Downton Abbey the movie will premiere next week, based off the popular period drama, which ran for six seasons.
Downton Abbey the movie will premiere next week, based off the popular period drama, which ran for six seasons.

Where did Downton Abbey leave off?

The premiere of the Downton Abbey movie is only a week away, and fans are well and truly ready to be transported back to the 1920s.

The period drama, which ran for six series between 2010 and 2015, follows the lives of the Crawleys, the aristocratic family who own Downton Abbey, and their large team of staff. Season one begins in 1912 with the sinking of the Titanic, with the series continuing into the '20s and season six concluding on New Year's Eve in 1925.

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Part of Downton Abbey's appeal is its ensemble cast - in any given season, Julian Fellowes' plot involved upwards of 20 main characters - and almost all of the upstairs and downstairs crew have returned for the film.

"The biggest testament to the film is that everyone turned up to play," Hugh Bonneville, who plays Lord Grantham, told Deadline.

"We had some hurdles getting everyone in the same place at the same time, but there was a will to do it."

As the premiere approaches, here's a recap of the series' key moments and where each member of the Crawley household left off.

Most of the show’s upstairs cast, photographed for the show’s 2013 Christmas special.
Most of the show’s upstairs cast, photographed for the show’s 2013 Christmas special.


The series opens with Lord Robert Grantham learning that the heir of his estate has died aboard the Titanic.

With three daughters, the law of the land dictates he pass Downton to a male relative - meaning he can either pass off his wealth to a man he barely knows or marry off his eldest daughter, Mary, to a distant male relative, ensuring his fortune stays within the immediate family.

The chosen male relative is Mary's distant cousin Matthew. While his middle-class tendencies at first rub the Crawleys the wrong way, he and Mary eventually admit their love for each other - but not before Mary is seduced by dashing Turkish diplomat Kemal Pamuk, who dies in her bed, a scandal with numerous repercussions over the entire series.

Matthew and Mary aren't the only characters in pursuit of love. Mary's two sisters, Sybil and Edith, search for companionship of their own, with the former taking a liking to the family's chauffeur Tom Branson. Housemaid Anna and valet Mr Bates also pursue a relationship.

Season one ends just after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, with the outbreak of the First World War in July 1914.

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Lord Grantham’s three daughters, Sybil, Mary and Edith.
Lord Grantham’s three daughters, Sybil, Mary and Edith.


During the war, Downton is temporarily converted into an officers' convalescent hospital.

Matthew, having left Downton, is a British Army officer and has become engaged to the daughter of a Liberal minister, Lavinia Swire - who eventually dies from the Spanish influenza.

Meanwhile, Mary, while acknowledging her feelings for Matthew, becomes engaged to powerful and ruthless newspaper mogul Sir Richard Carlisle in a bid to bury the Mr Pamuk scandal.

Mr Bates' wife Vera commits suicide under suspicious circumstances and Mr Bates is found guilty of her murder, but not before he and Anna marry in secret.

Sybil, feeling stifled by her aristocratic life, falls in love with Tom and they marry and move to Ireland with Lord Grantham's reluctant blessing.

When Matthew is badly wounded in battle - leaving him crippled from the waist down - he calls off his engagement to Lavinia but eventually regains his mobility and falls in love with Mary again. She breaks up with Richard, and in a Christmas miracle, Matthew finally proposes to her.

The ill-fated Matthew Crawley and Lady Mary at their wedding.
The ill-fated Matthew Crawley and Lady Mary at their wedding.


The war might be over, but Downton's troubles are just beginning when Robert discovers a major investment has failed and his family is now close to bankruptcy.

In what could be their last hurrah, Mary and Matthew wed - and he becomes co-master of the estate after using an inherited fortune to save Downton from financial ruin.

Sybil and Tom return from Ireland, with Branson helping to run the house and Sybil becoming pregnant, only to die during the birth of their daughter.

Edith, unlucky in love, finally thinks she's found it - but is stranded at the altar. She becomes a newspaper columnist, writing about women's rights.

The season ends with Mary giving birth to Matthew's child - a son, and the new heir of Downton - and all is well, until Matthew dies suddenly in a car accident.

Lady Mary and Tom Branson, both of whose partners died, with their respective children.
Lady Mary and Tom Branson, both of whose partners died, with their respective children.


Six months after Matthew's tragic death, Mary is in mourning and trying to raise their son, George, as best she can.

Robert informs her she owns half of Downton (as Matthew's widow). She begins to involve herself in the goings-on of the estate while juggling two new suitors - Lord Gillingham and Charles Blake.

Meanwhile, Edith becomes smitten with Gregson, a married man, and ends up bearing his child. When Gregson disappears while he's overseas trying to procure a divorce from his wife, Edith gives up their daughter, Marigold, to the Drewes, a family of farmers living on the Downton estate.

Downstairs, Anna is violently raped by Mr Green and Mr Bates vows to avenge her. Curiously, her rapist winds up dead, with the jury out on whether or not the latter is responsible.

And sparks fly towards the end of the season between Carson, the butler, and Mrs Hughes, the chief housekeeper.

Anna and Mr Bates.
Anna and Mr Bates.


A Russian exile, Prince Kuragin, wishes to renew his past affections for the Dowager Countess, who instead reunites him with his estranged wife.

The local police investigate Anna's rapist's death, and she is arrested on suspicion of his murder, but her name is eventually cleared and she is released from prison.

After Edith inherits Gregson's publishing company, she reclaims Marigold from the Drewes and relocates to London, telling everyone that Marigold is her adopted daughter. When Cora, the Countess of Grantham, eventually learns the truth, she insists her grandchild is raised at Downton, and eventually Mary is the only family member left unaware.

The Crawleys' cousin, Lady Rose, becomes engaged to the Jewish Atticus Aldridge, and despite her mother's attempts at thwarting their union, the two eventually marry.

During the annual Downton Christmas celebration, Tom announces he is moving to America to work for his cousin, taking his daughter Sybil (named after her mother) with him.

In perhaps the most anticipated moment of the entire series, Carson proposes marriage to Mrs Hughes, and she accepts, proving that love at Downton is possible after all.


Lady Mary and husband Henry Talbot in the show’s sixth season.
Lady Mary and husband Henry Talbot in the show’s sixth season.


Cora and Robert grapple with their way of life becoming quickly becoming outdated - and have an ongoing conversation about downsizing their staff.

The state of Robert's health is also in question, though both problems are resolved, with Mary and Tom taking over the running of Downton to ease his burden. Cora, meanwhile, becomes more involved in the town hospital.

The final season is a big celebration of love - Mary, after some minor scandal, marries Henry Talbot and becomes pregnant with his child. The two open a car shop with Tom, who returns from Boston with his daughter and decides he will stay in Downton for good.

Carson and Mrs Hughes also tie the knot and move into a cottage of their own, with Carson taking over a supervisory role at Downton and Thomas Barrow becoming the butler.

Anna is cleared of all charges related to the murder of her rapist, and she and Bates finally have a child together.

And after six seasons of bad luck, Edith finally finds happiness in the series' final episode, marrying Bertie Pelham on New Year's Eve in 1925 to become the Marchioness of Hexham, a position that outranks everyone else in her family.

Downton Abbey, the movie, will be released in Australian cinemas on September 12.

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