Masterpiece Classic | Downton Abbey Season 1
Watch Sundays October 5 & 12, 2014 at 1pm on WMHT TV.
A stately country house, a noble family, and a succession crisis caused by the sinking of the Titanic are the backdrop for this epic drama by Oscar-winning writer Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park) about the lives of aristocrats and servants in the years before World War I. A runaway hit during its UK broadcast, Downton Abbey stars Hugh Bonneville, Dame Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, and other great actors in a production that brings a glittering bygone era to life.
When the Titanic goes down, Lord Grantham loses his immediate heirs, and his daughter Mary loses her fiancé, throwing Downton Abbey and its servants into turmoil. The new heir turns out to be Matthew, a handsome lawyer with novel ideas about country life.
Mary entertains three suitors, including a Turkish diplomat whose boldness leads to a surprising event. Downstairs, the shocking former life of Carson, the butler, is unmasked, and Bates risks his health to remain valet.
Growing into his role as heir, Matthew brings out the bitter rivalry between sisters Mary and Edith. Servants Thomas and O’Brien scheme against Bates, while head housemaid Anna is increasingly attracted to him. Lady Violet’s winning streak in the flower show is threatened.
The heir crisis at Downton Abbey takes an unexpected turn. Meanwhile, rumors fly about Mary’s virtue. Her sister Sybil takes a risk in her secret political life. Anna unearths Bates’ mysterious past. And O’Brien and Thomas plot their exit strategy.