Last Updated: Apr 1, 2015
Whether it's the characters or the setting or the class struggles or the time period or the castle that intrigues you about Downton Abbey, there are other television shows and movies that contain the same hooks and similar intriguing elements.
Look at this page to find other television programs(plus some of their matching books) that you can watch while waiting for new Downton Abbey to come out.
Upstairs, Downstairs. Season 1
Publication Date: 2011
Upstairs, Downstairs is a British television series that was broadcast on ITV starting in 1971 and ran for five series(what the British call a season) until 1975. Upstairs, Downstairs chronicles the lives of the servants downstairs and their masters upstairs at 165 Eaton Place. The original Upstairs, Downstairs spans the time frame from 1903-1930, thus the later series provides similar costume and historical markers to Downton Abbey. Check the library catalog if interested in the other four series.
Publication Date: 2011
If the original Upstairs, Downstairs appealed to you, the BBC did a revamped tv mini-series that began in 2010 and lasted two seasons. Join a new cast with some old cast member surprises in 1936, six years after the original series ended.
Publication Date: 2003
Manor House is a reality tv mini-series that took 19 everyday modern people and placed them into a 19th century Edwardian Manor House. If you're looking for Edwardian life told with the viewpoints of contemporary people, Manor House is the show for you.
Publication Date: 2013
This twelve part historical documentary reality series began on BBC Two in November 2010 and ran until January 2011. Archaeologists and historians travel to an Edwardian farm to live the lives of Edwardian farmers in the 1900s for a full calendar year. This series takes place around the same time as Downton Abbey, but instead provides the point of view of the village people around Downton Abbey.
Where Angels Fear to Tread is both a novel by E.M. Forster and a 1991 film adaptation starring Rupert Graves, Helena Bonham Carter, Helen Mirren, and Judy Davis.
Follow English widow Lilia Herriton as she tries to escape her husband's death by taking a trip to Italy. Looking to releax, she meets a young Italian man, Gino, who happens to be much younger than she. Her dead husband's family disapproves and sends her former brother-in-law, Philip, to hopefully break up the two's marriage. Philip and Lilia are forced to take a step back and examine their own separate lives as tragedy descends upon the family. If you're a fan of the melodrama in Downton Abbey, then the aching need to survive and move on that accompany the characters in both this novel and the movie adaptation may appeal to you.
Where Angels Fear to Tread
Publication Date: 2008-02-26
This novel deals with a story of vice, love, and intrigue.
The Forsyte Saga is a trilogy by John Galsworthy that was first published in 1922 that covers the books: The Man of Property, In Chancery, and To Let. In 2002, Granada Television did a two series run for the ITV Network in Britain. This two-part series then ran in the US as part of Masterpiece Theatre.
The Forsyte Saga begins in the 1870s and runs until the 1920s, giving fans of Downton Abbey the ability to see the time period before Downton Abbey begins in 1921. This trilogy follows the life of an upper middle class family in England from the end of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth. Similar to Downton Abbey, family members struggle with duty vs. desire and how each generation brings change to the family and the struggle to both hold onto tradition, yet also keep the family on pace with the times.
The Forsyte Saga
Publication Date: 2002-09-03
The Forsyte Saga is the universal title for Galsworthy's three books: The Man of Property, In Chancery, and To Let.
Brideshead Revisited is of interest to Downton Abbey fans that enjoyed the outsider look into aristocratic life. Enjoy either the book, miniseries, or movie to follow Charles Ryder, a middle-class common man, who becomes entangled in aristocratic life when he meets Sebastian Flyte, a blue-blood young man who attends Oxford with Ryder. Ryder is thrust into aristocratic life and the two young men inextricably navigate the confusing waters of love, religion, war, famiy, and alcoholism together. Add in Flyte's sister, marriage proposals, falling outs, and atheism and readers are sure to be drawn into the aristocratic web that Flyte and his family weave throughout the book and television adaptations.
Publication Date: 1993-10-26
The original book by Waugh was originally published in 1945. This version includes an introduction by Frank Kermode.
Brideshead Revisited. Miniseries
Publication Date: 2002
This 11-part miniseries began in Britain in 1981 and was quickly brought over to the United States in 1982 as part of PBS' Great Performances series. This miniseries is told as a flashback and covers the years 1924 through 1944.
Brideshead Revisited. DVD
Publication Date: 2009
Interesting tidbit about this movie is that the same castle that served as Brideshead in the miniseries was also Brideshead in the movie: Castle Howard in North Yorkshire.
Up at the Villa
Publication Date: 2000
Up at the Villa takes place in pre-World War II Florence, Italy and follows the story of a beautiful young British widow, Mary Panton, in her thirties and her struggles to decide if she should remarry after her husband's death leaves her financially ruined. Calamity ensues as Mary is confronted with a proposal, dashing Americans, clashing personalities, and a lover who just won't take no for an answer. If you love the story of Lady Mary, then this movie is right up your aisle.
Publication Date: 2002
Grab a glimpse of upstairs and downstairs life in 1932 as a large group of family and friends gather for a hunting weekend at the country estate of Sir William McCordle. Everthing is going perfectly until someone is murdered at the dinner party, throwing the whole weekend into shambles with an investigation soon to follow that digs into both the aristocracy's lives upstairs and the servants' lives downstairs.