8.7 million viewers tuned in to Sunday’s premiere of Downton Abbey‘s third series. And what an episode it was.
A pregnant Lady Sybil and her chauffeur husband returned to the Abbey, Cora’s mother Martha Levinson and her maid Miss Reid touched down on British soil and – SHOCK HORROR – the Earl of Grantham found out that all the Crawley fortune had been lost in an investment that went very, very wrong.
Then there were drunken arguments, stolen kisses and plenty of classic putdowns from Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess. Lady Mary and Matthew were going to get married and then they weren’t. They did in the end though – and the nation let out a collective sigh of relief.
So what’s next? We’ve got pictures of the drama to come this Sunday, so we’ve made a few predictions…
Lady Mary may have just got married, but from the look on her face the honeymoon period is well and truly over.
Through the ups and downs of her (sometimes deadly) love life, Mary has always remained true to her family and its legacy, so now it’s at stake she’s clearly got more serious things on her mind.
Though Cora has taken the news of her lost fortune surprisingly well, Mary’s unlikely to vote for any alternative other than restoring the Crawleys’ wealth – and those eyebrows imply she’s not in the mood to be messed with.
Do we sense a scheme afoot? These two certainly look like they are in cahoots about something, and who better to front a money-making plan than the Dowager Countess herself?
The quick-tongued matriarch is resistant to both change and the working classes, so is likely to fight tooth and nail to keep the Abbey in the family.
Mary’s flamboyant grandmother could be the key to saving Downton, but she’s already been critical about the Crawley’s love of tradition and vocal about the need for change, so perhaps she’ll welcome their fall in fortune?
Whatever her stance when it comes to the family’s financial woes, the American millionairess certainly appears to be making something of the scene during dinner…
Lady Edith was the unexpected star of episode one. Not only was she spectacularly well dressed and sporting a “jolly” new hairdo, she was much more confident in her pursuit of Lord Anthony.
And look at this! Edith is positively beaming. Will Mary and Matthew’s wedding be followed by a second romance? Might Edith finally get what she wants?
The trailer for episode 2 (see below) does imply that, whatever happens between them, it won’t be plain sailing for Edith and Anthony, but you never know…
The drama won’t be confined to upstairs in episode two of Downton. Though what these two are fighting about is anyone’s guess.
Maybe Daisy’s sulking has got on Anna’s nerves. Or perhaps the grumpy kitchen maid has made an insensitive comment about Anna’s incarcerated other half…?
Now what’s going on here?
Perhaps the staff have found out about Downton’s uncertain future? Or maybe watching Mary finally make it down the aisle got too much for loyal housekeeper Mrs Hughes?
On a darker note, rumour has it a major member of the household is going to be killed off in series three. Could this be the fallout?
This looks interesting… Are Alfred and Miss Reed poised to become the new Bates and Anna, or is this just an example of the way the “modern American girl” gets what she wants?
Either way, it’s sure to be the start of a Downton scandal. Well, we all knew the tall new footman would bring some trouble with him – he is related to O’Brien, after all…
Ellie is an entertainment, TV and film journalist writing news and (hopefully incredibly witty) comment for RadioTimes.com. She loves light-hearted dramas and glossy US series - and is more than a little bit obsessed with Downton Abbey. Foodie, sun-seeker and aspiring novelist in her own time. Likes the fact that her name rhymes with telly.