Downton Abbey Wiki

Series 1[]

# Title Directed by Written by Ratings (in millions) Original airdate
1 "Episode One" Brian Percival Julian Fellowes 9.25 26 September 2010

Set in April 1912. Lord Grantham ’s cousin, James Crawley , who is Lord Grantham's heir presumptive, and his son, Patrick , both die in the sinking of the RMS Titanic. With no male offspring, speculation mounts as to who will become his heir. Lord Grantham hires Bates to be his valet.

2 "Episode Two" Ben Bolt Julian Fellowes 9.97 3 October 2010

Set in September 1912. Matthew Crawley , a young solicitor and the new heir, arrives at Downton Abbey with his mother, Isobel. They, the other Crawleys, and the servants all have difficulty adjusting to differences in class and culture whilst facing some resentment from certain family members and staff. Isobel Crawley, having worked as a nurse during the Anglo-Boer War, pressures Dr Clarkson into performing pericardiocentesis on a hospital patient suffering from dropsy, and is made chair of the hospital board, upsetting the Dowager Countess.

3 "Episode Three" Ben Bolt Julian Fellowes 8.97 10 October 2010

Set in late November 1912. Lady Mary is seduced by a handsome visiting Turkish diplomat, Mr Kemal Pamuk , who dies in her bed the same night. To avoid a scandal, Lady Grantham and Anna, the head housemaid, help her move Pamuk's body back into his own bed. They don't notice that Daisy, the scullery maid, sees them. Meanwhile, Bates's attempt to correct his limp has painful consequences.

4 "Episode Four" Brian Kelly Julian Fellowes, Shelagh Stephenson 9.70 17 October 2010

Set in May 1913. A travelling fair arrives in the neighbouring village. Mrs Hughes is reunited with a former suitor, who proposes to her again. Thomas asks Daisy to accompany him to the fair simply to annoy William who is fond of her. Molesley suffers from an allergic reaction, prompting much debate between Violet and Isobel. Carson fears there is a thief at Downton. Lady Sybil continues her experimentation with feminism with the aid and inspiration of the new chauffeur, Branson .

5 "Episode Five" Brian Kelly Julian Fellowes 9.40 24 October 2010

Set in late July 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. Bates and Anna make their feelings known to one another. 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 Mrs O'Brien , she tells her story to Lady Edith , who reveals the truth to the Turkish ambassador.

6 "Episode Six" Brian Percival Julian Fellowes, Tina Pepler 9.84 31 October 2010

Set in May 1914. Lady Sybil's interest in politics and women's rights is kindled by the upcoming by-election and is the cause of major disagreement between her and Lord Grantham. Meanwhile, presumably as a result of Lady Edith's letter, rumours about Lady Mary and the "handsome Turk" intensify, reaching the ears of Carson and the Dowager herself. Edith finds an admirer in Sir Anthony Strallan. Miss O'Brien and Thomas continue to plot against Bates, leading to a surprising revelation from the latter. Sybil is injured when a political meeting gets out of hand but is rescued by Matthew who happens to be passing by. Matthew asks Lady Mary to marry him, who realises she loves him but feels she cannot accept his proposal without telling him her scandalous secret.

7 "Episode Seven" Brian Percival Julian Fellowes 10.77 7 November 2010

Set in July and August 1914. Cora discovers she is pregnant, which leaves Mary wondering how to answer Matthew's proposal since his situation would change completely if the baby turns out to be a boy. 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 causing her to miscarry, only to induce further heartache when it is discovered that the baby would have been a boy. Lord Grantham sends Mrs Patmore to London to have cataract surgery.[2][3] Anna goes with her and learns from Bates's mother that he took the blame for his wife's thefts. Gwen secures a position as a secretary and Thomas hands in his notice. Sir Anthony Strallan promises to propose to Edith at a garden party, but Mary manipulates him otherwise in revenge for Edith having revealed her affair with Pamuk. After her mother's miscarriage, Mary is prepared to marry Matthew, but he tells her he cannot be sure of her motives and says he will leave Downton. Lord Grantham announces that Britain is at war with Germany, marking the beginning of World War I.

Series 2[]



Directed by

Written by

Ratings (in millions)

Original airdate


"Episode One"

Ashley Pearce

Julian Fellowes


18th September 2011

Set in November 1916, the episode begins with the arrival of Ethel, a new housemaid, and the first appearance of John Bates' wife. With Matthew and Thomas fighting in France, those left behind at Downton organise a benefit concert to help fund the local hospital. Lady Mary receives shocking news. [5] Branson reveals his feelings to Sybil, as she is about to train to be a nurse.


"Episode Two"

Ashley Pearce

Julian Fellowes


25th September 2011

Set in April 1917 and 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. Robert 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 and begins work alongside Lady Sybil in the local hospital. After a patient is brought in suffering with gas blindness Thomas finds himself becoming attached to the young Lieutenant. Molesley takes an interest in Anna. Matthew learns of his temporary transfer back to England for a recruitment drive in the north whilst fighting in the trenches. Carson advises Mary that if she still loves Matthew she needs to tell him before it is too late. Meanwhile Lavinia is reunited with an unwelcome face from her past.


"Episode Three"

Andy Goddard

Julian Fellowes


2nd October 2011

Set circa July 1917. The village hospital is not large enough to accommodate the large influx of wounded soldiers coming back from the front so Downton is turned into a convalescent home for many of them. O'Brien is shocked that Isobel Crawley seems to be giving most of the orders while Cora is relegated to the background and suggests that Thomas might be able to aid her from his position at the hospital. Violet strongly believes that Mary and Matthew are still very much in love and so, with the help of Rosamund, tries her best to end Matthew's engagement to Lavinia. She is also still convinced that there is much more to Lavinia's relationship with Sir Richard than meets the eye. Meanwhile, Anna runs into Mr. Bates in the village and they feel they may have a future together but, back at Downton, things are more highly charged as William asks a question of Daisy just before heading off to war and Mrs. Patmore reacts very badly to a chance remark. And what exactly is Branson up to? Whatever it is, it looks like it may cause trouble for Lord Grantham.


"Episode Four"

Brian Kelly

Julian Fellowes


9th October 2011

Set in early 1918. Ethel's flirting with Major Bryant lands her in trouble, as preparations get under way for a concert at Downton. Tensions flare between Isobel and Cora, Edith receives worrying news about Matthew and William, while Branson declares his feelings for Sybil. Robert receives a letter from Carlisle, which causes him concern forcing an uncomfortable conversation with Mary. Mrs Bird's soup kitchen receives a helping hand from Daisy and Mrs Patmore. In the servants’ quarters Mrs Hughes makes a shocking discovery that ends in tears for one member of staff.


"Episode Five"

Brian Kelly

Julian Fellowes


16th October 2011

Set in mid 1918. Robert receives some shocking news from the front. William has sustained serious damage to his lungs and is unable to recover, prompting him to ask Daisy to marry him before he dies. Meanwhile, Matthew has suffered damage to his spinal cord, causing him to lose mobility and feeling in his legs. Although Lavinia wants to remain engaged, when Matthew learns they would be unable to have sex and have children, he tells Lavinia to forget about him and asks her to leave, while Mary attempts to nurse him back to health. Despite not truly loving William, Daisy is pushed into marrying him by Mrs Patmore, who wants William to die happy, and by William's wishes that Daisy is left with a widow's pension so that she can look after herself. They marry while William is bed-ridden, surrounded by the other staff, Edith and the Dowager Countess. William dies in his sleep, not long after, with Daisy by his side. Bates is taken aback when Vera threatens to expose old secrets about Mary and Pamuk's death, which could bring down the Crawleys. When Mary discovers this, she tells Richard Carlisle, and asks him to help. While he accepts, he does so expecting her to marry him, as she is now in his debt, leaving Mary in a difficult position. Carlisle tricks Vera into signing a contract, preventing her from selling the story to anyone else, but on finding out she warns Bates that she will still bring him down. A new maid, Jane is hired.


"Episode Six"

Andy Goddard

Julian Fellowes


23rd October 2011

Set in November 1918. A Canadian officer is brought to Downton for recuperation and disrupts everything. Ethel hears distressing news, Bates makes another attempt to settle matters with Vera, while Carson receives a tempting offer. Matthew gets used to life in a wheelchair with Mary as his round-the-clock carer, and Lady Sybil receives an ultimatum from Branson, regarding his love for her or staying at Downton Abbey. The war ends with Armistice not long after.


"Episode Seven"

James Strong

Julian Fellowes

9.95 (overnight)

30th October 2011

Set in 1919. As the residents try to return to normal life following the armistice, a new development stuns them. Meanwhile, Carlisle puts Anna in a difficult position, Bates reels from the news about Vera, and Thomas embarks on a new money-making scheme. Sybil contemplates life after the war and makes the drastic decision to run away, saying she wants to marry Branson, with Edith and Mary hot on her heels.


"Episode Eight"

James Strong

Julian Fellowes

6th November 2011

With the wedding approaching there is excitement in the air, but will Branson's plans, regarding his wishes to marry Sybil, rattle everyone? Spanish flu reaches Downton and a desperate Thomas looks for a way to re-establish himself. Ethel faces a dilemma when the Bryants return with a heartbreaking proposition. A decisive Anna forces Bates to think about their future. Bates is arrested for supposedly murdering Vera.