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‘Downton Abbey’ Recap: What Happened in the First Movie? (Video)

Watch a refresher of the 2019 film and a complete recap of the six-season TV series

A new “Downton Abbey” movie is on the horizon, but before you watch “Downton Abbey: A New Era,” you may need or want a brief refresher on what happened in the first film.

Released in 2019, the aptly named “Downton Abbey” is a feature film continuation of the wildly popular TV series that ran for six series and wrapped up in 2015. Show creator Julian Fellowes returned to write the “Downton Abbey” film, and frequent director of the show’s TV episodes Michael Engler directed the movie.

Luckily, a short four-minute video recap of the events of the first “Downton Abbey” movie has been released online, with actor Kevin Doyle (who plays Mr. Molesley) narrating a brief summation of what happened in that film.

Set in 1927, roughly a year after the TV series ended, “Downton Abbey” finds the Crawleys receiving word that King George V and Queen Mary are intending to visit Downton during their tour of Yorkshire.

As preparations get underway, members of the royal staff begin to arrive at Downton ahead of the King and Queen’s visit, and it becomes clear that they intend to take charge during the event – something about which the Downton staffers are none too pleased. That plot that follows involves an assassination attempt, a family secret and a royal ball.

These events don’t necessarily directly lead into the plot of “Downton Abbey: A New Era,” but the sequel is indeed a continuation of the story of the Crawleys and Downton. In the new film, Downton becomes the setting for a silent film production, all the while the Crawleys learn that the Dowager Countess has inherited an estate in France from a man from her past. Some travel to France to investigate this new development, while others stay behind to watch on as Hollywood takes over Downton.

Check out the recap of the first movie above, and below you can watch a full recap of the six seasons of the TV series.

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