For those jonesing for the much eagerly-awaited Downton Abbey film premiering in theaters worldwide next Friday (Sept. 20), Acorn TV is the perfect guide to tide you over until its release and after. Most of the film’s beloved actors – from Matthew Goode to Hugh Bonneville to Joanne Froggatt – are featured in exceptional British dramas, mysteries and dramedies found on North America’s largest streaming service specializing in British and international TV. Let the award-winning streaming site be your ultimate destination for UK-produced TV series and specials starring many members of this cast. Please see Acorn TV’s detailed guide to the cast below and keep in mind for any Downton related roundups, photo galleries or packages.
PHOTO CREDIT: Acorn TV (these can only be used in promotion of Acorn TV programming)
GUIDE TO DOWNTON ABBEY CURRENT CAST ON ACORN TV
All programming listed below is hyperlinked to its respective show page on Acorn TV. Names of actors are followed by the names of their respective characters in the Downton Abbey series and/or movie.
HUGH BONNEVILLE (Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham)
Poirot: Murder on the Orient Express (S12 E3) – Agatha Christie’s iconic mystery is brought to vivid life in this sumptuous adaptation featuring Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Toby Jones (Detectorists), Barbara Hershey (Black Swan), Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), and more. David Suchet delivers another pitch-perfect performance as the iconic Belgian detective who solves a shocking murder on the luxurious train.
Marple (S5 E1: The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side) – St. Mary Mead is abuzz with the news that Hollywood star Marina Gregg has moved into town. When Marina hosts a party, a fan drops dead after drinking a poisoned cocktail. Miss Marple ponders a cast of suspicious characters.
The Commander – This compelling thriller from Prime Suspect creator Lynda La Plante follows the murder investigations of Commander Clare Blake (Amanda Burton, Silent Witness), New Scotland Yard’s highest-ranking woman officer, the Serious Crime Group Commander, and head of the Murder Review Team.
Midsomer Murders (S5 E4: Ring Out Your Dead) – Someone starts killing members of the church bell-ringing team just before a big competition.
MICHELLE DOCKERY (Lady Mary Crawley)
- Restless – Boasting a “fabulous British cast” (LA Times), this Emmy-nominated drama is a tale of passion, duplicity, and betrayal. Ruth Gilmartin (Michelle Dockery) is stunned to learn that her mother (Charlotte Rampling, Broadchurch), has been living a double life. Her real name is Eva Delectorskaya, and she worked as a spy for the British in the 1940s. Not available in Canada.
MATTHEW GOODE (Henry Talbot)
- The Poison Tree – Emmy nominee Matthew Goode (A Discovery of Witches, The Crown) stars in this “gripping… psychological crime thriller” (Mirror, UK) of deception, seduction, and twisted family ties. Released from prison, convicted murderer Rex returns home to his devoted wife, Karen (MyAnna Buring, Ripper Street), who has always maintained his innocence. But Karen is hiding darker secrets than even Rex realizes.
- Marple S1, E4 – A Murder is Announced: An advertisement announcing the date and place of a murder sets a village abuzz. A crowd gathers at the location when the lights go out and a gun fires. When the lights go on, one person is dead and another wounded.
ELIZABETH MCGOVERN (Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham)
- Poirot (Appointment with Death) – Hercule Poirot accompanies an archaeological expedition searching for the skull of John the Baptist in the Syrian Desert. What the team actually finds is a more recent corpse: the body of Lady Boynton, wife of expedition leader Lord Boynton.
JOANNE FROGGATT (Anna Bates)
- Missing – In this British mystery thriller, Golden Globe® winner Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey) stars as Sybil Foster, a young runaway who has learned to survive by scamming unsuspecting men. But when one of her marks gets murdered, Sybil quickly becomes the police’s prime suspect. Was she in the wrong place at the wrong time? Or is her history of psychiatric problems coming back to haunt her?
- Rebus S3, E3 – Strip Jack: A charity campaigner is caught with a prostitute during a raid on a brothel. Rebus heads a double murder investigation when the man’s wife and another woman are found dead in connected incidents.
PHYLLIS LOGAN (Mrs. Hughes)
- Missing (with Joanne Froggatt!) – see description above
- The Good Karma Hospital (7 episodes) – This medical drama follows doctor Ruby Walker (Amrita Acharia), who travels from England to India looking for a job and a distraction from a bad breakup. Arriving at an under-resourced hospital, Ruby must learn to cope with her eccentric patients and coworkers. Co-stars Amanda Redman and Neil Morrissey.
- Girlfriends – Acclaimed actresses Phyllis Logan (The Good Karma Hospital, Downton Abbey), Miranda Richardson (Harry Potter films), and Zoe Wanamaker (Poirot) star in this addictive new drama from Kay Mellor, the BAFTA Award-winning creator of Love, Lies & Records. Three women of a certain age are juggling the challenges of modern life when a tragedy exposes secrets that put their friendship to the test.
- Vera S2 E4 – A Certain Samaritan– When a young man is found dead with heroin in his body and a stolen credit card in his wallet, Stanhope suspects he led a life his possessive mother knew little about. Only when they learn details of the mother’s life does a motive for murder emerge.
- Trial & Retribution S13 – Created and written by Lynda La Plante-“the playwright laureate of women crime-stoppers” (NPR’s Weekend Edition)-this long-running British series displays the same hard-bitten sensibility and emotional resonance that made Prime Suspect a television landmark.
- Poirot S9 E2 – Sad Cypress: A beautiful young socialite stands convicted of murder, and Poirot races to reinvestigate before her sentence is carried out.
- Alibi – Michael Kitchen (Foyle’s War), Phyllis Logan (Downton Abbey), and Oscar nominee Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda) star in this intriguing miniseries. When neurotic Greg (Kitchen) is implicated in his business partner’s death, witness Marcey (Okonedo) helps him dispose of the corpse–but quickly begins to wonder what she has gotten herself into.
PENELOPE WILTON (Isobel Crawley)
- Brief Encounters – In the early 1980s, four British women answer an ad for a sales job selling exotic lingerie and other “marital aids,” kicking off a sexual revolution in their community. As their business grows, they become savvy professionals, but their newfound independence comes at a price as they wrestle with the pressures of husbands, family, and a changing society. Not available in Canada.
- Marple (S4 E3) – They Do It With Mirrors: Miss Marple’s old friend Carrie-Louise has always had a soft heart for charitable causes. This time it’s juvenile criminals, lodged in a reformatory on her estate. But her sister, Ruth van Rydock, is worried about her and asks Miss Marple to pay a visit.
ROBERT JAMES-COLLIER (Thomas Barrow)
- The Level – This gripping Acorn TV Original features “a great cast and a twist-filled plot” (Evening Standard, UK). DS Nancy Devlin (Karla Crome) is a good cop with a secret: drug trafficker Frank Le Saux (Philip Glenister, Life on Mars) is like a father to her. Co-stars Robert James-Collier (Downton Abbey), Joe Absolom (Doc Martin), and Amanda Burton (The Commander).
BRENDAN COYLE (John Bates)
- Murdoch Mysteries: A Merry Murdoch Christmas – At a Christmas charity gala for sick children, the host, dressed as Santa Claus, is found with a broken neck and all the presents are stolen. When witnesses report hearing a wild animal near the scene, Crabtree suspects the legendary creature Krampus.
- George Gently (Gently in the Night) – A beautiful young woman turns up brutally murdered on the altar of a Newcastle church. Delving into the victim’s past, Gently uncovers her connection to Rake’s, a swinging gentleman’s club that has become a target for religious protesters.
- Jericho of Scotland Yard – Robert Lindsay (My Family) stars as Chief Inspector Michael Jericho of Scotland Yard, a respected, uncompromising, and forward-thinking detective investigating high-profile murders in 1950s London. Set during a fascinating period of Britain’s social history, the series is more than a whodunnit, offering a peek at the explosion of shifting attitudes after the Second World War.
SOPHIE MCSHERA (Daisy Mason)
- London Kills (S2 E1) – The Dark: Construction workers find the remains of a young man who appears to have been strangled to death more than a year ago, but when his sister is notified, she claims he’s been sending her postcards all the while. The detectives suspect the involvement of the victim’s housemates, who seem to be hiding something.
- Murdoch Mysteries (S12 E1) – Murdoch Mystery Mansion: Murdoch and Julia throw a housewarming party in their new modern home, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. When a rival architect explodes in Murdoch’s custom-designed cooking room, his house becomes a crime scene.
KEVIN DOYLE (Joseph Molesley)
- Midsomer Murders (The Oblong Murders and Ghosts of Christmas Past) – Jones goes undercover to investigate a local new-age cult.
- Poirot: After the Funeral – When Cora Abernethie is murdered the day after her brother’s funeral, Poirot visits Enderby Hall to investigate the remaining family members.
RAQUEL CASSIDY (Baxter)
- Midsomer Murders (The Dark Rider) – As two prominent families plan a reenactment of a Civil War battle between their ancestors, the aristocratic DeQuettevilles are haunted by a headless horseman, rumored to foretell the death of those who see him. Barnaby and Jones delve into historical rivalries and family feuds to expose the phantom rider and end the trail of carnage.
- Poirot (Mrs. McGinty’s Dead) – When a jury convicts James Bentley for the murder of his landlady, even the police superintendent believes they’ve got the wrong man. At the superintendent’s behest, Hercule Poirot begins a search for new evidence.
- Killer Net – A psychology student becomes obsessed with a computer game about planning a murder, but when his ex-girlfriend is killed in real life, he fears it may be more than a game. This chilling miniseries stars Tam Williams (Spectre) and Paul Bettany (The Avengers films).
As bonuses, here are recommendations of series that take place around the Downton Abbey era!:
- Edwardian Country House – An Edwardian country house in Scotland is brought back to life in this real-life Upstairs, Downstairs. For three months, one family will live in the manor while another 12 individuals serve them, an immersive experience in the world of social inequality and class distinctions that defined the period between 1905 and 1914. CC Available.
- Murdoch Mysteries (starts in Victorian era, but eventually makes it to early Edwardian) – In this beloved, award-winning Canadian series, Detective William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) solves turn-of-the-century Toronto’s most intriguing mysteries with the help of Constable Crabtree (Jonny Harris, Still Standing); Dr. Julia Ogden (Helene Joy); and Inspector Brackenreid (Thomas Craig). Season availability varies by region.
- Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (late 1920s) – This stylish and sexy period mystery stars Essie Davis (The Babadook) as Phryne Fisher, a thoroughly modern woman operating in a mostly male world. Set in 1920s Melbourne, the series follows the glamorous lady detective as she goes about her work with a pistol close at hand and, more often than not, a male admirer even closer.
- Witness for the Prosecution (generic 1920s) – An all-star cast including Kim Cattrall, Andrea Riseborough, Toby Jones, and David Haig feature in this acclaimed TV movie based on Agatha Christie’s timeless murder mystery. Set in 1920s London, this sumptuous adaptation was praised for its “period flair” (Variety) and “surprisingly dark and twisty–and satisfying–ending” (Hollywood Reporter).
- Jennie, Lady Randolph Churchill (end of this overlaps with Downton Abbey) – In a luminous performance that won her the Golden Globe® for best actress, Lee Remick (The Omen) stars as the mother of Sir Winston Churchill in this acclaimed British miniseries. Following her through her whirlwind marriage, Winston’s youth, a feud with royalty, exile from England, and her eventual return, this is a captivating portrait of a spirited American woman, with an outstanding cast.
Or try the series referred to as an Australian Downton:
A Place to Call Home – Called an “Instantly irresistible saga…captivatingly filmed, deeply romantic drama of immense intelligence distinguished by a uniformly superb cast” (The Wall Street Journal), this epic story of love, loss, and family ties takes place in 1950s Australia. Gorgeously filmed and masterfully acted, this sweeping drama follows nurse Sarah Adams (the charming Marta Dusseldorp, Janet King, Jack Irish), as she maneuvers among the secrets of the wealthy Bligh family. 6 addictive seasons.
About Acorn TV: Called a “glorious streaming service… an essential must-have” (The Hollywood Reporter) and “Netflix for the Anglophile” (NPR), Acorn TV is North America’s largest streaming service specializing in British and international television from AMC Networks’ privately owned subsidiary RLJ Entertainment. Acorn TV adds exclusive new programs every week with a deep library of mysteries, dramas, and comedies with no set end dates or commercials. Subscribers can stream many of their favorite international series and discover new and classic programs previously unavailable to U.S. audiences. In 2019, Acorn TV features several commissioned series including British crime drama London Kills, fun British mystery Queens of Mystery and the final Series 2 movie of Agatha Raisin; new episodes of fan favorites Line of Duty from Jed Mercurio, British sensation Doc Martin, Welsh sensation Keeping Faith, medical drama The Good Karma Hospital, Paul Abbott’s No Offence, Aussie dramedy The Heart Guy, and Canadian hit Murdoch Mysteries; along with several new series, including British crime drama Manhunt, Lucy Lawless’s My Life is Murder, BBC One Wales family drama Pitching In, New Zealand crime drama Straight Forward and Dutch drama The Oldenheim Twelve; and a growing catalog of popular bingeable dramas A Place to Call Home, Blood, Mystery Road, Detectorists, Jack Irish, George Gently, and Foyle’s War; among much more. Acorn TV is available via Apple TV, Roku, iOS, YouTube TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire, Comcast/Xfinity, Android, among many other devices and offers a free trial and thereafter is just $5.99/month or $59.99/year. Facebook: OfficialAcornTV – Twitter @AcornTV