In Downton Abbey, Julian Fellowes creates and co-writes a British historical drama television series set in the early 20th century. First, broadcast on 26 September 2010 by ITV in the United Kingdom and on 9 January 2011 by PBS in the United States as part of its Masterpiece Classic anthology.
During the show’s run, there were six series and fifty-two episodes, including five Christmas specials. In Downton Abbey: A New Era, directed by Simon Curtis, the Crawley family faces a wedding, a mysterious French villa, and a silent film production. According to Downton Abbey, most characters have remained the same throughout the series and films, except for a few minor characters who were lost and still missed.
Some details may have been lost in the haze of time since the original release of the series 12 years ago. We have you covered if you can only recall the name of the Dowager Countess of Grantham (Maggie Smith), whether she is in the upper or lower sections of the house. The following summarizes everything you need to know about the event and what you should expect.
Lord and Lady Grantham, Robert and Cora (Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern)
The Earl and Countess of Grantham, played by Hugh Bonneville (Paddington) and Elizabeth McGovern (Ordinary People), are commonly called Lord and Lady Grantham. While they have had a few disagreements over the years, they are there for each other and, more importantly, for the close family they have built together. According to the show’s history, Lord Grantham tends to be more conservative than his wife because he fears the consequences of change.
Lord Grantham is perfectly balanced by Lady Grantham, who is enthusiastic about the future, moves with the times, and can often allay Lord Grantham’s fears enough to influence the family’s best interests. Lord Grantham is concerned about the potential havoc and disruption resulting from filming in their family home in this film. Lady Grantham, on the other hand, is very enthusiastic about this possibility.
Hugh Bonneville was born in London and has appeared in various shows and films, most of which are based in the UK media industry. Early in his career, Bonneville was known for his role as Bernie in the romantic comedy Notting Hill, in which Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant appeared.
The actor appeared in several TV miniseries before Downton Abbey, including Doctor Zhivago and Lost in Austen. The most likely recognition for Bonneville will come from Paddington and Paddington 2, where he plays Henry Brown. Born in Los Angeles, Elizabeth McGovern became interested in acting and performance arts during high school.
Having attended the American Conservatory Theater and The Juilliard School in New York, McGovern has a theatrical and drama-based background. As her debut in the film industry, It was McGovern played the leading role in Robert Redford’s Oscar-winning film Ordinary People.
As Evelyn, McGovern was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance alongside James Cagney in the racially focused period drama Ragtime. Besides Downton Abbey, McGovern focuses primarily on stage performance rather than film and television.
The Dowager, Countess of Grantham, Violet (Maggie Smith)
The Dowager, played by Dame Maggie Smith, is the true matriarch of the Grantham family, although Robert is technically the Earl of Grantham. Despite her conservative views, she is an overly blunt and opinionated grandmother who always surprises those around her, with whom she assumes she is familiar. Due to a mysterious past relationship between the Dowager and a former lover in her youth, the Crawleys are invited to the villa she was donated in the South of France.
Despite the Dowager sharing news of her illness with Lady Mary in the previous film, audiences look forward to seeing her again in the sequel. A well-respected and iconic actress, Dame Maggie Smith has had a long and distinguished career. While she began acting in the 1950s, her most famous roles are those in which she portrays stoic, stern, and strong women. Dame Smith is best known for her roles as Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter franchise and Muriel in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Lady Mary Talbot (Michelle Dockery)
The eldest of Lord and Lady Grantham’s three daughters, Lady Mary is the eldest of three daughters. Mary faced much of the responsibility of marrying well when she realized that no one in her immediate family would inherit the Downton estate and that she was the family’s oldest member.
Since the inheritance of Downton had been secured in the show’s first two seasons, Lady Mary played an increasingly active role in ensuring the family’s future since large houses and great staff were on the decline at the time. Besides raising her two children, she is also occupied with raising her late husband, Matthew Crawley’s (Dan Stevens) son, George, and her current husband, Henry Talbot’s (Matthew Goode) daughter, Caroline.
Dockery appeared in the Netflix Original series, Anatomy of a Scandal alongside Sienna Miller and Rupert Friend. Her role is that of a hard-hitting lawyer who secretly has a stake in the case she is defending. She previously appeared in Guy Ritchie’s action-comedy, The Gentlemen, and in Good Behaviour as Letty.
Lady Edith Pelham, The Marchioness of Hexam (Laura Carmichael)
The second Crawley daughter, Lady Edith, portrayed by Laura Carmichael, struggled through much of the series, feeling less desirable than her other two sisters. As Edith becomes increasingly involved in the magazine business, she finds her independence, confidence, style, and passion.
The late Michael Gregson, Edith’s editor at the time, had an affair with her, and she had her first child, Marigold, after the experience. Despite Edith’s unlucky love life, she finds and happily marries Bertie Pelham, earning her the title of Marchioness of Hexam. The role of Maggie Pole in The Spanish Princess is Laura Carmichael’s most prominent role outside of Downton Abbey. The Secrets She Keeps may also have featured her as a recurring character.
Tom Branson (Allen Leech)
It was quick for Allen Leech’s Tom Branson to become part of the Downton Abbey family. From his beginnings as the rebellious and politically motivated Irish chauffeur of the family, Branson has grown into much more than that, with a greater sense of responsibility.
Tom was eventually welcomed into the Crawley family through his marriage to the late Lady Sybil Crawley (Jessica Brown-Findlay), the youngest of the Crawley sisters. Their child, Sybbie, was born just before Sybil passed away. Although Tom remarries in the second movie, he focuses most of his attention on mourning the loss of his late wife and his role as Downton Abbey’s estate manager for most of the show’s runtime.
As well as Downton Abbey, Leech appeared in The Tudors, a television show based on the Tudor dynasty in 16th century England, with Jonathon Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill, and Sam Neill. Since Downton Abbey, he has also appeared in hit films such as The Imitation Game and Bohemian Rhapsody.
Lady Isobel Merton (Penelope Wilton)
Isobel Grey, also known as Lady Merton (Penelope Wilton), is the mother of the Late Matthew Crawley. In the show’s early seasons, Isobel was a source of irritation and annoyance to the Crawley family, primarily because her son, a distant relative, was heir to the estate and title, which threatened the Crawley family’s security and way of life.
As a result of resolving this stressor, Isobel develops into a humorous character who continues to enjoy butting heads with Dame Crawley. Even though Isobel often has an outlier opinion, she remains close to her family. A relationship between Isobel and Lord Merton (Dickie) develops later in the series. Dickie’s health concerns force the couple to marry despite Dickie’s sons’ opposition.
Dame Penelope Wilton is best known for her role as Harriet in the Doctor Who series and the Netflix Original series After Life, starring Ricky Gervais. Before her role in Downton Abbey, you may have seen Wilton in Match Point, Calendar Girls, and Pride and Prejudice. Besides her screen credits, Wilton has consistently been active on stage, for which she has received six Olivier Award nominations.
Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes (Jim Carter, Phyllis Logan)
Despite being retired from being the butler of the Crawley family, Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) remains an integral part of their lives through his wife’s involvement and his close relationships with them. In the first Downton Abbey film, Mr. Carson emerges from his blissful retirement and helps the family out of necessity and pride for the Crawley family name.
His actions are often motivated by a love for his country and traditional values, even though he may be a set-in-his-ways character and a demanding elder. As the Housekeeper at Downton Abbey, Mrs. Carson is still employed by the Crawley family, unlike her retired husband. Ultimately, Mrs. Hughes serves as the moral compass for all female servants.
Jim Carter has worked in the film and television industries throughout his career. Shakespeare in Love, an Oscar-winning film directed by John Madden, and Knightfall, where he played Pope Boniface, are among his most notable roles. The actress can also be seen in the second season of the television show Guilt, The Good Karma Hospital, and the film Misbehavior with Keira Knightley.