Downton Abbey episode one: Did it live up to the hype?

Suzannah Ramsdale
by Suzannah Ramsdale
Downton Abbey
ITV Pictures

Downton Abbey is back and Sunday nights are something to look forward to once again. So what did we all make of the show's 90-minute first episode?

Series three of Downton Abbey started off boldly with the wedding of Lady Mary and cousin Matthew. They haven't actually said their 'I Dos' yet but the pair did make it down the aisle without too much drama, meaning that the focus of the third series will be less on their 'Ross and Rachel' style relationship and more on other issues. A bold move.

The crux of the episode was Lord Grantham's devastating discovery that a bad investment had caused him to lose most of Cora's fortune and therefore throwing the future of Downton Abbey into doubt. There was even talk of selling the estate. Gasp.

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The first episode also saw the introduction of new footman Alfred, the tense return of Lady Sybil and her chauffeur husband Branson, lust between Edith and Sir Anthony and the highly anticipated arrival of Shirley MacLaine as Cora's mother, Martha.

It had romance (the heart-warming scene between Mary and Matthew kissing with their eyes closed made us feel all fuzzy), drama, laughs and plenty of dazzling 1920s fashion. Welcome back, Downton Abbey!

What did you make of the first episode of Downton Abbey? Was it everything you hoped? Or were you a little disappointed? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.

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