The Great War is over and the long-awaited engagement of Lady Mary and Matthew is on, but all is not tranquil at Downton Abbey as wrenching social changes, romantic intrigues, and personal crises grip the majestic English country estate for a third thrilling season. The all-star cast, including Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess of Grantham, returns and welcomes guest star Academy Award®-winner Shirley MacLaine.
In a tantalizing glimpse, Lovebird servants Anna (Froggatt) and Bates (Coyle) face new ordeals in their star-crossed marriage. Downton’s impeccable butler, Carson (Carter), breaks in a new footman, who happens to be the nephew of the scheming lady’s maid O’Brien (Siobhan Finneran). Following Matthew and Mary’s engagement, Rob.ert sticks to his duty to maintain Downton more firmly than ever—even as other great houses are crippled psychologically and financially in the wake of World War I.
Take the Highclere Castle tour and get familiar with the Manor.
Learn more about the beautiful fashions in the series.
About Julian Fellowes, Creator of Downton Abbey
It seems that Julian Fellowes has extensive knowlege about the upper crust because he was born into it. An actor turned screenwriter whose sharp wit propelled him to an Oscar for his keen screenplay for Robert Altman's Gosford Park, Julian Fellowes had plenty of time to soak up the English aristocrats' disdain for anything pop culture-related while growing up, and was sure to filter those observations in a script that crackled with bitter insight into England's upper-class master/servant relationships. Born to a diplomat father in Cairo, Egypt in 1949, Fellowes lived his early life in luxury. After receiving his primary schooling in Britain's prestigious Ampleforth, Fellowes studied English literature at Cambridge before enrolling in drama school at 21. As an aspiring actor, Fellowes found himself straddling the complicated class system as he resided in squalor during the week, only to return home and have the servants do his laundry on the weekend. Settling into a comfortable stint as a character actor, Fellowes alternated between film and television with roles in such films as Baby: The Secret of the Lost Legend (1985) and as Noel Coward in Goldeneye: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming (1989). Appearing in numerous miniseries and made-for-television films throughout the 1990s, Fellowes took his first stab at screenwriting in the 1994 miniseries Little Lord Fauntleroy. After hearing that famed director Robert Altman was seeking a screenwriter with a working knowledge of England's class system, Fellowes quickly shot to the top of a short list of potential writers for the film. With numerous personal stories from which to work, the now established screenwriter turned years of passive observation and quiet dissent into a stinging screenplay that would serve as a springboard for the talents of the film's noteworthy cast.