Multi BAFTA and Emmy Award-winning series Downton Abbey comes to South African television on 19th February at 20:30, for the first time, on BBC Entertainment. Written and created by Oscar-winning writer Julian Fellowes, this critically acclaimed drama depicts life in an Edwardian country house in 1912. 

The Crawleys have been the Earls of Grantham since 1772, but their lives are thrown into turmoil when the heirs to the estate die on the Titanic.  The arrival at Downton of the new heir, distant relative Matthew Crawley, creates more turbulence in the Crawley household, and the family must come to terms with their precarious financial situation and a changing world. Meanwhile, below stairs, the servants are as fiercely possessive of their ranks as anyone above, and there’s plenty of plotting, intrigue, love and scandal on both sides of the social divide…

Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, and Elizabeth McGovern lead an all-star cast that also includes Penelope Wilton, Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Phyllis Logan, Lesley Nicol, Siobhan Finneran, Rob James-Collier, Joanne Froggatt, as well as new and emerging actors Rose Leslie, Sophie McShera, Laura Carmichael, Jessica Brown Findlay and Thomas Howes.

The sun is rising behind Downton Abbey, a great and splendid house in a great and splendid park.  So secure does it appear, that it seems as if the way of life it represents will last for another thousand years.  It won’t. 

In 1912, England was teetering on the brink. Apparently placid, still rooted in the traditions of many centuries, it would be less than ten years before the First World War and the Jazz Age had ripped every certainty to shreds. This is the moment when we enter the world of Downton Abbey, the great house of a great family, where the Granthams and their daughters preside over a household in the charge of Carson, the butler, and Mrs Hughes, the housekeeper.

From cold, ambitious Mary and her sisters above stairs, to the scheming footman Thomas and loyal valet Bates below, everyone at Downton must deal with the changes that are coming.  While many of the Crawleys plot to maintain their lofty position in society, others look forward to the dawning of the modern age with eager anticipation.  Some of the servants are loyal to the family and are committed to Downton as a way of life, others are moving through, on the lookout for new opportunities or love or just adventure. The difference being that they know so many of the secrets of the family, while the family knows so few of theirs.

Follow the Downton Abbey conversation on Twitter with #DowntonSA

Airs every Sunday at 20:30

Categories: On TV