Downton Abbey: Season 3, Episode 1: Style and Show

The Dowager Countess and the American Granny from Downton Abbey Season 3

Well then! What a dramatic re-entry to Downton Abbey! Our recap by Amie Simon will help you recall some of the best lines and keep that glow going while we wait a week for episode 2. It's quite long, as warrants an entirely new season with new story lines, new characters and new fashions.

You can watch this entire episode online at (desktop version) or at (mobile-friendly version). Please note, video is US only at both sites.

O'Brien's Bangs and Lady Mary's Eyebrows, a Twitter directory

Twitter screenshot - KCTS 9's account

Already following @KCTS9 but find our live-tweeting insufficient to fill your days with tweets? Last season, we "met" many of the characters on twitter and are happy to introduce you. Likewise, several actors are online from time to time. And of course there are the official hashtag (#DowntonPBS) and our fearless livechat leaders to follow for facts and fun. 

Do watch out for spoilers and excessive silliness from time to time. (Not all tweeters will be suitable for all readers.)

The American Invasion

Mrs. Levinson arrives at Downton Abbey

When Masterpiece Classic first brought Downton Abbey to the United States in January 2011, it seemed unlikely at first that the program would include an American character amidst the British peerage. But as guest blogger Tara Austen Weaver reports, the story of American brides is even more surprising (and common) than as depicted in our favorite drama.

Mary and Matthew Get Married: We All Eat Cake

Wedding cake, British-style. Photo courtesy Fiona Cairns, credit: Liam Jones

In addition to our recaps, we are pleased to bring you a series on the dining styles and other habits of the Downton Abbey era, written and researched by guest blogger Tara Austen Weaver. As with other posts, there are at least mild spoilers, and so we make every effort to post them as appropriate to the US broadcasts and warn you liberally so you may avoid “those” moments.

And now, on with the show!

Christmas at Downton Abbey: Finally! (Season 2 Finale)

Michelle Dockery and Dan Stevens in Seattle

As previously noted, the season 2 Christmas Special ran after the regular season in the UK—perhaps we can think of it as post-season play? Mercifully for North American viewers, we are able to air them as season finale episodes on PBS without further delay. (Can you imagine if we had to wait any longer?!?) But they are special, and so our guest blogger Amie Simon has penned for us this special recap of the season 2 Christmas Special.

Are there spoilers? But of course! Click through if you’re ready to find out who finds love in the twinkling lights of Christmas at Downton in season 2…

Do Not Disturb sign - Free download for our favorite fans

We know what it's like. You've got your drink, your snack and your internet connection all ready by 8:59 sharp, poised to devour every line and every moment of Downton Abbey season 3 in sheer delight. And then—the doorbell rings! The husband/wife/mother-in-law bursts in! YOU MISS A LINE! Don't let it happen to you. Click here to download and print your own, personal "Do Not Disturb" sign PDF. Go ahead, take care of it now. You don't want to risk being unprepared for this season.

Catching up with Downton Abbey, Season 2: Scandal

Downton Abbey season 2 poster

We resume our recaps with Season 2, wherein… well, we won’t spoil it for you in the opener! Click through to read what happens when Downton goes to war. Note that in the UK, the “season finale” aired as a Christmas special—a TV phenomenon observed with great passion across the pond and less so stateside. We cover that episode in a separate, blissfully snow-kissed post.

Downton Abbey: A Brief Introduction to the Characters

Downton Abbey 3 cast photo

As you will have noticed, the crowd grows each season in the signature Downton Abbey poster image. A deck of flash cards might come in handy—perhaps you'll want to get your scissors, markers and tape out and create a set using this blog post. After all, there are approximately 166 to 167 hours between each new episode. You might as well be productive in your spare time.

Spoiler alert: Characters added each season do give away some plot details. Proceed with caution. Season 3 characters will be added as they appear.

Catching Up with Downton Abbey: Secrets, Scandal, and Resolution (part 1)

Have you watched the sneak peek at season three of Downton Abbey on Facebook and thought, I’ve got to catch up by Sunday!? Perhaps you've forgotten which character is which, or why exactly Thomas is looking at the newcomer with that glint in his eye. You are in luck! Guest blogger Amie Simon has thoughtfully reviewed every episode of seasons one and two, and we herewith present them for your reading pleasure. Today, part one, covering season one—a quick read, with a few highlights at the end. Stay with us for part two (Scandal), the Christmas episode (aka “the season finale,” stateside) and a character glossary (especially helpful when tweeting!). Then as the season gets underway, Amie will keep us up-to-date with each episode—in case you miss a plot twist or just want to refresh your zingers.

Please note, these posts are full of spoilers by their very nature. Please don’t say we didn’t warn you. And with that, we bring you: Catching Up with Downton Abbey: Secrets, Scandal, and Resolution.

Save the Date: 1/6/2013. Have you marked your calendar? Show us! #downtonPBS

Tired of waiting? Watch a Downton cast live chat Weds 12/12, 5pm Pacific, right here

Hugh Bonneville's photo of the Downton cast at an NYC subway stop

Hugh Bonneville (on Twitter @hughbon) tweeted this photo from the NYC subway. Much of the cast is in New York for publicity around season 3, and they'll be online live Wednesday night, 12/12, 5pm Seattle time. Watch the video right from our Downton Abbey homepage (or here):

On the chat will be:

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