downton abbey seasons 1 to 5Star-studded British ensemble drama centered around a mansion in Yorkshire starting in the year 1912. The subjects covered include war, economics and politics. It is basically a soap opera about rich folks and their servants. The interaction between the two groups is filled with gossip and emotion. Never a dull moment around this family and house. Plenty of British stars are featured in the series and lots of great acting. Maggie Smith, even though she is not a lead, steals the show. Every scene she is in she dominates.

Watching a season of Downton Abbey is akin to eating a meal with all the required food groups in it.  Anything your head or heart could want of the negative emotions is all here. Emotionally you will be put through the wringer watching this show. You get helpings of lies, distrust, sadness, disappointment, and shame. Instead of being discouraged you will be begging for more. Acting veterans as well as newcomers turn in performances that guarantee you’ll keep coming back. Whether you love or hate them the characters you’ll be dying to find out what is going to happen next. A British soap in the tradition of Upstairs, Downstairs that proves once again that those Brits know how to do television and films better than anyone.

Season One:

Episode 1: The residents of Downton Abbey find out about the sinking of the Titanic. This affects the family as the Earl of Grantham’s (played by Hugh Bonneville) only two male heirs have perished in the sinking.

Episode 2: Matthew Crawley (played by Dan Stevens) arrives at Downton Abbey and struggles to fit in.

Episode 3: Cora’s (played by Elizabeth McGovern) matchmaking attempts are a failure as Mary (played by Michelle Dockery) is interested in another man.

Episode 4: Daisy (played by Sophie McShera) has two men competing for her heart.

Episode 5: The Downton Village Flower Show preparations are taking place in the house.

Episode 6: The Earl of Grantham is not happy when Sybil (played by Jessica Brown Findlay) indicates that she is interested in politics.

Episode 7: On the dawn of World War I there are plenty of changes going down at Downton Abey.

Season Two:

Episode 1: It is now 1916 and World War I is going full tilt.

Episode 2: We are now in 1917 and Mr. Carson (played by Jim Carson) is having a hard time making the household run smoothly.

Episode 3: The village hospital cannot handle the number of wounded soldiers it is receiving.

Episode 4: It is now 1918 and a benefit concert is being planned for the injured soldiers.

Episode 5: Some very bad news from the front line gets to the Earl of Grantham.

Episode 6: The end of the war seems to be close and the residents of Downton Abbey are hoping that things return to normal.

Episode 7: We are now in 1919 and the war is over. The end of the war gives Thomas (played by Rob James-Collier) new ways to make money.

Episode 8: Both the Spanish influenza and a wedding are coming up.

Episode 9: Christmas Special: It is Christmas time and the Crawleys want to host a lavish party for everyone.

Season Three:

Episode 1: Part One: We are now in the spring of 1920. Downton Abbey is getting ready for the wedding of Lady Mary (played by Michelle Dockery) and Matthew (played by Dan Stevens).

Episode 2: Part Two: Mary returns to Downton Abbey after her honeymoon. Mary and Violet (played by Maggie Smith) hope to convince American Martha (played by Shirley MacLaine) to use her wealth to save Downton from being sold.

Episode 3: Part Three: Lady Edith (played by Laura Carmichael) is waiting on pins and needles for her upcoming wedding to Anthony (played by Robert Bathurst). Bates (played by Brendan Coyle) is hatching a plan of revenge while in prison.

Episode 4: Part Four: Matthew is now master of Downton Abbey along with Robert (played by Hugh Bonneville) and is concerned about the obvious mismanagement of its books. Carson (played by Jim Carter) hires a handsome new footman, James (played by Ed Speelers), which pleases the female staff and Thomas (played by Rob James-Collier).

Episode 5: Part Five: Edith is offered a job as a newspaper columnist which Robert is suspicious about. Thomas begins to make his intentions clear to James.

Episode 6: Part Six: Marriage problems between Cora (played by Elizabeth McGovern) and Robert makes things tense at Downton Abbey. Violet is forced to step in to make things right.

Episode 7: Part Seven: Matthew new ideas about the managing Downton Abbey put Robert’s nose out of joint. Mary wants to have a child while Matthew begins to be concerned about infertility.

Episode 8: Part Eight: It is almost time for annual cricket match seeing Downton Abbey face off against residents of the nearby village. Edith returns to London taking with her Matthew and cousin Rose (played by Lily James).

Episode 9: A Journey to the Highlands: Mary, who is Scotland, is dealing with her difficult pregnancy. Edith meets a newspaper editor named Gregson (played by Charles Edward), who falls in love with her.

Season Four:

Episode 1: It is February 1922 and long after Matthew’s funeral. Isobel (played by Penelope Wilton) and Mary (played by Michelle Dockery) are still deep in grief over his death.

Episode 2: Mary begins to recover a little and starts showing interest in the running of the estate. Her father is not so thrilled about her interest.

Episode 3: At a glamourous house party at Downton Abbey Dame Nellie Melba (played by Kiri Te Kanawa) sings. The Crawleys reconnect with old friends and acquaintances.

Episode 4: The house party guests leave but they leave a distraught person behind. Lady Mary has to deal with a declaration of love.

Episode 5: Thomas (played by Rob James-Collier) is back to his plotting and scheming. Bates (played by Brendan Coyle) uncovers Anna’s (played by Joanne Froggatt) secret and puts it to her.

Episode 6: Lady Rose (played by Lily James) has organized a surprise birthday party for Robert (played by Hugh Bonneville). Alfred (played by Matt Milne) follows his dreams and leaves for the Ritz in London.

Episode 7: Mary and Mr. Blake (played by Julian Ovenden) earn some respect when they deal with some dirty pigs. Jack (played by Gary Carr) is taken with Lady Rose.

Episode 8: Everyone is busy with the church bazaar. Rose and Jack’s relationship is dealt with.

Episode 9: The London Season: The Crawleys travel to London to present Rose as a debutant for the summer of 1923. They and the servants have a great time in the big city.

Season Five:

Episode 1: The changes put into action by the new Labour government sends the upstairs and downstairs residents of Downton Abbey scrambling to adjust. Jimmy (played by Ed Speleers) struggles with some attention from a woman. Baxter (played by Raquel Cassidy) is presented with an ultimatum from Thomas (played by Rob James-Collier).


Episode 2: Downton Abbey is in the process of recovering from what happened the night before. Robert (played by Hugh Bonneville) has a tough decision to make. Daisy (played by Sophie McShera) is continuing to have trouble with school.


Episode 3: Violet (played by Maggie Smith) has to think quickly in order to save the day. Things don’t go as planned and Robert is embarrassed. Green’s death is once again investigated.


Episode 4: Thomas returns to Downton Abbey with a strange illness. Rose’s (played by Lily James) father returns to Downton Abbey and causes a stir. Violet lets Isobel (played by Penelope Wilton) in on an aspect concerning her past.


Episode 5: Rose meets a handsome stranger. Simon Bricker (played by Richard E. Grant) returns to Downton Abbey to discuss a painting with Cora (played by Elizabeth McGovern). Tom (played by Allen Leech) finds himself having to make a tough decision about Sarah (played by Daisy Lewis).


Episode 6: Things between Cora and Robert are tense. Baxter becomes entangled in the investigation of Green’s death. Thomas’s health is getting worse.


Episode 7: Edith (played by Laura Carmichael) leaves Downton Abbey and Lady Rosamund (played by Samantha Bond) arrives. Violet has her hands full with all the fighting servants. Daisy is becoming disenchanted about her studies which worries Joseph (played by Kevin Doyle).


Episode 8: The house is preparing for Rose’s big day. Robert has something planned involving the unveiling of the war memorial. Edith’s deal with Marigold seems to be working out.


Episode 9: A Moorland Holiday: It is now the fall of 1924 and grouse shooting season. Rose’s father-in-law has invited the Crawley family to Brancaster Castle for a shooting party. Stowell’s (played by Alun Armstrong) secret threatens to ruin the whole thing.

Special Features: Downton Diaries, Making Of, Meet the New Cast, Behind the Drama, Downton in 1920, The Wedding of Lady Mary, The Wedding of Lady Edith, The Men of Downton Abbey, Shirley MacLaine at Downton Abbey, Behind the Scenes: Cricket Match, Behind the Scenes: Journey to the Highlands, Making of Downton Abbey, A House in History, Fashion and Uniforms, Romance in a Time of War, House to Hospital