Stately House, Noble Family, and a Succession Crisis: “Downton Abbey: Season One” on MASTERPIECE, February 28 at 8 pm

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Downton Abbey

Season One


Airing on Consecutive Sunday’s February 28 – March 7


The plot of Downton Abbey is straight out of Jane Austen, updated to the era that introduced electric lights and telephones. It is 1912. The Titanic has just gone down in the north Atlantic, taking with it the two male heirs to Downton Abbey, whose current Lord Grantham has only daughters—albeit marriageable ones. His nearest male relative is a handsome lawyer—a bachelor—living in Manchester, who soon learns the ropes of managing a sprawling country estate, with its army of devoted, sometimes bickering servants, its hunts, garden parties, and sexual intrigues.

woman outside train station near steam engineIn its depiction of the intertwined lives of servants and aristocrats, Downton Abbey recalls one of television’s most beloved programs, Upstairs Downstairs, which aired on MASTERPIECE (then MASTERPIECE THEATRE ) in the 1970s.

Episode 1

Sunday, February 28, 2021, 8 to 10:00pm

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.

Episode 2

Sunday, February 28, 2021, 10 pm to midnight

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.

Episode 3

Monday, March 1, 2021, midnight to 2:00 am

Mosley and staff from Downton Abbey
Photographer: Nick Briggs
ROBERT JAMES-COLLIER as Thomas Barrow, MICHAEL FOX as Andy Parker and KEVIN DOYLE as Joseph Molesley

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.

Episode 4

Sunday, March 7, 2021, 8 to 10:00pm

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.