Downton Abbey

Series 4 - Episode 1



There’s a brief shot of fleeing feet as we return to Downton Abbey, signalling the hasty departure of a major character who leaves behind nothing but a lot of bad feeling and an unsatisfactory note.

Of course it can’t compare with the car-crash death of new dad Matthew Crawley in the Christmas Day 2012 episode, a bolt from the blue that blighted the enjoyment of turkey sandwiches in many households. Life both upstairs and downstairs has slowly returned to normal after the tragedy, but Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery), the young widow left with a baby (that she gets the nanny to look after, obviously), hasn’t been so quick to heal. She wanders the corridors, looking very fetching in her mourning garb (nice jewellery, too), staring sadly into the middle distance. Matthew’s death has also left behind some rather more prosaic problems that the Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) must solve.


Harriet Walter (Law & Order: UK) joins the cast as the costume drama returns. Following Matthew's shocking death, new mother Mary is struggling to come to terms with her loss, and Robert and Violet disagree over how to handle the situation. Downstairs, Jimmy finally takes an interest in Ivy, while Carson receives an unwelcome reminder of his past. Mrs Hughes sees a chance to help grief-stricken Isobel, and Thomas has the children's nanny in his sights. Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, Ed Speleers and Phyllis Logan also star.

Cast & Crew

Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham Maggie Smith
Robert, Earl of Grantham Hugh Bonneville
Lady Edith Crawley Laura Carmichael
Mr Carson Jim Carter
John Bates Brendan Coyle
Lady Mary Crawley Michelle Dockery
Molesley Kevin Doyle
Anna Joanne Froggatt
Lady Rose Lily James
Thomas Rob James-Collier
Tom Branson Allen Leech
Mrs Hughes Phyllis Logan
Cora, Countess of Grantham Elizabeth McGovern
Daisy Sophie McShera
Alfred Matt Milne
Mrs Patmore Lesley Nicol
Isobel Crawley Penelope Wilton
Jimmy Ed Speleers
Ivy Cara Theobold
Edna MyAnna Buring
Michael Gregson Charles Edwards
Nanny West Di Botcher
Bill Molesley Bernard Gallagher
Charles Grigg Nicky Henson
Spratt Jeremy Swift
Lady Shackleton Harriet Walter
Postmistress Helen Sheals
Farmer Moray Treadwell
Farmer Nigel Betts
Waiter Tristan Beint
Director David Evans
Executive Producer Gareth Neame
Executive Producer Julian Fellowes
Executive Producer Liz Trubridge
Executive Producer Nigel Marchant
Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton
Producer Rupert Ryle-Hodges
Writer Julian Fellowes
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