Downton Abbey[26/09/2010] (2010)

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Drama serial. 1 of 7: As Daisy the kitchenmaid opens up the house a telegram is delivered. It is 16th April 1912 and the Titanic has gone down, taking with it Lord Grantham's heir, James Crawley, and his son, Patrick. So who is the new heir? Not just to the earldom but to Downton Abbey, itself, which is entailed to the title. Violet, the Dowager Countess, assumes Robert, the present Earl, will break the entail and make an heiress of his eldest daughter, Mary, but Robert is not so sure. To make matters worse, his wife, Cora, has her own money tied up in the estate, and there is no way to extract it without crippling Downton. Even if Robert could break the entail, or take Cora's money out of it, would he want to? Below stairs, a new valet, John Bates, arrives. Bates was Robert's batman during the Boer War and Robert welcomes him. However, he looks as shocked as the rest of the servants when he sees Bates's limp. Will this hamper his duties? Cora's maid, O'Brien, and first footman, Thomas, who wanted Bates's job, deliberately try to sabotage his first days at work. (© ITV Press)

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