DOWNTON ABBEY – My rating: 9.5/10

DowntonAbbeyDownton Abbey is one of my most favorite series.  I love period pieces.  This one is before World War I and is brilliantly told.  The series revolves around a British, aristocratic family and their servants.  The family presently includes Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, Lady Mary, Lady Edith and  Robert’s mother, Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham.  The major servants include Head of all servants, Mr. Carson, Mrs Hughes,  Head of kitchen staff, Mrs. Patmore,  John and Anna Bates, Valet to Lord Grantham and Lady Maid to Lady Mary, respectively.  The personal stories that take place between the staff and the Crawley family and friends makes for a fascinating series.  I’ve been mesmerized by Downton Abbey since it first started.  Just to see how the upper crust behaves in Britain — one wonders whose idea was it to have maids dress you every day.  The whole setup is rather complicated, so I’ve displayed a couple of charts that show the actors, characters they play and the positions they hold at Downton Abbey.  Just perusing the charts, gives you an idea of how the story flows.  Learning the positions and hierarchy of the staff will be challenge.  Overall, Downton Abbey takes you away to a world we don’t really know but can find entertainment and fun in watching.

Actor

Character

Position

Hugh Bonneville

Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham

Lord Grantham, head of the Crawley family

Elizabeth McGovern

Cora Crawley (née Levinson), Countess of Grantham

Lady Grantham, Lord Grantham’s American heiress wife

Michelle Dockery

Lady Mary Josephine Crawley

Eldest daughter of Lord and Lady Grantham; widow of Matthew Crawley

Laura Carmichael

Lady Edith Crawley

Middle daughter of Lord and Lady Grantham

Jessica Brown Findlay

Lady Sybil Branson (née Crawley)

Youngest daughter of Lord and Lady Grantham; late wife of Tom Branson

Maggie Smith

Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham

Lord Grantham’s mother

Allen Leech

Tom Branson

Chauffeur of the family (series 1–2), agent of the estate (series 3); widower of Sybil Branson

Dan Stevens

Matthew Reginald Crawley

Heir presumptive (third cousin once removed) of Lord Grantham; former lawyer, latterly co-owner of the estate; late husband of Mary Crawley

Penelope Wilton

Isobel Crawley

Matthew’s mother; widow and former nurse

Lily James

Lady Rose MacClare

Cousin and ward of the Granthams; daughter of The Marquess and Marchioness of Flintshire

Samantha Bond

Lady Rosamund Painswick (née Crawley)

Lord Grantham’s sister

Ava Mann (Series 4)

Sybil “Sybbie” Branson

Daughter of Lady Sybil and Tom Branson

Cole & Logan Weston (Series 4)

George Crawley

Son of Matthew and Lady Mary Crawley, heir to Downton and Earl of Grantham

Staff

Actor

Character

Position

Jim Carter

Charles Carson

Butler

Phyllis Logan

Elsie Hughes

Housekeeper

Brendan Coyle

John Bates

Lord Grantham’s valet; husband of Anna, widower of Vera

Siobhan Finneran

Sarah O’Brien

Lady Grantham’s lady’s maid

Rob James-Collier

Thomas Barrow

First Footman, later Lord Grantham’s valet, then underbutler

Joanne Froggatt

Anna May Bates (née Smith)

Head housemaid, later Lady Mary’s lady’s maid; wife to John Bates

Lesley Nicol

Beryl Patmore

Cook

Sophie McShera

Daisy Mason (née Robinson)

Kitchen maid, later assistant cook; widow of William Mason

Thomas Howes

William Mason

Second Footman; briefly married to Daisy

Rose Leslie

Gwen Dawson

Housemaid

Amy Nuttall

Ethel Parks

Housemaid, later Mrs Crawley’s Housekeeper and Cook

Kevin Doyle

Joseph Molesley

Matthew’s butler and valet, later a footman at Downton Abbey

Matt Milne

Alfred Nugent

Second Footman, O’Brien’s nephew

Ed Speleers

James “Jimmy” Kent

First Footman

Cara Theobold

Ivy Stuart

Kitchen maid

MyAnna Buring

Edna Braithwaite

Former maid, then briefly Lady Grantham’s lady’s maid

Raquel Cassidy

Phyllis Baxter

Lady Grantham’s lady’s maid

Jeremy Swift

Spratt

Violet’s butler

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