Downton Abbey

Trivia, Quotes, Notes and Allusions

Quotes (77)

  • Mr. Carson: I understand most of the ladies were taken off in time.
    Lord Crawley: You mean the ladies in first class? God help the poor devils below decks. On their way to a better life. What a tragedy.

  • Violet: I didn't run Downton for thirty years to see it go - lock, stock and barrel to a stranger from God knows where!
    Cora: Are we to be friends, then?
    Violet: We are allies, my dear, which can be a good deal more effective.

  • Mr. Bates: (After seeing His Lordship's snuff box collection)Beautiful. Funny, our job, isn't it?
    Thomas: What do you mean?
    Mr. Bates: The way we live with all this. A pirate's hoard within our reach. But none of it's ours, is it?
    Thomas: No, none of it's ours.

  • Mrs. Hughes: (after seeing Daisy by the fire)Oh, heavens girl. You're building a fire, not inventing it.

  • Duke of Crowborough: Why did you apologise to that man? It's not his business what we do. Lady Mary: I always apologise when I'm in the wrong. It's a habit of mine.

  • (At the home of Mrs Isobel Crawley and her son, Matthew, in Manchester, the maid has just brought in the morning mail.) Maid: First post, Ma'am. Isobel: Thank you, Ellen. (She hands one letter across the table to her son.) Isobel: One for you. Matthew: Thank you, Mother. (opens the letter and begins to read it) It's from Lord Grantham. Isobel: Really? What on earth does he want? (Matthew looking stunned) Matthew: He wants to change our lives.

  • Dowager Countess: Don't you care about Downton? (Lord Grantham turns, barely containing his anger.) Lord Grantham: What do you think? I've given my life to Downton. I was born here and I hope to die here. I claim no career beyond the nurture of this house and the estate. It is my third parent and my fourth child. Do I care about it? Yes, I do care!

  • (Holding her fan up to her face to shield herself from the electric lights in the room.) Dowager Countess: Such a glare! I feel as though we're on stage at the Gaiety (theatre). Lord Grantham: We're used to it. I do wish you'd let me install it in the Dower House, it's very convenient. The man who manages the generator could look after yours as well. Dowager Countess: I could never have electricity in the house. I wouldn't sleep a wink with all those vapours seeping about.

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Notes (20)

  • The episode won 3 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie, Outstanding Costumes for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special and Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special.

  • Even though filming for the outdoor scenes was done in Oxfordshire and showed several landmarks from that area, the Crawley family are actually supposed to live in North Yorkshire and often mention places from that location during dialogue between characters.

  • The location for the filming of Isobel and Matthew Crawley's house was done in an English village named Bampton, which is in Oxfordshire in the UK. Sutton's Hospital, located in Charterhouse, London, was the location for the filming of all the hospital scenes in the series.

  • All the exterior and some of the interior scenes featuring Downton Abbey were shot at Highclere Castle on the Berkshire-Hampshire border near Newbury. The servants' quarters were constructed and filmed at Ealing Studios in London.

  • The episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Costumes for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special.


    Outstanding Art Direction for a Mini-Series or Movie: Donal Woods, Gina Cromwell, Charmian Adams.

    Outstanding Casting for a Mini-Series, Movie or Special: Jill Trevellick.

    Outstanding Cinematography for a Mini-Series or Movie: David Katznelson.

    Outstanding Costumes for a Mini-Series, Movie or Special: Caroline McCall, Susannah Buxton.

    Outstanding Directing for a Mini-Series, Movie or Dramatic Special: Brian Percival.

    Outstanding Lead Actress in a Mini-Series or a Movie: Elizabeth McGovern.

    Outstanding Mini-Series or Made For Television Movie: Downton Abbey.

    Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Mini-Series or Movie: John Wilson.

    Outstanding Sound Editing for a Mini-Series, Movie or Special: Alex Sawyer, Adam Armitage.

    Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Mini-Series or a Movie: Dame Maggie Smith.

    Outstanding Writing for a Mini-Series, Movie or Dramatic Special: Julian Fellowes.

    These nominations are for the 2011 Primetime Emmy Awards. The results will be known when the ceremony takes place in late 2011. The nominations cover Series 1 episodes only as Series 2 will not screen until Spring, 2011 in the United Kingdom and later in the United States and other countries.



    WON: Banff Rockie Award for Best Mini-Series:

    (Gareth Neame, Liz Trubridge, Julian Fellowes, Nigel Marchant)



    Nigel Marchant, Gareth Neame, Liz Trubridge, Julian Fellowes.

  • THE BROADCASTING PRESS GUILD AWARDS: (2011) Won: Best Drama Series: Julian Fellowes Writer's Awards: Julian Fellowes Nominated: Hugh Bonneville (Best Actor) Maggie Smith (Best Actress) MONTE-CARLO TV FESTIVAL: Nominated: Gareth Neame (Best European Producer) Gareth Neame (Best International Producer) Hugh Bonneville (Outstanding Actor - Drama Series) Brendan Coyle (Outstanding Actor - Drama Series) Maggie Smith (Outstanding Actress - Drama Series) Michelle Dockery (Oustanding Actress - Drama Series) ROYAL TELEVISION SOCIETY UK (2011) Nominated: Best Drama Series - Julian Fellowes. TELEVISION AND RADIO INDUSTRIES CLUB AWARDS: (2011) Won: TV Drama Programme of the Year - Julian Fellowes.

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Trivia (4)

  • In this first episode, Lord Grantham and his family are reading about the sinking of the "Titanic" on 15th April, 1912. Lady Edith makes the passing comment as she looks at the newspaper that "I thought it was supposed to be unsinkable". This is important because many passengers, members of the public and even the hierarchy of The White Star Line who owned the ship believed this to be the case. Brochures and magazines printed at the time carried the words "practically unsinkable", including "Shipbuilder Magazine" which wrote a feature article saying the same. This became folklore and by the time the "Titanic" set out on her maiden voyage, just about everyone believed she could not sink.

  • In the scene where Charles Grigg comes to Downton Abbey to see Lord Grantham, Bates senses trouble and sends Anna towards the village to fetch Mr. Carson at once. When Anna finds Mr. Carson as he is heading home, she tells him he is needed at once in the library but there is no way that she could have known that Bates had taken Grigg into the library as they were nowhere near it when she left the house and therefore, could have gone to a different room.

  • Goof: When Lang is suffering his nightmare in the middle of the night and the servants all go to see what's wrong, you can see broad daylight shining in through the skylight windows of the room.

  • Goof: Mary and Charles Blake discuss the difference between sex and love. However, at the time the word "sex" meant "gender." It didn't refer to intercourse until 1929.

Allusions (3)

  • Thomas: I can't believe I've been passed over for Long John Silver.
    Long John Silver is the central antagonist in the Robert Louis Stevenson novelTreasure Island.As Thomas is referring to Bates when he makes this statement, the reference to an antagonist seems appropriate.

  • When Mr. Carson offers his resignation to Lord Grantham after admitting that he stole from the kitchens to feed Charles Grigg, a man from his past who has been blackmailing him, his Lordship says that he should not be so melodramtic as he is not 'playing Sydney Carton', which is a reference to a Charles Dickens character from his novel "A Tale of Two Cities." Carton is a very self-pitying individual and always feels sorry for himself for one reason or another.

  • Cora: No one ever warns you about bringing up daughters. You think it's going to be like Little Womenand instead they're at each other's throats from dawn 'til dusk.
    Cora is referring to the novel Little Women, written by Louisa May Alcott. Published in the 1860s, the story chronicles four sisters, who get along rather well with one another despite the difficulty of getting older.