Downton Abbey (2010–2015)
3 user 5 critic

Episode #1.2 

The new legal heirs to Downton, lawyer Matthew Crawley and his nurse mother Isobel are invited to live on the estate, but there is resentment of them as interlopers from both up and downstairs as interlopers.


Ben Bolt


Julian Fellowes (written and created by)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Hugh Bonneville ... Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham
Jessica Brown Findlay ... Lady Sybil Crawley
Laura Carmichael ... Lady Edith Crawley
Jim Carter ... Charles Carson
Brendan Coyle ... John Bates
Michelle Dockery ... Lady Mary Crawley
Siobhan Finneran ... Sarah O'Brien
Joanne Froggatt ... Anna Smith
Thomas Howes ... William Mason
Robert James-Collier ... Thomas Barrow (as Rob James-Collier)
Rose Leslie ... Gwen Dawson
Phyllis Logan ... Mrs. Hughes
Elizabeth McGovern ... Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham
Sophie McShera ... Daisy Robinson
Lesley Nicol ... Mrs. Patmore


September 1912. Designated heir Matthew Crawley and his mother Isobel arrive and move into a house in the grounds of Downton Abbey but Matthew is uncomfortable with having servants and is not keen on an arranged marriage - something he has in common with Lady Mary. Robert's mother Violet looks down on them as they are not from her class - Matthew is a working solicitor and Isobel a trained nurse and doctor's widow, who nonetheless impresses when she helps at the local hospital and saves the life of one of Robert's tenants. Cora upbraids the two nastiest servants, O'Brien and Thomas, for sneering at the Crawleys but impresses upon Mary the financial need for the marriage. Carson is blackmailed by Grigg, a man with whom he once had a music-hall act, but Robert takes his part and sees Grigg off. Whilst Carson feels foolish for having a less-than-aristocratic past, he is supported by Bates and the two men become friends. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

heir | estate | nurse | doctor | hospital | See All (41) »


Drama | Romance


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

9 January 2011 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Lord Grantham says that Carson is being melodramatic and that he's "not playing Sidney Carton." Carton is a character in Dickens' novel "A Tale of Two Cities." Carton is, at times, an alcoholic and depressed. See more »


In the opening scene as the car goes by a home a TV antenna is clearly visible on the roof. See more »


Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham: [about the refurbished room at the Crawley house] It always seemed rather dark when my mother-in-law lived here; but then, she made everything rather dark.
See more »


Downton Abbey - The Suite
Written by John Lunn
Performed by The Chamber Orchestra of London
See more »

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User Reviews

A New Heir
15 December 2017 | by jp281995See all my reviews

The Crawley family meets the new heir, a distant cousin and solicitor named Matthew Crawley and his mother, Isobel. Lady Mary thinks Matthew as an arrogant and unpleasant person and she disapproves of marrying him to secure her family's fortune. Isobel Crawley also clashes with the witty Dowager Countess. Meanwhile, below stairs, Mr. Carson has a secret he is too embarrassed to share. Bates struggles to fit in.

This episode centers on Matthew Crawley and his mother as they adjust to the lavish life of the aristocracy. This is an amazing continuation to the story. I have to say that I also love Maggie Smith. She is simply hilarious and I really wish she has more screentime.

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