MAJOR SPOILER ALERT…sorry
Episode one takes place in 1912. The Titanic has just sunk and Robert Crawley’s (Lord Grantham the owner of Downton Abbey) heir & heir’s son met their unfortunate demise on the ship. This complicates things because Lord & Lady Grantham never produced a “proper” heir. Instead they had three daughters and in these times girls could not inherit. Lady Grantham & her mother-in law (The Dowager Countess of Grantham) attempt to break the law enforced stating that only a male heir can inherit Downton Abbey but come to no avail. After a short amount of time passes Lady Grantham & The Dowager Countess encourage the eldest daughter Mary and The Duke of Crowborough to see each other because this engagement would be a guarantee of a vast inheritance for Mary. We soon learn that this engagement surely will not happen because: 1. The Duke can only marry an heiress & 2. He is gay (totally didn’t see that coming). Finally, at the very end of the episode we get a quick glimpse of what will be Lord Grantham’s new heir (Matthew Crawley, third cousin once removed). While all this is happening to the Crawleys, their servants downstairs are having conflicts of their own. Firstly, Lord Grantham’s new valet John Bates arrives and shocks the servantry with his limp (an injury from the Boer War). The majority of the servants do not see Mr.Bates suitable for the position because of his “condition”, but little do they know Mr.Bates was Lord Grantham’s batman in the War so it would be unlikely he would replace him. Also, we learn that the First Footman Thomas is gay and he had a relationship in the past with the Duke of Crowborough. It is good that the first episode deals with various problems because it makes the viewer feel as though they have understood the whole situation for some time. Many occurences happen in this episode that most definitely alter the series entirely right from the start, and many more problems are sure to arise.
I love the Austrailian promos.