" Ashley Pearce Julian Fellowes 25 September 2011 11.77  53 minutes
April 1917. With many of the male staff serving in the war, Carson finds himself under pressure to make sure that duties are carried out to his exacting standard. He ends up finding himself forced to accept female staff serving in the dining room. Lord Grantham needs to hire a new valet and ends up employing Lang, who has just returned from the war. William is happy after he receives an important letter. Mrs Patmore finds out some devastating news about her soldier nephew. Thomas returns from the war (after intentionally getting himself wounded and therefore discharged from active duty) and begins work alongside Lady Sybil in the local hospital. After a patient is brought in suffering with gas blindness, Thomas finds himself becoming attached to the young Lieutenant. Molesley takes an interest in Anna. Matthew learns of his temporary transfer back to England for a recruitment drive in the north while fighting in the trenches. Carson advises Mary that if she still loves Matthew she needs to tell him before it is too late. Meanwhile, Lavinia (Matthew's new fiancee who is staying with Mrs Crawley) is reunited with an unwelcome face from her past.
10 3 "Episode Three" Andy Goddar

d

Julian Fellowes 2 October 2011 11.33  53 minutes
July 1917. The village hospital is not large enough to accommodate the large influx of wounded soldiers coming back from the front, so Downton is turned into a convalescent home for many of them. O'Brien is shocked that Isobel Crawley seems to be giving most of the orders while Cora is relegated to the background and suggests that Thomas might be able to aid her from his position at the hospital. Violet strongly believes that Mary and Matthew are still very much in love and so, with the help of Rosamund, tries her best to end Matthew's engagement to Lavinia. She is also still convinced that there is much more to Lavinia's relationship with Sir Richard than meets the eye. Meanwhile, Anna runs into Mr Bates in the village, and they feel they may have a future together, as Bates has a plan to deal with his ex-wife. Back at Downton, things are more highly charged, as William asks Daisy to marry him just before heading off to war and Mrs Patmore reacts very badly to a chance remark. 
11 4 "Episode Four" Brian Kelly Julian Fellowes 9 October 2011 11.30  53 minutes
Early 1918. Ethel's flirting with Major Bryant ends up with her being fired. Later in the episode, she returns and admits being pregnant. Preparations get under way for a concert at Downton. Tensions flare between Isobel and Cora, Edith receives worrying news about Matthew and William, and Branson declares his feelings for Sybil again. Lord Grantham learns that Bates works at a nearby pub and goes to visit him. Lord Grantham receives a letter from Carlisle, which causes him concern and forces an uncomfortable conversation with Mary. Mrs Bird's soup kitchen receives a helping hand from Daisy and Mrs Patmore. 
12 5 "Episode Five" Brian Kelly Julian Fellowes 16 October 2011 11.59  53 minutes
Mid-1918. Lord Grantham receives some shocking news from the front; both Matthew and William have been wounded in France. Unfortunately, William has sustained serious damage to his lungs and is unable to recover, prompting him to ask Daisy to marry him before he dies. Meanwhile, Matthew has suffered a serious spinal-cord injury and is paralysed from the waist down. He is told that he will never walk again or father children. Lavinia insists that this changes nothing and that she is not concerned about having a sexual relationship and children but only wants to care for him. However, Matthew tells her to forget him and sends her away, while Mary attempts to nurse him back to health. A new maid, Jane, is hired by Carson and Mrs Hughes, despite her being a war widow with children. Mrs Hughes has also been secretly helping Ethel and her baby, as Ethel's lover Major Bryant has ignored her pleas. Despite not truly loving William, Daisy is pushed into marrying him by Mrs Patmore, who wants William to die happy, and by William's wishes that Daisy be left with a widow's pension so that she can be looked after. They marry while William is bed-ridden, surrounded by the other staff, Edith and the Dowager Countess. William dies in his sleep, not long afterwards, with Daisy by his side. Bates is taken aback when Vera promises to expose old secrets about Mary and Pamuk's death, as he has paid her to divorce him and he thought she was satisfied. When Mary discovers this, she confesses everything to Richard Carlisle and asks him to help; this obliges her to accept his offer of marriage. He accepts and expresses his pleasure that she is now in his debt. She returns to Downton, and he succeeds in binding Vera to an exclusive contract with binding confidentiality obligations, thereby silencing her. He announces his engagement to Mary in the newspaper without informing her. Carlisle tricks Vera into signing a contract, preventing her from selling the story to anyone else, but on finding out, she warns that she will still bring ruin to Bates. 
13 6 "Episode Six" Andy Goddard Julian Fellowes 23 October 2011 11.33  53 minutes
November 1918. A Canadian officer, badly disfigured by burns, asks to be brought to Downton, claiming a relation to the family. Lord Grantham agrees, assuming he is some distant relation, sharing common ancestry but he stuns everyone by declaring that he is Patrick Crawley, the supposedly deceased heir. His story is that he survived the Titanic disaster but suffered from amnesia so he was unable to identify himself and lived as a Canadian until a wartime experience restored his memory. Most at Downton vehemently deny the possibility even though he remembers many details that only Patrick is likely to have known. However, Edith believes him, growing attached to him as he claims that he was always in love with her, rather than Mary. But, Lord Grantham's investigation casts doubt on the Canadian officer's claim, revealing that Patrick Crawley had a friend who emigrated to Canada. This leads to the burned soldier's sudden departure; he leaves behind a note for Edith that is deliberately ambiguous as to his identity. Meanwhile Matthew is getting used to his condition, constantly cared for by Mary; her continued interest displeases Sir Richard Carlisle. Carlisle and Cora conspire, to Lord Grantham's disgust, to bring back Lavinia, who resolves that she will never leave Matthew. Cora is worried about Isobel's aggressive management of Downton Abbey as a convalescent home until Violet slyly directs Isobel to the plight of refugees as a cause that has greater need of her nursing skills than the convalescent duties. Ethel hears the distressing news that Major Bryant has been killed. Carson debates whether to accept Sir Richard's tempting offer to leave Downton and be the Carlisles' butler after Sir Richard's marriage to Lady Mary; at the same time, Sir Richard makes it clear to Mary that he is uncompromising. Lady Sybil receives an ultimatum from Branson regarding his marriage proposal to her. Bates is shocked to find the legality of his divorce threatened, as Vera reveals that he paid her to leave him, and he goes to London to make another attempt to settle matters with her. Upon his return, he receives the news that she is dead. Soon afterwards, the war ends with the Armistice. 
14 7 "Episode Seven" James Stron

g

Julian Fellowes 30 October 2011 12.26  53 minutes
1919. As the residents try to return to normal life following the armistice, Matthew begins to be able to feel his legs. One day, seeing Lavinia drop a heavy tray, he suddenly gets up from his chair. Major Clarkson admits that he knew of this possibility from another physician but was sceptical about it and did not want to raise false hopes. Matthew announces that he and Lavinia intend to be married soon. Violet informs him that Mary is still in love with him, but Matthew feels obliged to marry Lavinia since she was prepared to sacrifice her life for him. Meanwhile, Richard Carlisle distresses Anna by asking her to spy on Mary, and his behaviour leads Carson to reject his offer of employment. Bates realises that Vera committed suicide in order to frame him for her murder. When Major Bryant's parents visit Downton to see where their son convalesced, Mrs Hughes contrives a meeting between them and Ethel and her baby. However, Mr Bryant angrily refuses to believe her claim. Thomas embarks on a new money-making scheme in the post-war black market. Lord Grantham is attracted to the new maid Jane and illicitly kisses her on one occasion. Contemplating life after the war, Sybil makes the drastic decision to elope with Branson. However, Mary discovers her plan and, along with Edith and Anna, seeks them out and persuades Sybil to return and plead her cause openly to their parents. 
15 8 "Episode Eight" James Strong Julian Fellowes 6 November 2011 12.45 67 minutes
April 1919. As preparations are under way for Matthew and Lavinia's wedding, Lady Sybil's expressed wish to marry Branson shocks and horrifies her parents. Lord Grantham is strongly opposed to the idea, but his threats of social disgrace and disinheritance do not dissuade Sybil. Grantham then attempts to bribe Branson, but Branson's intentions are sincere, and he refuses. Lady Grantham, Carson, and Lavinia are taken ill by the Spanish flu. Thomas' black market venture was a spectacular failure, leaving him penniless and without a job, but Carson's illness gives him a chance to become useful in the house. Matthew finds himself alone with Mary and tells her what Violet said to him. Both acknowledge that they cannot marry, as it would be terribly cruel to Lavinia. However, they kiss just as Lavinia is coming down the stairs. When her illness delays the wedding, Lavinia tells Matthew that she heard and saw everything. She feels they should end their engagement but Matthew refuses. Fearing that Lavinia’s illness might bring together Matthew and Mary, Richard Carlisle comes to Downton Abbey. Daisy is distressed by William’s father’s request that she visit him. Ethel is surprised when Major Bryant’s parents want to see her, but his father wants to take her child away permanently. Eventually, she decides to keep the child. Lord Grantham finds himself unable to control his desire for Jane, who willingly responds. However, their night-time encounter is interrupted and remains unconsummated, and Jane decides to leave. With the possibility of legal trouble regarding Vera's death, Anna insists that she and Bates should marry so that she may be able to support him through his difficulties as his wife. They marry in secret, with Lady Mary's support, and she arranges for them to spend their wedding night in a guest room. Cora becomes seriously ill, and Clarkson fears the worst. O’Brien tirelessly cares for her and tries to ask for her forgiveness. However it is Lavinia who succumbs to the flu and dies, saying that it is best for Matthew. Racked with guilt, Matthew tells Mary that any relationship between them is now impossible. Somewhat chastened by the recent events, Lord Grantham reluctantly gives his blessing to Sybil and Branson. The episode ends with Bates’ arrest for the murder of his late wife. 

Downton Abbey: Behind the Drama[edit]Edit

A 46-minute-long documentary compiled in anticipation of the Christmas 2011 two-hour special broadcast, Behind the Drama features behind-the-scenes footage from the filming of the series and short interviews with Julian Fellowes, the writer, actors (Elizabeth McGovern, Joanna Froggatt, Brendan Coyle, Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery, Jessica Brown Findlay, Laura Carmichael, Penelope Wilton, Phyllis Logan, Thomas Howes, Leslie Nicol, Sophie McShera, Allen Leech) and other members of the team that produces Downton Abbey. It was shown in the United Kingdom at 7:30 pm on Wednesday 21 December 2011 and narrated by Hugh Bonneville. 4.5 million people watched the show.

Christmas Special (2011)[edit]Edit

(1919–20)

No.

overall

No.

for series

Title Directed by Written by Original airdate Viewers (in millions)

final ratings are sourced from BARB

Running time

(excluding commercial breaks)

16 CS1 "Christmas at Downton Abbey" Brian Percival Julian Fellowes 25 December 2011 12.11 92 minutes
December 1919 and January 1920. The household is bustling with all the Christmas preparations. Mr Bates is convicted of the murder of his ex-wife Vera despite testimony from the Earl of Grantham. Towards the end of the episode his death sentence is commuted to life imprisonment. Also the relationship between Matthew and Lady Mary takes another twist. She jilts her fiancé, Sir Richard Carlisle, despite his threatening to reveal her dark secret regarding Kemal Pamuk through his media connections and newspapers. After much worry and fear that he will see her as damaged, Lady Mary decides to tell Matthew that she had a one night stand with Pamuk. Although shocked by this information to begin with, he soon decides he does not care that she is not a virgin and in the final scene he proposes to her but only after she insists he get down on one knee. She accepts. It is revealed that Lady Sybil and Tom Branson are now married and that Sybil is pregnant. 

Series Three (2012)[edit]Edit

(1920)

ITV confirmed the commissioning of a third series on 3 November 2011. It entered production in early 2012, and began airing 16 September 2012 on ITV and aired in the United States beginning 6 January 2013.

No.

overall

No.

for series

Title Directed by Written by Original airdate Viewers (in millions)

UK viewers by BARB; figures include ITV1 HD and ITV1 +1 broadcasts

Running time

(excluding commercial breaks)

17 1 "Episode One" Brian Percival Julian Fellowes 16 September 2012 11.43 

7.9 (PBS)

66 minutes
March 1920. Cora’s mother, Martha Levinson, sweeps into Downton for Matthew and Mary’s wedding, astonishing the Dowager Countess with her critical and "revolutionary" American way of seeing things. Lord Grantham learns that his massive investment of Cora's fortune in the Grand Trunk Railway has failed, leaving the estate near bankruptcy. Salvation is possible, as Matthew is entitled to inherit a large amount of money from Lavinia's father, but his high values will not let him keep the money, feeling it a betrayal of Lavinia and her father. Meanwhile, O'Brien's nephew Alfred joins the staff downstairs and struggles to satisfy Carson's high standards, made worse by Thomas' jealous behaviour. Sybil and her husband, Tom Branson, return to Downton to a muted response, particularly as Branson remains highly vocal about his political beliefs. Matthew repairs things when he chooses Branson to be his best man, and despite hesitance the night before, Matthew and Mary are married. 
18 2 "Episode Two" Brian Percival Julian Fellowes 23 September 2012 12.08  47 minutes
April 1920. With the future of Downton hanging in the balance, Mary and the Dowager Countess conspire to show Downton at its grandest to persuade Mrs Levinson to give Downton more money and save them from financial ruin. Their attempts are impeded by the oven breaking down, giving Mrs Levinson a chance to take over running the party herself in radical fashion. She reveals, when finally asked for help, that though she will "entertain them in New York" she cannot provide them with money, as her own late husband tied it up in the estate, much as Violet's did. She tells them they have to adapt to the changing world, and states her intent to return to America. Meanwhile downstairs, O'Brien and Thomas wage war against one another due to Alfred's recent promotion to valet to Matthew, whilst Mrs Levinson's maid takes a shine to Alfred. Mrs Hughes faces a cancer scare that she shares only with Mrs Patmore and Doctor Clarkson, and Isobel Crawley finds that Ethel has become a prostitute. Edith actively pursues Anthony Strallan as a potential husband and he proposes, despite the reservations of the other family members that he is too old. 
19 3 "Episode Three" Andy Goddard Julian Fellowes 30 September 2012 11.96  47 minutes
May 1920. Matthew receives a letter that Lavinia's late father left for him. He writes that he knew how Matthew broke Lavinia's heart and still wants him to have his money. Matthew finally agrees to accept it, saving Downton. Lord Grantham refuses to accept the money as a gift, instead insisting that he and Matthew become joint masters of Downton. Edith's wedding day finally arrives, but as she is walking down the aisle Strallan changes his mind and calls off the wedding; giving in to the reservations of her family members. Mrs Hughes finally receives the news that she does not have cancer, which visibly relieves both Mr. Carson and Mrs. Patmore. Thomas tries to get revenge on O'Brien by spreading a rumour to the family that she will be leaving Downton. Bates's cellmate tries to get him into trouble by planting drugs in his bunk, but Bates is warned in time by another inmate. 
20 4 "Episode Four" Andy Goddard Julian Fellowes 7 October 2012 11.83 [nb 14] 47 minutes
June 1920. When an aristocrat's home in Ireland is burned to the ground, Branson is found to have been at the burning and is wanted by the police. He escapes to Downton Abbey without Sybil, and the Crawleys are outraged. Sybil eventually returns to Downton safely, and Lord Grantham is able to convince the Home Secretary to allow Branson to remain in England, though he will be arrested if he returns to Ireland. Anna has not received any letters from Bates and is no longer allowed to visit; similarly Bates wonders why Anna's letters and visits have stopped. When Bates falls back into the prison guards' favour, he and Anna receive their missing letters. Ethel decides to let her son live with his grandparents so he can have a better life. Carson recruits a new footman, Jimmy Kent, who attracts the attention of the female staff and Thomas. Ivy Stuart, the new kitchen maid, draws Alfred's attention away from Daisy. Edith writes to the newspaper supporting more widespread women's suffrage. 
21 5 "Episode Five" Jeremy Webb Julian Fellowes 14 October 2012 11.93 47 minutes
July 1920. Edith is asked to write a regular newspaper column. She is excited about the opportunity, but most of the family is not supportive. Isobel helps Ethel by offering her a job as a servant; however, Mrs Bird refuses to work with Ethel and consequently leaves. The new maid Ivy draws Alfred's interest and receives Daisy's resentment. Matthew believes that Robert has been mismanaging the estate and finds an ally in George Murray, the family solicitor. Mary is angry when she discovers that Matthew has been discussing this without her father, Lord Grantham, present. Sybil goes into labour and Lord Grantham hires a famous obstetrician, Sir Philip Tapsel, upsetting Dr Clarkson and Cora. The two doctors disagree over Sybil's care, Dr Clarkson insisting that Sybil is suffering from eclampsia and should be taken to hospital but Sir Philip arguing that Sybil is fit and healthy. Despite the disagreement Sybil delivers a girl and all seems well, however during the night she becomes very ill and dies. The next day Cora seems to blame her husband for the death, because of his refusal to accept Dr Clarkson's argument that Sybil was ill. 
22 6 "Episode Six" Jeremy Webb Julian Fellowes 21 October 2012 12.06  47 minutes
July 1920. Branson decides to name his daughter Sybil and wants to baptise her as a Catholic, both of which Lord Grantham is firmly opposed to. However, Mary and the rest of the family defend Branson's decision. To repair Cora and Robert's marriage, Violet pressures Dr Clarkson into going back on his assertion that Sybil would have had a slim chance of living if she had undergone a Caesarean section. He tells Cora and Lord Grantham that Sybil would have surely died either way, and Cora forgives Robert. Anna finds evidence that might prove Bates innocent, but another prisoner threatens his chances of freedom. After Bates threatens the inmate, George Murray is able to get Bates a release date. Daisy is upset that Alfred is paying a lot of attention to Ivy. Ethel prepares a luncheon for the Crawley women and gets Mrs Patmore to help. When Lord Grantham finds out about the luncheon, he is outraged that Isobel would let a former prostitute serve lunch to his family. However, Cora and the women ignore his protests. 
23 7 "Episode Seven" David Evans Julian Fellowes 28 October 2012 11.82 47 minutes
August 1920. Bates is freed from prison, to the resentment of Thomas. Upon O'Brien's advice, Thomas makes a midnight visit to Jimmy's room and falls into O'Brien's trap. Branson plans to baptise baby Sybil a Catholic. While Lord Grantham discourages Edith's desire to become a journalist, Violet supports her granddaughter. Edith comes to London to meet with a magazine editor, and accepts his offer for a weekly column. Branson's drunkard brother comes to Downton. Matthew continues to confront Lord Grantham about the estate's mismanagement, leading to the resignation of the family's long time agent Jarvis. Tom is appointed as the new family agent upon Violet's suggestion. Miss Sybil Branson is baptised at a Catholic Church in Ripon with the whole Crawley family in attendance.[64][65]
24 8 "Episode Eight" David Evans Julian Fellowes 4 November 2012 12.15  66 minutes
September 1920. Downton Abbey's annual cricket match with the village takes place, bringing out Lord Grantham's competitive side. Violet's great niece, Lady Rose MacClare—the daughter of Violet's niece, Susan, Marchioness of Flintshire and her husband, Hugh, Marquess of Flintshire—visits. A trip to London reveals that there is more to Rose than meets the eye: she's a wild girl who likes to drink and party. Carson controls Thomas's future, and Thomas finds an unlikely ally in Bates. Mary and Matthew are keeping secrets from one another.

Christmas Special (2012)[edit]Edit

(1921)

No.

overall

No.

for series

Title Directed by Written by Original airdate Viewers (in millions)

Sourced by BARB; figures include ITV1 HD and ITV1 +1 broadcasts

Running time

(excluding commercial breaks)

25 CS2 "A Journey to the Highlands" Andy Goddard Julian Fellowes 25 December 2012 10.28  92 minutes
September 1921. The Crawley family heads north, to Duneagle Castle in Scotland - the ancestral home of The MacClare family - to visit Lady Rose and her warring parents, Susan and Hugh ("Shrimpy"). Bates, Anna, Molesley, and O'Brien also make the trip. Gregson, the man who hired Lady Edith on at the newspaper, tells her that he is going to be in Scotland as well. After Edith informs her family of this Mary and Matthew disagree about Gregson's motives. Gregson later declares his feelings for Edith and hopes to find an ally in Matthew. "Shrimpy" tells Lord Grantham, that he will have to sell his estate because he did not modernise it like Downton and now the money is all gone. Tom remains at Downton with baby Sybil. The staff looks forward to the approaching country fair, and Carson struggles to keep them concentrating on work. A new housemaid, Edna, joins the staff and is quickly fired after Mrs Hughes discovers her getting too close to Tom. Mrs Patmore becomes involved in a romance, but it does not last as she realises he is only interested in her cooking. At the country fair, the Downton staff win the tug of war. Jimmy is nearly robbed after winning money from betting, but is saved by Thomas, who is beaten in his place. They later agree just to be friends. Lady Mary goes into labour early, rushing home to the local hospital to deliver her baby, a son. Matthew soon joins her to meet his heir, but as he drives back to Downton, he is killed in a car accident.

Series Four (2013)[edit]Edit

No.

overall

No.

for series

Title Directed by Written by Original airdate Viewers (in millions)

final ratings are sourced from BARB

Running time

(excluding commercial breaks)

26 1 "Episode One" Julian Fellowes September 2013
27 2 "Episode Two" Julian Fellowes September 2013
28 3 "Episode Three" Julian Fellowes September 2013
29 4 "Episode Four" Julian Fellowes October 2013
30 5 "Episode Five" Julian Fellowes October 2013
31 6 "Episode Six" Julian Fellowes October 2013
32 7 "Episode Seven" Julian Fellowes November 2013
33 8 "Episode Eight" Julian Fellowes November 2013

Christmas Special (2013)[edit]Edit

No.

overall

No.

for series

Title Directed by Written by Original airdate Viewers (in millions)

final ratings are sourced from BARB

Running time

(excluding commercial breaks)

34 CS3 "Christmas Special III" Julian Fellowes 25 December 2013
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