WATCH: Does Downton Abbey’s gay butler find romance in new film?

downton abbey movie thomas gay butler Dame Maggie Smith
Photo: Focus Features

Downton Abbey’s same sex attracted butler Thomas Barrow seems to have found love, or at least an assignation. The Downton Abbey movie starring Dame Maggie Smith arrives in cinemas in September.

In the film trailer which aired for the first time on Australian screens yesterday we see Thomas and another man in close embrace.

I wonder if they will make it into bed or will they have sex in the pantry?

Thomas started at Downton as a footman, previously involved with the Duke of Crowborough. That relationship ended in tears.

Thomas is played by Rob James-Collier. In the past James-Collier expressed frustration at typecasting holding back his career.

The portrayal of Thomas during much of the Downton Abbey television series didn’t help.

As the most unattractive character of all the folk residing at Downton Abbey, Thomas was snide, devious, and partial to petty blackmail.

Thomas Barrow justifies his unattractive personality by whinging about his lot. However, towards the end of the series his inner demons surface and we begin to feel more sympathy for him.

His near death as he undergoes a crank ‘cure’ and then a suicide attempt gradually evinced some sympathy from this loyal viewer.

The plot for the movie centres around a visit to Downton Abbey in 1927 by the King and Queen.

The Royal staff attempt to supplant our by now much-loved Downton retainer.

Who will win?

The seriousness of the battle ahead is telegraphed by the return of the previous butler, the imperious, fuddy-duddy Carson.

Dame Maggie Smith

Undoubtedly Dame Maggie Smith will get all the best lines.

Her turn as the Dowager Duchess of Downton Abbey has one suspecting she is herself blackmailing the show’s well-gay creator Julian Fellowes.

It appears he dare not give another actor a single line anywhere near the calibre of those gifted the redoubtable dame.

Nevertheless, her delivery is impeccable. Therefore, we will accept a little blackmail from the grand old dame of stage, screen and television.

Loyal queens and royalists everywhere will no doubt line up at the cinema’s from September 20 this year for the movie. Who can resist seeing how the Crawley family adapt to the fast-changing world just prior to World War II.

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Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at

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