Downton Abbey Five-Minute Recap [Video]

The third season of the surprise hit series Downtown Abbey premiered on US television tonight on PBS Masterpiece Theater for its seven-episode run.

But if you tuned in late — say even two seasons late — the following video provides a recap what happened in the first two seasons of this high-brow soap opera and will quickly bring you up to speed.

Created by Julian Fellowes, the popular British melodrama is set in the fictional Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey, where the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants live. The time period runs from 1912 through the 1920s, and in addition to day-to-day challenges it also depicts how significant events in British history affect the characters. The series stars Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith, Dan Stevens, Elizabeth McGovern and many others in a strong ensemble cast.

And you have plenty of time to catch up as the series has been renewed for a fourth season, and production is scheduled to being next month.

“In the excellence of its writing, acting, and production, Downton Abbey arrives at a perfect time,” explained Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton. “Long-form episodic drama is the ideal fit for the way people watch television today. With time-shifting, DVDs, and streaming, viewers have rediscovered the joys of luxuriating in a sweeping story.”

Downton Abbey is not everyone’s “cup of tea” of course. Are you a fan of Downton Abbey or are you a newcomer to the series? Did you watch the premiere tonight?

Watch the “official” five-minute recap of the plot of seasons one and two of Downton Abbey::

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