Downton Abbey: Season 3 (2012)


Critic 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.


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The Great War is over and a long-awaited engagement is on, but all is not tranquil at Downton Abbey as wrenching social changes, romantic intrigues, and personal crises grip the majestic English country estate for a third thrilling season. Downton's impeccable butler, Carson (Jim Carter), breaks in a new footman, who happens to be the nephew of the scheming lady's maid O'Brien (Siobhan Finneran). Following Matthew and Mary's engagement, Robert sticks to his duty to maintain Downton more firmly than ever - even as other great houses are crippled psychologically and financially in the wake of World War I.


Hugh Bonneville
as Lord Grantham
Maggie Smith
as Violet Crawley
Elizabeth McGovern
as Lady Grantham
Dan Stevens (IV)
as Matthew Crawley
Penelope Wilton
as Isobel Crawley
Brendan Coyle
as John Bates
Phyllis Logan
as Mrs Hughes
Lesley Nicol
as Mrs Patmore
Allen Leech
as Tom Branson
Amy Nuttall
as Ethel Parks
David Robb
as Dr Clarkson
Lily James
as Lady Rose MacClare
Ed Speleers
as Jimmy Kent
Robert Bathurst
as Sir Anthony Strallan
Shirley MacLaine
as Martha Levinson
Kevin Doyle
as Joseph Molesley
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News & Interviews for Downton Abbey: Season 3

Critic Reviews for Downton Abbey Season 3

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (23)

In the gentle, genteel hands of creator Julian Fellowes, the British smash remains delicious status-porn for restive commoners eager to lose themselves in the warm embrace of empire.

Sep 16, 2013 | Full Review…

Still superior entertainment on a grand scale.

Jan 6, 2013 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
Top Critic

In its own elegant way, Downton Abbey offers solid storytelling woven around compelling love stories, upstairs and downstairs.

Jan 6, 2013 | Full Review…

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.

Jan 6, 2013 | Full Review…

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.

Jan 6, 2013 | 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.

Jan 6, 2013 | Full Review…

Series creator and scribe Julian Fellowes writes Americans as if he's heard of them but never actually dared to have a conversation with one.

Jan 6, 2013 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Downton Abbey is like British catnip, a dazzling entertainment where saucy always trumps stuffy. It's popcorn TV with a champagne aftertaste.

Jan 6, 2013 | Full Review…

Those who accept it for what it is - a funny, manipulative soap that relies on historical upheaval to frame its scarce plots - should be happy to hear that Downton's new season is better than its last.

Jan 6, 2013 | Full Review…

It appears Fellowes returns to his strength as a storyteller.

Jan 6, 2013 | Full Review…

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