List of Downton Abbey episodes

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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 by Masterpiece for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in the US.[nb 1] It was created and is principally written by Julian Fellowes.

Series overview[edit]

Series Episodes Originally aired Viewers
(in millions)
First aired Last aired Christmas special
1 7 26 September 2010 (2010-09-26) 7 November 2010 (2010-11-07) N/A 9.7
2 8
+ 1 special
18 September 2011 (2011-09-18) 6 November 2011 (2011-11-06) 25 December 2011 (2011-12-25) 11.7
3 8
+ 1 special
16 September 2012 4 November 2012 25 December 2012 (2012-12-25) 11.7
4 8
+ 1 special
22 September 2013 (2013-09-22) 10 November 2013 (2013-11-10) 25 December 2013 (2013-12-25) 13.2
5 8
+ 1 special
21 September 2014 (2014-09-21) 9 November 2014 (2014-11-09) 25 December 2014 (2014-12-25) TBA

Episode list[edit]

Series One (2010)[edit]

(1912–1914)

No.
overall
No.
for series
Title Directed by Written by Original airdate Viewers (in millions)
final ratings are sourced from BARB[1]
Running time
(excluding commercial breaks)
1 1 "Episode One" Brian Percival Julian Fellowes 26 September 2010 (2010-09-26) 9.25 66 minutes

April 1912. Robert, Earl of Grantham, and his American-born wife Cora live with their three daughters and domestic staff at Downton Abbey. Their way of life has existed for generations, but news arrives that threatens the future of the title and estate. Lord Grantham's cousin James Crawley, heir presumptive to the earldom, and his son Patrick have died in the sinking of the RMS Titanic. An entail on the estate means that only a male heir can inherit the title and land, along with the fortune Cora brought to the estate when she married Robert. The eldest daughter, Lady Mary, was engaged to Patrick to mitigate the situation, but now the land and wealth can no longer remain in the immediate family, and a distant third cousin, whom none of the family have ever met, now stands to inherit everything. Violet, Lord Grantham's mother, titled the Dowager Countess, is determined to break the entail, even though Lord Grantham and his lawyer doubt this is possible.

Meanwhile, Lord Grantham hires his former batman, John Bates as his valet, worrying the butler, Mr Carson, and the other servants, as he is unable to walk far without use of a stick. However, a housemaid, Anna, takes a liking to him. Thomas, an ambitious footman who also wanted the job, repeatedly tries undermining Bates, assisted by 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 wants to visit, feeling that he will be a good match for Mary, but the Duke is more interested in prying in the servants' rooms and cools completely when he learns that Lord Grantham does not intend to fight the entail. It is revealed that the Duke once had a romantic relationship with Thomas, who later informed the Duke about the possibility of Mary inheriting, hoping to get a job as valet in return. As the Duke will not offer him the job, Thomas tries to blackmail him but the Duke reveals that he has retrieved his love letters from Thomas's room and 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 (2010-10-03) 9.97 49 minutes

September 1912. Matthew Crawley, a 27-year-old solicitor and new heir to the Grantham earldom and estate, arrives at Downton Abbey with his mother, the long-widowed Isobel. He is reluctant to adapt to his new mode of life but his mother feels that they should not satisfy the family's assumptions about their class and behaviour. Matthew ridicules the prospect of marrying one of the daughters which Mary overhears when she visits and is attracted to her. Violet and Lady Mary are openly hostile towards Isobel and Matthew. The families also experience some culture clash due to their differing backgrounds. Matthew astonishes cousin Violet when he declares that he intends to keep working as a solicitor. Isobel, too, is determined to hold her own against Violet 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 old show partner, Charles Grigg, now a petty thief hiding from the law that he's been giving food and lodging. However, only Mr Bates, Anna, Lady Sybil and Lord Grantham know about this, so there is no fear of exposure. Lord Grantham is amused by Carson's background and pays off Grigg, threatening to inform the police about him if he returns. The hostility between Mrs. Crawley and the Dowager Countess of Grantham escalates when Isobel pressures Dr. Clarkson into performing pericardiocentesis on a hospital patient suffering from dropsy. Violet tries to prevent this but the treatment is successful and Robert makes Mrs. Crawley chair of the hospital board, feeling that his mother has too much control. Violet, herself, begins to consider the possibility of Mary marrying Matthew, but Mary is firmly opposed to this.
3 3 "Episode Three" Ben Bolt Julian Fellowes 10 October 2010 (2010-10-10) 8.97 49 minutes
March 1913. Cora is pleased when Lady Mary informs her that Evelyn Napier, son of a peer and 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 smitten. Thomas is also attracted to him but Mr Pamuk is not amused. However, he promises not to inform anyone about Thomas's indiscretion, provided he will do something in return. Edith tries to interest Matthew by offering to show him the local churches, but to her disappointment, he is more interested in the buildings than her. Bates purchases a prosthetic device to correct his limp, but this proves to be extremely painful and injurious, until Mrs. Hughes discovers it and insists he dispose of it. Gwen (a housemaid) has a secret: she has been training to be a secretary, by correspondence. She is dejected by the other servants' scepticism and disapproval of this, but is encouraged by Lady Sybil, Mr Bates and Anna. During and after dinner, Lady Mary has eyes only for Mr Pamuk, but when he surprises her by kissing her, she rejects him. Undeterred, Thomas leads him to her room that night. He seduces her but 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 (2010-10-17) 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 (2010-10-24) 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 tells Mr Bates that she loves him, 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 about 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 (2010-10-31) 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 Countess 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 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 counting 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. Violet 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". Anna expresses to Mr Bates that she doesn't want him to leave Downton and they almost kiss before a horse kicks a stable door which startles them and Anna leaves.
7 7 "Episode Seven" Brian Percival Julian Fellowes 7 November 2010 (2010-11-07) 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 but Mary stays with her aunt and has yet to give Matthew an answer. When, to everyone's great surprise, Cora discovers that she is pregnant after eighteen years and Mary's aunt, Lady Rosamund Painswick, advises her to reconsider marrying Matthew, since his situation would change completely if the baby is a boy. Mary learns from Evelyn Napier that it was Edith, not he, who originated the rumours about her and Pamuk. Through a letter to O'Brien, Carson has discovered the details of Bates's crime: while he was a soldier, he stole the regimental silver. However, Carson, Lord Grantham, and Anna realise that Bates is keeping something back. After Mrs. Patmore's condition worsens, Lord Grantham sends her to London to have cataract surgery.[2][3] Anna goes with her and discovers from Bates's mother that he took the blame for the theft on behalf of his wife, as he believed that he had ruined her life, although his mother does not agree. While convalescing, 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, Lord Grantham tells Carson to wait until after the upcoming charity garden party to act on it. Thomas opportunely hands in his resignation and Mary confronts Edith about revealing her scandalous secret, implying that she will exact revenge. Learning that Sir Anthony Strallan intends to propose at the garden party, Mary manipulates him into thinking Edith finds him old and boring, so he leaves suddenly 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, falls, and miscarries. There is further heartache when they find out the baby was 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 newly 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]

(1916–1919)

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[5] Julian Fellowes 18 September 2011 (2011-09-18) 11.41 67 minutes

November 1916. The episode begins with a scene in which Matthew, now an officer in the Army, is fighting at the Battle of the Somme. He speaks of returning to Downton during his leave, which is coming soon. However, he tells the family that he is now engaged to Miss Lavinia Swire. When Lady Mary learns of this, 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. However, when 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.[4]

However, with Bates in London attending his mother's funeral and Thomas serving in the Army Medical Corps, the servants are hard pressed to keep Downton running. A new housemaid, Ethel, has arrived but O'Brien dislikes her and repeatedly pulls pranks on her. Bates tells Anna that he may finally get a divorce and asks Anna to marry him in her stead. However, these plans are short-lived when Vera comes to Downton and threatens to expose Anna's part in Lady Mary's indiscretion with Pamuk unless he leaves with her immediately. Mrs. Hughes overhears Bates and Vera's conversation and informs Mr. Carson of Vera's plot. Mr. Carson tells Lord Grantham this and he immediately regrets how he dismissed Bates. Meanwhile, Sybil, anxious to do her 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 in order to get away from the front line.
9 2 "Episode Two" Ashley Pearce[5] Julian Fellowes 25 September 2011 (2011-09-25) 11.77 [nb 2] 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 wounded and is discharged from active duty) and begins working with Lady Sybil in the local hospital. After a patient is brought in suffering with gas blindness, Thomas finds himself attracted to the young Lieutenant. Moseley 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.[4] Meanwhile, Lavinia (Matthew's new fiancée who is staying with Mrs Crawley) is reunited with an unwelcome face from her past.[6]
10 3 "Episode Three" Andy Goddard[5] Julian Fellowes 2 October 2011 (2011-10-02) 11.33 [nb 3] 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. 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[5] Julian Fellowes 9 October 2011 (2011-10-09) 11.30 [nb 4] 53 minutes
Early 1918. Ethel's flirting with Major Bryant ends up with her being fired. Later in the episode, she returns and admits that she is 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[5] Julian Fellowes 16 October 2011 (2011-10-16) 11.59 [nb 5] 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 will not 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 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 a child. Mrs Hughes has also been secretly helping Ethel and her baby as Ethel's lover, Major Bryant, has ignored her pleas.

Despite not 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. On finding out, she warns that she will still bring ruin to Bates.
13 6 "Episode Six" Andy Goddard[5] Julian Fellowes 23 October 2011 (2011-10-23) 11.33 [nb 6] 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 that possibility even though he recounts 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 and Mary constantly caring for him; this 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 Strong[5] Julian Fellowes 30 October 2011 (2011-10-30) 12.26 [nb 7] 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[5] Julian Fellowes 6 November 2011 (2011-11-06) 12.45 [nb 8] 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 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 is horrified when she learns that Mr Bryant simply wants to take custody of the baby and refuses to even consider allowing her any access. Disgusted, she refuses and tells them that she will keep her son. 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 can 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]

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, Joanne Froggatt, Brendan Coyle, Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery, Jessica Brown Findlay, Laura Carmichael, Penelope Wilton, Phyllis Logan, Thomas Howes, Lesley 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.[28]

Christmas Special (2011)[edit]

(1919–1920)

No.
overall
No.
for series
Title Directed by Written by Original airdate Viewers (in millions)
final ratings are sourced from BARB[1]
Running time
(excluding commercial breaks)
16 CS1 "Christmas at Downton Abbey" Brian Percival[5] Julian Fellowes 25 December 2011 12.11 [nb 9] 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 Lord 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 and she happily accepts to be his one and only wife. It is revealed that Lady Sybil and Tom Branson are now married and that Sybil is pregnant with Tom's baby.

Series Three (2012)[edit]

(1920)

ITV confirmed the commissioning of a third series on 3 November 2011.[32] It entered production in early 2012, and began airing 16 September 2012 on ITV[32] and aired in the United States beginning 6 January 2013.[33]

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 (2012-09-16) 11.43 [nb 10]
7.9 (PBS)[37]
66 minutes
March 1920. Cora's mother, Martha Levinson, sweeps into Downton for Matthew and Mary's wedding, aggravating the Dowager Countess (among others) 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 scruples will not let him keep the money, feeling it a betrayal of Lavinia and her father since he believes her father died thinking he loved Lavinia whereas Lavinia knew of his love for Mary just before she died. 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 (2012-09-23) 12.08 [nb 11] 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 (2012-09-30) 11.96 [nb 12] 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 (2012-10-07) 11.83 [nb 13] 47 minutes
August 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 (2012-10-14) 11.93 [nb 14] 47 minutes
August/September 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 (2012-10-21) 12.06 [nb 15] 47 minutes
September 1920. Branson decides to name his daughter Sybil and wants to baptise her as a Catholic, to both of which Lord Grantham is firmly opposed. However, Mary and the rest of the family defend Branson's decision. To repair Cora and Robert's marriage, Violet pressures Dr Clarkson into retracting his assertion that Sybil might have survived had she undergone a Caesarean section; he tells Cora and Robert that Sybil would have 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 (2012-10-28) 11.82 [nb 16] 47 minutes
September 1920. Bates is freed from prison, to the resentment of Thomas. Persuaded by O'Brien that Jimmy likes him, Thomas makes a midnight visit to Jimmy's room. He kisses him as he sleeps--just as Alfred enters the room after coming from a date with Ivy. Jimmy is outraged and disgusted; so is Alfred. Branson plans to baptise baby Sybil a Catholic. While Lord Grantham discourages Edith's desire to become a journalist, Violet supports her granddaughter. Edith goes to London to meet 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 at Violet's suggestion. Miss Sybil Branson is baptised at a Catholic Church in Ripon with the whole Crawley family in attendance.[53][54]
24 8 "Episode Eight" David Evans Julian Fellowes 4 November 2012 (2012-11-04) 12.15 [nb 17] 66 minutes
Before September 30th 1920. Downton Abbey's annual cricket match with the village takes place, bringing out Lord Grantham's competitive side. Everyone persuades Jimmy not to complain to the police, but Alfred, who witnessed the incident, does so, and CID officers arrive to see him; Lord Grantham gets Alfred to back down, and uses his authority to persuade the police that it was all a misunderstanding. Violet's great niece, Lady Rose MacClare—the daughter of Violet's niece, Susan, Marchioness of Flintshire—and her husband, Hugh, Marquess of Flintshire visit. 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. Mary and Matthew discover they have separately been visiting a London doctor to find out why they have had no children; Mary reveals she has had a small operation, and they now look forward to starting a family.[58]

Christmas Special (2012)[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 [nb 18] 96 minutes

September 1921.[62] 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 budding romance, but unfortunately 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 on the tug of war, but is saved by Thomas, who was following him and is robbed and beaten in his place. They later agree just to be good friends. Lady Mary goes into labour early, rushing home to the local hospital to deliver her healthy baby, a son. Matthew soon joins her and meets his heir, but as he leaves the hospital and drives back to Downton, he is tragically killed in a car accident.[63][64][65]

Series Four (2013)[edit]

(1922)

No.
overall
No.
for series
Title Directed by Written by Original airdate Viewers (in millions)
final ratings are sourced from BARB[1]
Running time
(excluding commercial breaks)
26 1 "Episode One" David Evans Julian Fellowes 22 September 2013 (2013-09-22)[70] 11.96 [nb 19] 69 minutes
February 1922. Six months on, a distraught Lady Mary mourns Matthew, and feels little motherly love and attraction to baby George. Lord Grantham and Branson dispute the management of the estate and struggle to pay death duties. Miss O'Brien suddenly leaves to serve Lady Flintshire, on her way to India. Needing a maid in a hurry, Cora hires former maid Edna, who has trained as a ladies' maid, on the strength of the reference which Tom persuaded Mrs Hughes to give her; Carson and Mrs Hughes see trouble ahead, and warn Tom to keep his distance. Mr Molesley has lost his job following Matthew's death; the Dowager Countess tries to help him by letting him serve at a luncheon for a friend who needs a butler, but her own butler, fearing he is to be replaced, sabotages his efforts, making him appear clumsy and inexperienced. The servants are excited by Valentine's Day, and Mrs Patmore struggles to deal with an electric whisk.[69] Tom asks Carson to talk to Mary to bring her out of her shell, to help him implement the changes Matthew started; he does, but she regards it as impertinence. She later apologises to Carson, has a good cry in his arms, and the episode ends with her joining the tenants' luncheon, no longer dressed in black, ready to tackle the problems of the estate.
27 2 "Episode Two" David Evans Julian Fellowes 29 September 2013 (2013-09-29) 12.10[nb 20] 49 minutes
March 1922. A letter is found from Matthew, appointing Mary his sole heir; Lord Grantham is not pleased at this, nor that Mary wants to work with him and Tom on the estate management – he wants to run things on his own. Violet secretly supports Mary, and urges her to learn the business from Tom. Learning that Molesley has fallen on hard times, is working as a labourer, and has debts, Bates gets money from the Dowager Countess, and pretends he's paying back Molesley for an earlier loan. Lady Rose and Anna go to a tea dance in York which turns out to be for the servant class; she dances with an under-gardener, but when another man tries to cut in, a fight ensues, and they have to run for it. Lord Grantham announces that his solicitor has confirmed that Matthew's letter is as good as a Will, and everyone wants him to include Mary in his plans.
28 3 "Episode Three" Catherine Morshead Julian Fellowes 6 October 2013 (2013-10-06) 11.86[nb 21] 49 minutes
April 1922. A house party is held, including a performance by Dame Nellie Melba (Kiri Te Kanawa). Carson feels that 'an Australian singer' – however eminent – should not dine with the family, and proposes to restrict her to her room; Cora is outraged, and insists she join them for dinner. Lady Mary renews her acquaintance with the suave Lord Gillingham, who flirts mildly with her. Rose flirts with another guest, John Bullock. Lord Gillingham's valet Mr Green gets too familiar with Anna, and while Dame Nellie is singing, he violently assaults and rapes her. Another guest, Lord Sampson, wins heavily at poker; Mr Gregson, Edith's publisher friend, believes him to be a card sharp, and uses his own skill in that field to get their money back. Tom feels out of place amongst all the toffs; Edna, still stalking him, takes advantage by getting him drunk and sneaking into his room afterwards. Anna makes Mrs Hughes promise to not tell anybody, including Anna's husband, about the rape because she is afraid that Bates will kill Green to exact revenge and be hanged for it.
29 4 "Episode Four" Catherine Morshead Julian Fellowes 13 October 2013 (2013-10-13) 11.75[nb 22] 49 minutes
April 1922. Tom regrets his dalliance with Edna, who now claims she could be pregnant and wants to force him to marry her. He asks for help from Mrs Hughes, who discovers Edna used contraception, and warns her to be silent. Her plot foiled, Edna leaves. Lady Rose accompanies Mary and Tom to London where they stay with Lady Rosamund, who has sneakily invited Lord Gillingham and Bullock to join them. They go to a jazz club, where Bullock gets drunk and leaves Rose on the dance floor. Jack Ross, the club's black singer, saves Rose and dances with her, to the discomfort of the others. Anna feels she is no longer worthy of Bates, and avoids him, to his puzzlement. She moves back to the house from their cottage. Michael Gregson is about to depart for Germany; if he becomes a citizen, he may be able to divorce his insane wife. Lady Rosamund discovers that Edith has spent the night with Gregson, and warns her of the danger to her reputation. Lord Gillingham follows Mary back from London, and asks her to marry him. She refuses, saying she is not yet over Matthew's unfortunate death.
30 5 "Episode Five" Philip John Julian Fellowes 20 October 2013 (2013-10-20) 11.39[nb 23] 49 minutes
May 1922. Alfred takes a test to train as a chef at The Ritz, under Escoffier, but is not accepted. Carson considers re-hiring the morose Mr Molesley if Alfred leaves, but he's not happy about the demotion back to footman; unfortunately he dithers for too long over whether to accept, and loses the chance. Thomas sees Cora's new ladies maid Baxter as a replacement for Miss O'Brien, and wants her to make friends with everyone, and spy on them for him. When a tenant farmer dies owing lots of rent, Mary and Tom want to end the lease and run the farm themselves, but the son appeals directly to Lord Grantham, who lends him money and agrees he can continue to farm. Cora has to persuade a nervous Mrs Patmore to exchange their ice-box for a refrigerator. Edith visits a London doctor. Tom still feels he doesn't belong, and considers moving to the United States. Bates continues to pressure Anna, and tells Mrs Hughes he'll resign if she doesn't tell him the truth; she does, but does not mention Mr Green, saying it was a stranger who broke into the servants' hall. Bates talks to Anna, and says he loves her more than ever; they reconcile. When Mrs Hughes tells him she's happy it's all over, Bates makes it clear that it is not – he suspects Green committed the crime. The Dowager Countess employs a new gardener as a favour to the kindly Mrs Crawley but thinks he has stolen from her while working inside the house.
31 6 "Episode Six" Philip John Julian Fellowes 27 October 2013 (2013-10-27) 11.54 49 minutes
June 1922. Alfred gets a place on the Ritz cooking course when a winner drops out, and leaves Downton. Carson is not keen for Molesley to replace him, even when he begs for his job back; Mrs Hughes softens his heart, and Molesley is re-hired. Edith is worried that there is still no news of Gregson, and is told by her doctor that she is pregnant. Bates and Anna go out for a meal at a posh hotel, where a snooty maître d' tries to bar them; luckily Cora is there too, and ensures that they are admitted. Isobel finds the item the Dowager Countess thought her gardener had stolen down the side of a chair; she is ready to berate her some more, but is deflated when the Dowager reveals that she has already apologised to the young man, and re-hired him. Rose arranges for the band from the jazz club to play for Robert's birthday. Carson is scandalized to see Jack, the black singer, but later calms down. Lord Grantham and the family are also surprised to varying degrees, but deal with it with their customary good manners. After the party, Mary sees Rose and Jack kissing in the servants' quarters. Government inspectors arrive to inspect the estate: Mr Napier, an old friend of Lady Mary, and Mr Blake, an acerbic socialist, who clashes with her – terribly politely, of course.
32 7 "Episode Seven" Ed Hall Julian Fellowes 3 November 2013 (2013-11-03) 11.93 49 minutes
July 1922. Robert leaves for America to bail out Cora's playboy brother. Mary, told by Mrs Hughes what happened to Anna, persuades Robert to take Thomas with him as his valet instead of Bates, leaving him to support his wife. The Dowager Countess falls ill with bronchitis, and is nursed by a selfless Isobel, who cheerfully ignores her patient's snippy comments. Tom attends a council meeting to pursue his passion for politics, and meets a very chirpy, curious young lady. Mary and Mr Blake visit the newly arrived pigs; finding them dehydrated and near death, they carry buckets of water together, getting muddy and exhausted, and rather enjoy it. Edith and Rose go to London, where Rose continues to pursue her romantic relationship with Jack, the black nightclub singer; Edith decides to have an abortion, but backs out at the last minute. Lord Gillingham and his valet Green arrive, and Mrs Hughes warns Green that she knows about him and to stay clear of Anna whilst on his visit. During the servants' dinner, Green is rash enough to reveal that he went to the servants' hall during Dame Nellie's recital, which earns him a pensive and seething stare from Bates.
33 8 "Episode Eight" Ed Hall Julian Fellowes 10 November 2013 (2013-11-10) 12.16 69 minutes
August 1922. Edith plans to give her baby to a tenant farmer, but Lady Rosamund suggests they go abroad, to Switzerland, and give up the baby there instead. The Dowager Countess grills them and learns the truth, and offers to support Edith with money. Tom sees Rose and Jack in a tea-shop in the village: worried about what decisions Rose may make he tells Mary, who warns Rose off, then goes to London to see Jack; he has already decided to break off the relationship, to spare Rose future trouble and embarrassment. Alfred offers to marry Ivy, but starts to appreciate Daisy's loyalty when Ivy refuses him. Daisy is confused about how she feels, but gives Alfred up, and he leaves for the last time. Miss Baxter befriends the lugubrious Molesley, seeking information for Thomas, but they get to rather like each other. Lord Gillingham, who has broken off his engagement – but not yet told his fiancée – visits briefly, still pursuing and flirting with Mary; she, learning from Anna of Green's crime, tells him to dismiss the valet, and he agrees. The church bazaar is held, organized by Cora; during it, Lord Grantham arrives back unexpectedly, as does Lord Gillingham, to tell Mary that Green was killed in a road accident in Piccadilly. Anna is disturbed by the realisation that her husband had a day off, supposedly in York, but will not say what he did there.

Christmas Special (2013)[edit]

(1923)

No.
overall
No.
for series
Title Directed by Written by Original airdate Viewers (in millions)
final ratings are sourced from BARB[1]
Running time
(excluding commercial breaks)
34 CS3 "The London Season" Jon East Julian Fellowes 25 December 2013 (2013-12-25) 9.407 [nb 24] 92 minutes
Summer 1923. The Grantham household move to their London residence for Rose's coming-out as a debutante and presentation at court, bringing most of the servants. They are joined by Cora's brother Harold Levinson and their mother Martha, visiting from the United States, much to Violet's displeasure, and by Lord Gillingham and Mr Blake, both still courting Mary, and mutually antagonistic. Tom and under-butler Thomas initially remain at Downton. Tom has a chance meeting with school-teacher Sarah Bunting, who asks him to show her around Downton Abbey. When they go to the upstairs gallery to better view the hall, Thomas sees them. Later, in London, still resenting that he has to serve Tom, he tattles to Lord Grantham, slyly insinuating that he took a woman to a bedroom, but Tom simply tells the truth. At a party, Rose's indiscretion leads to card-sharp Mr. Sampson stealing a letter from the Prince of Wales to his mistress, Freda Dudley Ward from her handbag. Rose tells Lord Grantham, who mobilizes the family to get it back, and prevent scandal. He invites Sampson to a poker party, and asks Bates if he knows a forger who could fake a note from Sampson to his building's porter granting admission to his flat. Bates says he does, but forges the note himself, and Mary, Rose, and Charles Blake search his flat, but can't find the letter. As the players are leaving, Bates picks Sampson's pocket and retrieves it. Mrs Hughes finds a train ticket in Bates's coat for York to London on the day Green died. She tells Mary, and they agree to keep quiet; later Mary has an attack of conscience, and thinks she should reveal it, but after Bates is so loyal in retrieving the letter she burns the ticket. At the Ball, Gillingham surprises Mary by revealing that the egalitarian Mr Blake is actually cousin and heir to a very wealthy baronet with a large estate, and thus more eligible for her than he is. Mary confronts Blake about this; he replies that he wanted to win her by himself - it will be a fair fight with Gillingham. Edith has had her baby, a girl. Rosamund arranged the child's adoption in Switzerland, but Edith now regrets this. Against Rosamund's protestations she reverts to her original plan and arranges her placement with a tenant farmer, keeping her parentage secret. Gregson has still not been found or heard from; he was last seen confronting some political thugs in brown shirts. Harold is impressed by the food in the Grantham household, and asks his valet Ethan to find an English cook for his household in America. Ethan, who is attracted to Daisy, offers her the job, but she refuses; Ivy volunteers instead. The Countess offers the servants a fun day out; Carson has several stuffy suggestions, but Mrs Hughes leads him to choose a day at the seaside. Thomas makes a last effort to squeeze Miss Baxter for scandal but, encouraged by Molesley's support, she defies him. Mrs Hughes entices Carson to go wading in the surf, holding her hand for support.

Series Five (2014)[edit]

(1924)

The series began airing on ITV in the United Kingdom on 21 September 2014 and will begin airing on PBS in the United States on 4 January 2015.[89]

No.
overall
No.
for series
Title Directed by Written by Original airdate Viewers (in millions)
final ratings are sourced from BARB[1]
Running time
(excluding commercial breaks)
35 1 "Episode One" Catherine Morshead Julian Fellowes 21 September 2014 (2014-09-21) 10.71 69 minutes
Early 1924 Both Robert and Carson are upset by the election of a Labour government. The villagers want to build a war memorial, and ask Carson to head the committee; he accepts, on condition they make Robert the patron. Lady Edith still has not heard from Gregson, and is upset by not being able to take part in the life of her daughter, being raised by a tenant farmer's family. Tom Branson has become closer to school-teacher Sarah Bunting, which displeases Robert, who feels she is beneath Tom. Daisy, thinking herself stupid, and wanting to better herself, buys books on mathematics, to Carson's disapproval. Jimmy is being pestered by a previous employer, the exuberant Lady Anstruther, who once took a shine to him. Lord Merton pursues Isobel, who's not interested; Violet tries to interfere to get them together. The Dowager Countess rebukes her very grand and pompous butler for refusing to serve coffee to the local doctor by telling him to not be such a snob. Molesley dyes his hair, unsuccessfully attempting to appear more attractive to Miss Baxter. When under-butler Thomas gets unpleasant with his continuing efforts to learn what Miss Baxter knows about the link between Bates and the death of Green, Molesly advises her to tell the Countess about her past; she does, and reveals that she went to prison for stealing from a previous employer. When the thwarted Thomas tries to tattle to Cora, she puts him down, and lets Baxter stay. There is a large party for Robert and Cora's 34th wedding anniversary, at which Miss Bunting causes dissent with her anti-war views. Lord Gillingham wants Lady Mary to become his lover, and she agrees, as long as it's kept secret. Edith accidentally causes a fire in her bedroom, and is rescued by Thomas. Robert checks the bedrooms, discovering Jimmy in bed with Lady Anstruther, who leaves in a hurry the next day. Robert is determined to dismiss Jimmy.
36 2 "Episode Two" Catherine Morshead Julian Fellowes 28 September 2014 (2014-09-28) 10.47 47 minutes
Early 1924 The staff at Downton clean up after the fire. Jimmy departs Downton, leaving Molesley as the only footman. Thomas reveals Miss Baxter's crime to Molesley; the two friends talk, and Baxter confirms everything, but does not reveal the reason for her theft. She has not told the Countess that either, leaving Cora undecided as to whether to dismiss her. Suave upper-class art historian Simon Bricker (Richard E. Grant) arrives to view a picture, and flirts with Cora; Robert is more worried that the bounder has made friends with his dog. He is accompanied by Charles Blake, who admits defeat to Mary, and concedes that she prefers Tony Gillingham. There is argument over whether the war memorial should be a simple cross on the village green, proposed by Robert, or a garden of remembrance on the cricket pitch, the choice of Carson; after an encounter with a village woman and her son, it is decided that a cross in the village would be best. Mary asks an embarrassed Anna to buy her birth control from the chemist, and goes to Liverpool for her tryst with Gillingham. Farmer Mr Drewe encourages Edith to see more of her daughter and suggests Edith become the child's godmother, but his wife is not pleased at her interference. Mrs Patmore asks Miss Bunting to tutor Daisy. Violet and Isobel visit Lord Merton's country estate, and snipe genteelly at each other. Rose wants Downton to get a wireless, but meets strong opposition from Robert. He relents when King George V (voiced by Jon Glover) broadcasts from the British Empire Exhibition; the radio is installed in state in the hall, and everyone gathers to listen. The local police Sergeant arrives, and tells Carson and Mrs Hughes that enquiries have to be made, as there was a witness to Green's death in London.
37 3 "Episode Three" Catherine Morshead Julian Fellowes 5 October 2014 (2014-10-05) 10.15 47 minutes
May 1924. Sergeant Willis reveals that a witness overheard Green talking to someone on the pavement just before the road accident, and that he had also told his fellow-servants that he had been badly treated at Downton, and had taken a dislike to Bates. Willis interviews Bates, and seems satisfied with his answers, though Anna is still worried that more may come out. Violet's butler sees Mary and Gillingham leaving the hotel in Liverpool; he tells Violet, who invents an excuse for their having been staying there together, but later interviews Mary, and makes clear her disapproval; Mary stands up to her. Miss Baxter tells Cora she was forced to steal jewellery from her former employer by an abusive and manipulating male servant, and is allowed to stay at Downton. Mrs Patmore is distressed that her nephew, who was shot for cowardice during the war, has been denied his name on his local war memorial; she asks Mrs Hughes to get his name on theirs, but Carson refuses. Mr Drewe asks Edith to stay away for the present, as her constant visits to see her daughter are upsetting his wife. A developer wants to build fifty houses near the village, but Robert refuses to sell the land. A group of Russian aristocrats arrives for tea; one of them, Prince Kuragin, turns out to have known the Dowager Countess when she was in Russia, and Isobel teases her by implying a romantic encounter. Lord Gillingham is with them, still eager to marry Mary quickly, but she is starting to dither, wondering if he really is the man for her.
38 4 "Episode Four" Minkie Spiro Julian Fellowes 12 October 2014 (2014-10-12) 10.25 47 minutes
May 1924. Violet takes Isobel to visit the Russian aristocrats, living in poverty, and later tells her that she did have a romantic interlude when she was in Russia. Tom and Mary push the housing development, but Robert decides to reject it as too big, and plan a smaller project. Rose's father, Lord Flintshire (Shrimpy) visits, to announce that he and his wife are getting divorced. Edith asks him to try to find out what has happened to Michael, who apparently got involved with Nazi thugs. Lord Merton tells Isobel he truly loves her, and asks for her hand; taken aback, she says she needs time to think about it. Thomas appears to be ill, and Miss Baxter witnesses him apparently treating himself with medicine. Molesley feels overworked and put-upon, with Carson and Mrs Hughes teasing him about being the 'first footman'; he agrees to forgo the title so that the work can be parceled out. Mary tells Lord Gillingham that she has changed her mind, and will not marry him; he is put out, and refuses to accept her decision. Mr Bricker visits again, to Robert's disapproval, as he dislikes the attention he is paying to his wife. Miss Bunting goes too far in goading Robert with her left-wing views, and is ordered to leave. Sergeant Willis returns to Downton; whilst in London with Mary, Anna was seen by an undercover officer visiting Lord Gillingham's flat in Albany. This is easily explained by the fact that she was delivering a letter to Gillingham from Mary. However, she then visited Piccadilly, the place where Green died, which makes the police more suspicious.
39 5 "Episode Five" Minkie Spiro Julian Fellowes 19 October 2014 (2014-10-19) 10.39 47 minutes
1924. Inspector Vyner of Scotland Yard interviews Mary and Anna about Mr Green, and appears to be suspicious of their answers. He presses Mary about Anna's reaction to the news of Green's death, and warns Anna not to "go away". Mrs Patmore inherits some money, and decides to buy a cottage to rent out. Lady Rosamund visits, and goes to the farm with Edith to see her daughter. This is the last straw for Mrs Drewe, who tells her husband to forbid further contact. Violet interferes some more, and gets the whole story from Rosamund; together they tell Edith the best thing to do is take the child to France. Sarah Bunting gets a new job, and moves away; Tom remains at Downton. Bates is concerned over the matter concerning his wife and the police. He reassures her that nothing bad will ever again happen to her and vows to keep her safe. Charles Blake invites Mary to lunch, together with Tony Gillingham's ex-fiancée; he has a cunning plan to reunite them, leaving him free to court Mary, but the lady flounces out. Thomas is looking more and more ill, but still finds time to hint to Mrs Hughes and Miss Baxter that he could cause trouble for Bates with the police. With Robert away, Mr Bricker visits again, and goes uninvited to Cora's bedroom. Robert arrives back early, and discovers them; insulted by Bricker, who accuses him of ignoring his wife, Robert hits him, they fight, and Bricker is thrown out. Afterwards, Robert is frosty with Cora, believing her to be at fault too; at a cocktail party, Violet notices him ignoring her and refusing to speak to her.
40 6 "Episode Six" Philip John Julian Fellowes 26 October 2014 (2014-10-26) 10.21 47 minutes
1924. Edith learns that Michael's body has been found; he died during Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch. She inherits the publishing company, and takes the drastic action of removing her daughter from the Drewes and leaving Downton. The police visit again, in response to an anonymous letter, and interview Miss Baxter; forced by a threat to be returned to prison, she admits her suspicions about Bates and Green but says that she cannot swear to it. Bates accidentally discovers Mary's contraceptive and book in the cottage amongst Anna's things, and misunderstands her reasons for having them; he later accuses her of not wanting his child because she believes he is a murderer. He explains that he'd known about Green from the moment he returned to Downton, but did not travel to London on the days of Green's death, and did not kill him. He purchased a ticket from York to London, but did not board the train because he realised if he saw Green he would have certainly killed him, and been hanged for the crime. Unable to put Anna through any more trauma, he changed his mind and spent the day in York. The unused train ticket would have provided the vital proof that he never travelled, but had been burned by Mary, who believed she was helping him. Anna is relieved to hear the truth, and she and Bates reconcile. Thomas is taken to the doctor by Baxter, and admits he has been taking patent medicine in an attempt to 'cure' his homosexuality; Doctor Clarkson says that he must learn to live with it. The Dowager Countess gets a feisty new ladies maid, Denker, who falls out with the pompous butler, Spratt; Isobel enjoys the resulting spats. Cora makes Robert see sense, and they reconcile. At a point-to-point Mary (who received a daringly modern bob cut earlier in York) encounters Gillingham and his ex-fiancée Mabel Lane Fox, and Blake, whose plan seems to be working. After visiting Mrs Patmore's cottage, Carson rather nervously asks Mrs. Hughes whether she would be interested in investing in a property with him. Of course, the really important news is that Robert's dog, Isis, appears to be unwell.
41 7 "Episode Seven" Philip John Julian Fellowes 2 November 2014 (2014-11-02) 47 minutes
1924. Rose introduces her new friend Atticus Aldridge, whom she met buying cakes for the Russians, and his parents Lord and Lady Sinderby, to the family. Isobel announces she is to marry Lord Merton; later Violet tells Mary she has never been jealous that Isobel will outrank her, but is sad at losing a companion. Rosamund and Violet tell Cora Edith's secret; she is upset that they kept the news of her granddaughter from her, and goes with Rosamund to find Edith in London, where she suggests that Edith return home, and pretend to adopt Marigold because Mrs Drewe can't cope with so many children. Edith reluctantly agrees, as do the family, with many misgivings. Tony Gillingham insists to Charles Blake that Mary still really wants him; Charles arranges for he and Mary to kiss in public, in front of Tony and Mabel, to end it. Tony at last accepts he's out of the running; Charles is going abroad for some months, so is also out. Baxter overhears Mrs Hughes asking Mary about the train ticket, and informs Bates she saw it, and can swear that it was unused, but Bates is hostile to her for talking to the police in the first place. Bates and Anna plan their future, and now that the business with Green seems to be over, contemplate selling Bates's mother's house in London and buying a house or hotel nearby to let out. Daisy feels let down by the Labour government, and not keen to keep studying, but is persuaded otherwise. Tom is again thinking of moving to the USA, and has written to his cousin there for advice. Lord Merton and his two sons come to dinner; both sons are rude and insolent to Isobel; Larry, the one who caused trouble before by insulting Tom, sneers that she is a poor middle-class woman after his father's title and money. As before, his angry father orders him to leave. After that excitement, Atticus proposes to Rose, and she accepts. Isis, the Earl's beloved dog, has cancer and is about to die; Robert is distressed, and he and Cora take her into their bed to comfort her in her final hours.
42 8 "Episode Eight" Michael Engler Julian Fellowes 9 November 2014 (2014-11-09) TBA 69 minutes
Everyone is in London for the wedding, but the atmosphere is awkward; Rose's parents Lord and Lady Flintshire disapprove because Atticus is Jewish, and Atticus's parents disapprove of Rose because she is not Jewish, and their son is marrying outside the faith. Lady Flintshire is especially antagonistic and unpleasant to everyone, including her husband, who she intends to divorce. She goes as far as trying to sabotage the wedding with staged photographs of Atticus with a call-girl, whose advances he actually refused. Inspector Vyner calls Anna to take part in an identity parade at Scotland Yard, and it is at first unclear whether she has been picked out by a witness. Denker shows a different side to her character by taking young temporary footman Andy to a gambling club she knows to get free drinks in exchange for bringing a novice gambler who loses lots of money; Thomas discovers what has been happening, goes with them, and wins back Andy's money, leaving Denker to pay for all the drinks she had. Tom decides to go to Boston to work with his cousin. Inspector Vyner turns up unexpectedly and arrests Anna on suspicion of Green's murder, as she was identified by the witness as having been on the pavement near Green just before the accident. The war memorial is unveiled, plus a separate stone which Robert has had made honouring Mrs Patmore's nephew. Robert has come to realise that Marigold is Edith's daughter.

Christmas Special (2014)[edit]

(1924)

No.
overall
No.
for series
Title Directed by Written by Original airdate Viewers (in millions)
final ratings are sourced from BARB[1]
Running time
(excluding commercial breaks)
43 CS4 "A Moorland Holiday" Minkie Spiro Julian Fellowes 25 December 2014 (2014-12-25) TBA TBA

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Only the ITV1 (ITV plc owned regions), Channel Television and UTV regions broadcast the first series; STV in central and northern Scotland chose not to broadcast it but reversed their decision from the second series onwards.
  2. ^ 10.245 million on ITV1,[7] 919,000 on ITV1 HD,[8] and 601,000 on ITV1+1.[9]
  3. ^ 9.824 million on ITV1,[10] 978,000 on ITV1 HD,[11] and 531,000 on ITV1+1.[12]
  4. ^ 9.880 million on ITV1,[13] 814,000 on ITV1 HD,[14] and 606,000 on ITV1+1.[15]
  5. ^ 10.155 million on ITV1,[16] 945,000 on ITV1 HD,[17] and 486,000 on ITV1+1.[18]
  6. ^ 9.867 million on ITV1,[19] 955,000 on ITV1 HD,[20] and 504,000 on ITV1+1.[21]
  7. ^ 10.811 million on ITV1,[22] 1.086 million on ITV1 HD,[23] and 383,000 on ITV1+1.[24]
  8. ^ 11.180 million on ITV1,[25] 968,000 on ITV1 HD,[26] and 297,000 on ITV1+1.[27]
  9. ^ 10.672 million on ITV1,[29] 922,000 on ITV1 HD,[30] and 513,000 on ITV1+1.[31]
  10. ^ 9.952 million on ITV1,[34] 1.104m on ITV1 HD,[35] 544,000 on ITV1+1.[36]
  11. ^ 10.606 million on ITV1,[38] 1.071m on ITV1 HD,[39] 404,000 on ITV1+1.[40]
  12. ^ 10.425 million on ITV1,[41] 1.097m on ITV1 HD,[42] 439,000 on ITV1+1.[43]
  13. ^ 10.219 million on ITV1,[44] 1.115m on ITV1 HD,[45] 495,000 on ITV1+1.[46]
  14. ^ 10.31 million on ITV1,[47] 1.156m on ITV1 HD,[48] 460,000 on ITV1+1.[49]
  15. ^ 10.478 million on ITV1,[50] 1.154m on ITV1 HD,[51] 424,000 on ITV1+1.[52]
  16. ^ 10.167 million on ITV1,[55] 1.210m on ITV1 HD,[56] 447,000 on ITV1+1.[57]
  17. ^ 10.574 million on ITV1,[59] 1.193m on ITV1 HD,[60] 385,000 on ITV1+1.[61]
  18. ^ 8.561 million on ITV1,[66] 1.127m on ITV1 HD,[67] 588,000 on ITV1+1.[68]
  19. ^ 10.124 million on ITV,[71] 1.344m on ITV HD,[72] 484,000 on ITV +1.[73]
  20. ^ 10.256 million on ITV,[74] 1.295m on ITV HD,[75] 548,000 on ITV +1.[76]
  21. ^ 9.891 million on ITV,[77] 1.396m on ITV HD,[78] 576,000 on ITV +1.[79]
  22. ^ 9.922 million on ITV,[80] 1.219m on ITV HD,[81] 608,000 on ITV +1.[82]
  23. ^ 9.659 million on ITV,[83] 1.204m on ITV HD,[84] 529,000 on ITV +1.[85]
  24. ^ 7.752 million on ITV,[86] 1.201m on ITV HD,[87] 454,000 on ITV +1.[88]

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