Downton Abbey (2010)

An ITV (NOT BBC) production starring: Maggie Smith & Hugh Bonneville.
Written & created by Oscar winner Julian Fellowes

Season 3 will air in Sept 2012 on ITV and presumably Jan 2013 on PBS

Set in an Edwardian country house in 1912, the series portrays the lives of the Crawley family and the servants who work for them.Filmed on location at Highclere Castle (pics below) and at Ealing Studios

-> Video trailer
-> Video preview
-> Video interviews: Julian and cast
-> Video interview for BBC: Julian & Hugh
-> Video of Elizabeth McGovern on set
-> Video: Tour of Highclere Castle with Helen James
-> Video: Hugh Bonneville on Daybreak

-> Video: Q&A for British Film Institute
-> Video: including Maggie Smith & Penelope Wilton

-> Video: Costume Designer Susannah Buxton
-> Video: Tribute Video montage
-> Video: Behind the Scenes (Highclere)
-> Familiar Faces of Downton Abbey
-> SCREENCAPS thanks to birdienl
-> SCREENCAPS thanks to Emma-Jane
-> A Milliner's Dream - The HATS of Downton Abbey
-> TOP QUOTES & TIDBITS of Downton Abbey
-> ITV official page (videos only for UK)
-> pictures of cast on set
-> Daily Mail: What the butler would have seen - by Fellowes
-> Daily Mail: article that mentions possibility of sequel
-> Slate: Quality of series determined by length of skirt

- read about the cast & production!
-> creator Julian Fellowes
-> Maggie Smith
-> Hugh Bonneville
-> Elizabeth McGovern
-> Michelle Dockery
-> Laura Carmichael
-> Jessica Brown Findlay
-> Dan Stevens
-> Penelope Wilton
-> Jim Carter
-> Brendan Coyle
-> Phyllis Logan
-> Siobhan Finneran
-> Joanne Froggatt
-> Lesley Nicol
-> Rose Leslie
-> Rob James-Collier
-> Thomas Howes
-> Sophie McShera

Downton is the home of the Crawleys, who have been the Earls of Grantham since 1772. In the drawing rooms and library and beautiful bedrooms, with their tall windows looking across the park, lives the family, but below stairs are other residents, the servants, as fiercely possessive of their ranks as anyone above. Some of them are loyal to the family and are committed to Downton as a way of life, others are moving through, on the look out for new opportunities or love or just adventure. The difference being that they know so many of the secrets of the family, while the family knows so few of theirs.

I'm thrilled to hear about Dame Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville joining the cast! Read more about the great talent on board and the characters they play above stairs and below stairs of this great Edwardian house! Elizabeth McGovern will play Hugh's wife, a role she previously did on Freezing. (shown on right)

There will initially be seven episodes of the drama about life in the Downton community with Julian Fellowes penning the lion’s share of the scripts and overseeing the series. The first episode will be 90 minutes duration, while the remaining six episodes of the series will be 60 minute editions of the drama (update: final episode is 90 minutes). Julian is best known for Gosford Park, which won a plethora of awards, not least the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 2001. His most recent film work, The Young Victoria, also received critical acclaim. In addition to his work as a writer, Julian is an actor, director and producer.

Laura Mackie said: “We are delighted to be bringing the work of a high profile film writer like Julian Fellowes to ITV1. This is a quality series of real scale and ambition that explores the fascinating and complicated relationships, between masters and servants during a brilliantly vivid period of British history.”

Downton Abbey’s writer and creator Julian Fellowes said: “It is no secret that I am fascinated by the extraordinary variety of people that occupied the great country houses. Where men and women worked alongside each other and lived in close proximity, but were separated in their dreams and aspirations by a distance that makes the moon seem close. Television drama often relies on a structure that will involve characters of different backgrounds, any hospital soap opera or detective series can give you that, but there is no narrative base that can provide members of every level of society, sleeping under a single roof, more believably than a great house before the First War. " (info from ITV)

ITV announced they were planning a new drama in the style of classic 1970s series ‘Upstairs Downstairs’ last year. A few months later and the BBC announced they were re-launching Upstairs Downstairs for BBC One.

Directing duties were shared by 2 Brians and a Ben!
Brian Percival -Ep. 1,6,7 (North & South, The Old Curiosity Shop)
Ben Bolt - Ep. 2, 3 (Ashes to Ashes, The Turn of the Screw, Doc Martin)
Brian Kelly - Ep. 4,5 (Torchwood, Monarch of the Glen, Hope Springs)

Highclere Castle (filming location)

Thanks to Judy at Costume Drama Reviews for the heads up of the cast!
Thanks to Smoke for pics of location!

Timeline of episodes for Downton Abbey
Episode 1 ~ April 1912
Episode 2 ~ Sept. 1912
Episode 3 ~ Mar. 1913
Episode 4 ~ May 1913
Episode 5 ~ Aug. 1913
Episode 6 ~ May 1914

Episode 7 ~ July 1914

Great explanation of timeline here thanks to the Last Countess!
[keep in mind that PBS is showing this is 4 episodes so it will differ]

(poll inspired by Downton Abbey and Upstairs, Downstairs)


  1. This sounds interesting. So many great period actors! I've never seen Upstairs, it any good?

  2. Laurie, I've never seen Upstairs, Downstairs either but I've heard it's received many accolades! I'll be curious to see its remake as well!

    1. I'm watching Upstairs, Downstairs from Netflix. It's very good. If you like Downton Abbey you will like it.

  3. Thanks for all the additional information on this series, Charley - I'm now looking forward to it more than ever! I haven't seen much of the original Upstairs Downstairs, but am hoping to catch up with some of it before the sequel comes on.

  4. You're welcome Judy! I'd love to catch up on Upstairs too but I know it's harder to track down and then find time to watch a series rather than just a feature film. I'm envious that you'll have the chance!

  5. Greg and Kimberley...
    I'm not sure if it will be on PBS but ITV doesn't have the same partnership with them as the BBC does so probably not? I do hope it will air in North America somewhere!

  6. Nothing really new, but on this page you'll find some pics of the set (click on "Gallery") : the castle and a hunt, with dogs and horses...

  7. Thanks Anon, I took a peek trying to spot my Mr. Bonneville but glad to see the images anyhow :)

  8. I've just heard about a new article in "Radio Times" this week : it is about period houses and British series, especially "DAbbey" ... I'll try to get it tomorrow !

  9. Thanks Anon!! The pics are great!

    Greg and Kimberley - This will air on PBS in January!

  10. Very cool; thanks for the info!

  11. Liking It So Far, Watching It Right Now, LOVING The Titanic Backstory, I'm A Huge Titanic + Kate Winslet Fan :-)

  12. I've seen two episodes so far and am finding it really enjoyable. Roll on next Sunday...

  13. I just found out that it's been commissioned for a second series. I'm pleased but not too surprised as it's picking up a big audience in the UK, and not being based on a novel they can extend and add to the plotlines as much as they wish.

    As for the Upstairs Downstairs comparisons I haven't seen it for many years, but I think Downton Abbey is possibly a bit racier.

  14. Not sure about it being racier since the new Upstairs, Downstairs will likely cater to new audiences but I do hope that both of them won't go down that slippery slope.

    I stopped watching one anticipated drama because of gratuitous sex but glad to say that so far I'm loving Downton!

  15. Hi

    Just love this series.

    I wonder can anyone help me settle an argument with my husband?

    If the present Earl were to suddenly die, Matthew would become the next Earl, but what title would his mother hold?
    My husband thinks she would remain Mrs Crawley, but I thought she would be called the Dowager Countess even though she was never married to an Earl.

    Any thoughts? I would be very grateful.

  16. Anonymous,
    I'm not familiar with the tradition myself but I've heard from others that Matthew's mom would remain Mrs. Crawley and not gain the title of Dowager.

  17. I've been enjoying this series a lot - you have made a great section about it here, Charley.

  18. Pemberley and Judy,
    Thanks! It's wonderful when we encounter a great drama isn't it? I love that it's stirred up my interest in knowing more about this time period.

  19. I love Downton Abby, just watched the 2nd episode,love period pieces

  20. I happen to "catch" the second series the night it began and I am hooked! I do wish I could have seen the first you know if it is on Hulu?

    I have heard of Upstairs, Downstairs and can see where it could have similarities.

    I am going to hate when it comes to an end!

    Linda from Missouri, USA

  21. Linda, you can catch the previous episodes on I believe they're still available!

  22. Hi, I was wondering, is it all right with you if I use some of the pictures from your image galleries to make icons with? I just wanted to make sure it was okay with you. :)

  23. madelinemorland,
    Thank you for asking! As far as I know the photo credits are for: Nick Briggs, Victoria Brooks and were found here:
    or through Milk Publicity. The source should be listed on each post. Hope that's clear enough?

  24. What about Kamal Pamuk
    and Daisy??

  25. Never Mind! I see Daisy's Bio...

    also wondered, did Thomas poison Mr. Pamuk?

  26. Thomas did look really chocked when he found mister Pamuk dead in his bed so he did for sure not poison him.

    Anyway I think all the young men like William, Matthew and Branson will die one by one during the war. Thomas in the only one who escape to be killed in the war because he works with the wounded soldiers.

    I real life over 1 million people lost there life in the war and about 1,4 million where wounded .

    Sad to say but my favourite Matthew will not be left in the end of sesaon 2 i can assure you.

  27. Hi, I'm Kate. Greetings from England. I LOVE Downton Abbey too, I own it on DVD and have watched it many times! I can't wait to watch Series Two on TV in the Autumn! xx

  28. Hey there! Finally got around to seeing the first two episodes of it tonight! It is very good! But I can't remember from what I have seen Mr Crawley! Don't worry, I'll figure it out, just will give it time. ;)

    But it is absolutely adorable so far, and lovely, and beautiful, and grand, and interesting, get the gist. :)

  29. @Nelle
    Glad you finally have the chance to see it!

  30. Saw parts of second season on Youtube (search for Mathew and Mary Edits)
    and it was gut-wrentching to say the least especially the last episode. Made a lot of people very disappointed. Just go and watch and you'll know.

  31. Counting the minutes until the new season of Downton Abbey? In the meantime, check out these top "Maggie Moments" - hilarious!

  32. @Anonymous
    I've already watched the second season but cute video!

  33. I have heard from my British friends ( I too am British living in the States) that they made a Christmas special of Downton Abbey, I am jealous and was hoping they would show it here in the States,but having Christmas come and gone I doubt very much that we will see the Christmas one :( Anyone out there have an opinion?

    1. Anon, the Christmas special will air on PBS on February 19th as the final episode of the season.



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