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Downton Abbey

  • 2012
  • Season 3
  • 9 episodes
  • Drama
  • Romance

Summary

Cora's mother arrives and causes friction with her unique view of the world and Edith's wedding day does not go according to plan when Strallan has second thoughts.

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Episode 1: Downton Abbey

Summary

Oscar-winning actress Shirley MacLaine joins the cast of the period drama as Cora's mother Martha, who makes a grand entrance when she arrives at Downton for Matthew and Mary's wedding. However, with the couple struggling to stay united as their big day looms, will Martha's Atlantic crossing have been for nothing? Meanwhile, Mr Carson runs the rule over new footman Alfred, and Robert receives news that could leave him facing the greatest crisis of his life - and plunge the rest of the household into chaos. Starring Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, Jim Carter and Michelle Dockery

Review

We last saw Matthew Crawley on bended knee in the snow, proposing to that former ice maiden, the thoroughly thawed Lady Mary, so the new series opens with the wedding preparations in full swing.

Of course a wedding means “wedding guests”, and the most spectacular arrival is that of Cora’s mother, the redoubtable Martha Levinson (Shirley MacLaine) who’s come all the way from America. Swathed in furs, she makes a grand entrance at Downton and soon she becomes involved in verbal head-butting with the fearsome Dowager Countess of Grantham, Violet (Maggie Smith). It’s like watching two stately galleons collide in a fog, as neither has any truck with the other’s social standing.

It’s an opening episode that will thrill Downton’s legions of devotees because it’s full of what they love best — love, duty, intrigue, peril and great clothes. No one puts it better than the Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) when he declares, “I’m so happy I feel my chest will explode.” Stand clear!

How to watch

Next showing

There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show. But it is available via the streaming providers below.

Streaming

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Details

Released on
2012-09-16
Languages
English
Formats
Colour

Credits

Cast

rolename
Violet, Dowager Countess of GranthamMaggie Smith
Robert, Earl of GranthamHugh Bonneville
Lady Sybil BransonJessica Brown Findlay
Lady Edith CrawleyLaura Carmichael
Mr CarsonJim Carter
John BatesBrendan Coyle
Lady Mary CrawleyMichelle Dockery
MolesleyKevin Doyle
O'BrienSiobhan Finneran
AnnaJoanne Froggatt
ThomasRob James-Collier
Tom BransonAllen Leech
Mrs HughesPhyllis Logan
Cora, Countess of GranthamElizabeth McGovern
DaisySophie McShera
AlfredMatt Milne
Mrs PatmoreLesley Nicol
EthelAmy Nuttall
Matthew CrawleyDan Stevens
Isobel CrawleyPenelope Wilton
Martha LevinsonShirley MacLaine
Larry GreyCharlie Anson
Sir Anthony StrallanRobert Bathurst
Rev TravisMichael Cochrane
George MurrayJonathan Coy
Archbishop of YorkMichael Culkin
CraigJason Furnival
Mr CharkhamMark Penfold
Lord MertonDouglas Reith
ReedLucille Sharp

Crew

rolename
WriterJulian Fellowes
Executive producerJulian Fellowes
ProducerLiz Trubridge
DirectorBrian Percival
Executive producerGareth Neame

All episodes

  • Summary

    Oscar-winning actress Shirley MacLaine joins the cast of the period drama as Cora's mother Martha, who makes a grand entrance when she arrives at Downton for Matthew and Mary's wedding. However, with the couple struggling to stay united as their big day looms, will Martha's Atlantic crossing have been for nothing? Meanwhile, Mr Carson runs the rule over new footman Alfred, and Robert receives news that could leave him facing the greatest crisis of his life - and plunge the rest of the household into chaos. Starring Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, Jim Carter and Michelle Dockery

    Review

    We last saw Matthew Crawley on bended knee in the snow, proposing to that former ice maiden, the thoroughly thawed Lady Mary, so the new series opens with the wedding preparations in full swing.

    Of course a wedding means “wedding guests”, and the most spectacular arrival is that of Cora’s mother, the redoubtable Martha Levinson (Shirley MacLaine) who’s come all the way from America. Swathed in furs, she makes a grand entrance at Downton and soon she becomes involved in verbal head-butting with the fearsome Dowager Countess of Grantham, Violet (Maggie Smith). It’s like watching two stately galleons collide in a fog, as neither has any truck with the other’s social standing.

    It’s an opening episode that will thrill Downton’s legions of devotees because it’s full of what they love best — love, duty, intrigue, peril and great clothes. No one puts it better than the Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) when he declares, “I’m so happy I feel my chest will explode.” Stand clear!

    How to watch

    Next showing

    There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show. But it is available via the streaming providers below.

    Streaming

    We may earn commission from links on this page. Our editorial is always independent (learn more)

    Details

    Released on
    2012-09-16
    Languages
    English
    Formats
    Colour

    Credits

    Cast

    rolename
    Violet, Dowager Countess of GranthamMaggie Smith
    Robert, Earl of GranthamHugh Bonneville
    Lady Sybil BransonJessica Brown Findlay
    Lady Edith CrawleyLaura Carmichael
    Mr CarsonJim Carter
    John BatesBrendan Coyle
    Lady Mary CrawleyMichelle Dockery
    MolesleyKevin Doyle
    O'BrienSiobhan Finneran
    AnnaJoanne Froggatt
    ThomasRob James-Collier
    Tom BransonAllen Leech
    Mrs HughesPhyllis Logan
    Cora, Countess of GranthamElizabeth McGovern
    DaisySophie McShera
    AlfredMatt Milne
    Mrs PatmoreLesley Nicol
    EthelAmy Nuttall
    Matthew CrawleyDan Stevens
    Isobel CrawleyPenelope Wilton
    Martha LevinsonShirley MacLaine
    Larry GreyCharlie Anson
    Sir Anthony StrallanRobert Bathurst
    Rev TravisMichael Cochrane
    George MurrayJonathan Coy
    Archbishop of YorkMichael Culkin
    CraigJason Furnival
    Mr CharkhamMark Penfold
    Lord MertonDouglas Reith
    ReedLucille Sharp

    Crew

    rolename
    WriterJulian Fellowes
    Executive producerJulian Fellowes
    ProducerLiz Trubridge
    DirectorBrian Percival
    Executive producerGareth Neame
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How to watch

Next showing

There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show. But it is available via the streaming providers below.

Streaming

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