Downton Abbey: Season 1, Episode 1

Episode #1.1 (9 Jan. 2011)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Drama, Romance
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 1,210 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 3 critic

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 ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:


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:

duke | male heir | limp | cane | dog | See All (35) »


Drama | Romance





Release Date:

9 January 2011 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


In the opening Mrs. Patmore tells William to take the "kedgeree" up to the dining room. A kedgeree is a dish of flaked fish, boiled rice, parsley and hard-boiled eggs. See more »


Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham: What is a "weekend"?
See more »


References Upstairs, Downstairs: A Suitable Marriage (1971) See more »


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

Terrific start...
28 September 2010 | by (Thailand) – See all my reviews

(I'll edit this review as I see more episodes. There are seven.) It's 'Upstairs Downstairs' all over again! The new series, Downton Abbey, is bound to draw parallels from its' almost 40 year old inspiration but has so far proved itself worthy of the challenge.

Writer Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park) has created interesting and likable characters without the need to submerge them into over emotional dialog and performances. Much of what is 'said' is done with body language alone.

Much of the first episode gets some of the family history, legal status and staff hierarchy details out of the way.

As you can expect the cast and acting is first rate and the photography, scenery and attention to detail is perfect. The script (so far) is not insulting or annoying... which is a pleasant surprise.

After being continually disappointed by the quality of British TV drama over the last few years with it's insipid devotion to a teenage audience it's very satisfying to be able to report that this one finally seems to be headed for an intelligent, discerning and adult audience.

Get your best china out, cut the crusts off those cucumber sandwiches, relax into the Chesterfield and enjoy! Sunday nights in front of the box are back!

16 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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