Downton Abbey: Season 3 (2013)


Season 3
Downton Abbey

Critics Consensus

In its third season, Downton Abbey remains a gripping, fascinating look at 1920s England, though its melodramatic plotting occasionally veers into less satisfying territory.



Critic Ratings: 40


Audience Score

User Ratings: 91
User image


Air date: Jan 6, 2013
Air date: Jan 13, 2013
Air date: Jan 20, 2013
Air date: Jan 27, 2013
Air date: Feb 3, 2013
Air date: Feb 10, 2013
Air date: Feb 17, 2013

Downton Abbey: Season 3 Photos

Tv Season Info

The third season opens with the family facing financial ruin and the loss of the Downton Abbey estate due to Robert's failed investment in a Canadian railroad company. Hope may be at hand, however, in the form of Cora's American mother (Shirley MacLaine), whose visit for Mary and Matthew's wedding features Mary and the Dowager scheming to get her to invest in Downton. At the same time, Matthew learns that he may inherit a huge sum from Lavinia's late father, but has no desire to accept it given that he blames himself for Lavinia's death. Other story lines find the imprisoned Bates running into trouble with his cellmate while Anna works tirelessly to have his conviction overturned; a new footman becoming a pawn in an O'Brien scheme against Thomas; Branson and a pregnant Sybil fleeing Ireland following an incident at an aristocrat's home; and the Dowager's free-spirited great niece Rose (Lily James) arriving for a stay.


Hugh Bonneville
as Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham
Elizabeth McGovern
as Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham
Michelle Dockery
as Lady Mary Crawley
Dan Stevens (IV)
as Matthew Crawley
Allen Leech
as Tom Branson
Laura Carmichael
as Lady Edith Crawley
Maggie Smith
as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham
Penelope Wilton
as Isobel Crawley
Jim Carter
as Mr. Carson
Phyllis Logan
as Mrs. Hughes
Brendan Coyle
as John Bates
Siobhan Finneran
as Sarah O'Brien
Rob James-Collier
as Thomas Barrow
Lesley Nicol
as Mrs. Patmore
Sophie McShera
as Daisy Mason
David Robb
as Dr. Clarkson
Kevin Doyle
as Joseph Molesley
Matt Milne
as Alfred Nugent
Cara Theobold
as Ivy Stuart
Ed Speleers
as Jimmy Kent
Samantha Bond
as Lady Rosamund
Amy Nuttall
as Ethel Parks
Shirley MacLaine
as Martha Levinson
Robert Bathurst
as Sir Anthony Strallan
Tim Pigott-Smith
as Sir Philip Tapsell
MyAnna Buring
as Edna Braithwaite
Lily James
as Lady Rose MacClare
Kevin McNally
as Mr. Bryant
Peter Egan
as Hugh "Shrimpie" MacClare, Marquess of Flintshire
Neil Bell
as Durrant
Christine Lohr
as Mrs. Bird
Phoebe Nicholls
as Susan MacClare, Marchioness of Flintshire
Michael Cochrane
as Rev. Travis
Paul Copley
as Mr. Mason
John Henshaw
as Jos Tufton
Jonathan Coy
as George Murray
Ron Donachie
as Mr. McCree
Clare Higgins
as Mrs. Bartlett
Charles Edwards
as Michael Gregson
Shaun Hennessy
as Tug-of-War Judge
William Travis
as Stall Keeper
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Downton Abbey: Season 3

Critic Reviews for Downton Abbey Season 3

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (23)

This is put-your-feet-up, pour-a-brandy television, a tasty import that's good company for a culture undergoing its own sometimes dizzying shifts.

Jun 29, 2016 | Full Review…

It is by turns high-minded and lowbrow, hilarious and heartbreaking, and filled with heartfelt performances by actors who are clearly enjoying not only digging into their characters but playing off of one another.

Jun 29, 2016 | Full Review…

Still superior entertainment on a grand scale.

Jun 29, 2016 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
Top Critic

Were we in fact set up to fall in love with Downton Abbey? It hardly matters, because at this point, we'd follow the Crawleys over a cliff.

Jun 29, 2016 | Full Review…

Fans will be pleased.

Jun 29, 2016 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

Since Downton has just been renewed for a fourth season, perhaps Fellowes can begin taking more time with the writing to let events play out more realistically and treat his characters with the respect they've earned.

Jun 29, 2016 | Full Review…

Downton may only be posh tosh about dosh and nosh but - gosh! - it's bally good.

Jul 22, 2018 | Full Review…

Almost everyone else could be plopped right back in 1912 at the start of the series and there'd be no difference.

Jun 19, 2018 | Full Review…

What can I say? Like an open bag of kettle chips (from Harrods, of course), _Downton Abbey'_s storytelling may be junky but it's also irresistible.

Mar 7, 2017 | Full Review…

Season 3 gets off to a fine and frothy start, even if it arrives in the wake of unpleasant off-screen news regarding the departure of a key cast member (no spoilers here).

Jun 29, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Downton Abbey: Season 3

  • Jun 28, 2017
    Remains a gripping, fascinating look at 1920s England, though its melodramatic plotting occasionally veers into less satisfying territory.

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