The television gods heard "Community" fans' desperate pleas to extend the single-camera comedy into six seasons and a movie and said, hey, wouldn't it be hilarious if we did that, but with the British historical drama "Downton Abbey" instead? With the wave of a wand - or the snap of some fingers, however television gods work their magic - the aristocratic Crawley family and its loyal staff traveled from living rooms across the world to the prestigious big screen.
The movie, which revolves around King George V and Queen Mary's visit to Downton, is hitting theaters more than three years after the beloved series aired its finale on this side of the pond. The story itself spanned almost 15 years, ranging from early 1912 to New Year's Eve in 1926, and introduced dozens of characters throughout that period. You're forgiven if you can't recall any specifics.
Luckily, the movie doesn't require viewers to remember all that much from the series - thanks, gods! - so here's a quick reminder of what you do need to know about the main characters.
- Lady Mary and Henry Talbot
Mary (Michelle Dockery), the family's eldest daughter, finally found love again years after the tragic death of her husband, Matthew. Given that Matthew died in a car crash, Mary agreed to marry Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode) provided he give up his dangerous racecar driving profession and open a car shop instead. He became a stepfather to Mary's son, George, and it was revealed in the series-concluding Christmas special that Mary was pregnant with their first child together.
Mary now runs Downton alongside her father, Robert (Hugh Bonneville), while Henry co-owns Talbot and Branson Motors with Mary's brother-in-law Tom (Allen Leech).
- Lady Edith and Herbert "Bertie" Pelham
Edith (Laura Carmichael), the second Crawley daughter, had a secret child out of wedlock with her now-deceased lover and former boss, Michael Gregson (Charles Edwards) - a revelation that sent her new suitor, Bertie (Harry Hadden-Patton), spinning. Edith and Bertie eventually reconciled, each admitting that they could not go on without the other, and got married in the Christmas special.
Somewhere along the way, Bertie rose to marquess status, so Edith technically outranks her family.
- Thomas "Tom" Branson
Though his wife, Sybil Crawley (Jessica Brown Findlay), died after giving birth in the third season, Tom remained at Downton for the sake of their daughter, Sybbie. He co-owns the car shop with Henry and also helps manage the estate.
- Lord Robert and Lady Cora Crawley (aka the Earl and Countess of Grantham)
Nothing really happened with Robert and Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) toward the end of the series, but both of their (living) daughters are now happily married, so there's that.
- Lady Violet Crawley (aka the Dowager Countess) and Lady Isobel Grey
As hard-shelled and softhearted as ever, Violet (Maggie Smith) facilitated a truce between Mary and Edith after Mary almost ruined her sister's engagement to Bertie.
Violet also helped her best frenemy Isobel (Penelope Wilton), Matthew's mother, recognize her true love for Lord Richard "Dickie" Grey (Douglas Reith), a close friend of the Crawleys. Isobel and Dickie got married, despite his children's protests, and are now very happy together.
Charles and Elsie Carson
Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) stepped down from his longtime perch as butler after being diagnosed with palsy, but he continues to consult on Downton matters from time to time. He is married to housekeeper Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan), with whom he moved to a modest house in a nearby village.
- Thomas Barrow
Barrow (Rob James-Collier), a footman, took over as butler after Mr. Carson's retirement. The rest of the staff came to like him by the end of the series, so everyone is fine with this arrangement.
- John and Anna Bates
After a stressful few years, Anna (Joanne Froggatt), Mary's lady's maid, and Mr. Bates (Brendan Coyle), Robert's valet, finally found peace. Then, a pregnant Anna's water broke during Edith and Bertie's wedding. She gave birth to a baby boy.
- Beryl Patmore, Daisy Mason and Andrew "Andy" Parker
Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) continues to run Downton's kitchen, with Daisy (Sophie McShera) as her assistant. Daisy moved to the farm belonging to Mr. Mason (Paul Copley), her former father-in-law, and gained a new love interest in Andy (Michael Fox), a recently hired footman at Downton.
- Joseph Molesley and Phyllis Baxter
Mr. Molesley (Kevin Doyle) worked as a footman at Downton until he realized, while helping Daisy with her studies, that he was more passionate about education. He left to become a teacher at Downton School but returns to the manor for special events. He and Miss Baxter (Raquel Cassidy), Cora's lady's maid, remain friends, but there's a hint of something more.