Downton Abbey (2010–2015)
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Episode #1.1 

The family and staff of Downton are shocked when they find that the heir to the title and fiancé of the Earl's daughter Mary perished on the Titanic and the Earl hires a crippled army comrade as valet.



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April 1912:- The heir to the title of Earl of Grantham, long time inhabitant of Downton Abbey, perishes on the 'Titanic'. Robert, the benevolent current earl, owes his wealth to his American wife Cora but they have only three daughters, who cannot inherit by law, so another heir must be found by marrying off Mary, the eldest girl. The Duke of Crowborough is a possibility but he is a closet gay who only has eyes for Thomas, the handsome but obnoxious footman, and soon departs. Robert's mother, the dowager, and Cora decide that the next best candidate is Matthew Crawley, a distant cousin, but Cora knows that the spirited Mary will not be happy with their choice. Downstairs there is also unrest as Thomas is passed over for promotion to valet in favour of Robert's batman from the Boer War, John Bates, who now limps due to a war wound. Along with Cora's maid Miss O'Brien, Thomas schemes to discredit Bates in the eyes of butler Carson and forces his resignation but Robert intervenes and ... Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

earl | heir | valet | footman | butler | See All (61) »


Drama | Romance





Release Date:

9 January 2011 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


It's revealed that Mr. Bates served with Lord Grantham in the army years prior to his arrival at Downton. Oddly enough Brendan Doyle (Bates) and Hugh Dancy (Grantham) portrayed shipmates on an English naval submarine in the James Bond film "Tomorrow Never Dies." See more »


Lord Crawley converses with Carson about Bates' suitability. Crawley pets the dog and says, "I know all about hard decisions when it comes to the honor of Downton, don't I, boy?" Isis is a GIRL (at least in the script!) See more »


Duke of Crowborough: Why did you apologize to that man? It's not his business what we do.
Lady Mary Crawley: I always apologize when I'm in the wrong. It's a habit of mine.
See more »


Referenced in Pick Me!: Episode #1.15 (2015) See more »


Opening Theme (From Downton Abbey)
Written by John Lunn
Performed by The Chamber Orchestra of London
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User Reviews

4 October 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A terrific drama that explores the different and difficult relationships between the servants and the upper-classes. Julian takes care to make sure that the servants have just as an important part as their masters and balances it beautifully! There's treachery, love, and plenty more to look forward to. Julian shows us that there is more to a stately home than meets the eye, and pays careful attention to show that what you see on the outside is not necessarily what you get on the inside. There's plenty of conniving going on between Miss O'Brian and footman Thomas to make sure that you are never bored for a single second. So tear yourself away from the day to day life of the twenty-first century and plunge into the early twentieth, I promise you, you won't regret it!!!!!!

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