Played by Rob James-Collier
Qualities: ambitious, scheming, untrustworthy, revengeful, flirtatious
Thomas Barrow has been a dark and enigmatic presence at Downton for 10 years, working his way up from first footman to head valet. His background is murky and his motives constantly questionable. Often found with O’Brien in the hallway or outside in the yard, hatching a vengeful plan or picking apart another’s actions, Thomas is driven and ambitious, wearing it on his well-pressed sleeve and craftily trying to remove anyone in his insidious path.
Thomas’ calling card is carefully executed blackmail and subterfuge but, the tables have been turned on him a few times as well. Stolen household items and rumours started to undermine others have often circled back to haunt Thomas and he escapes mounting troubles by becoming a medic during the war. It’s a calculated move that sees him eventually running Downton during its time as a convalescent home but, his superior position doesn’t last long.
He may seem impervious, but Thomas does have a weakness for dashing, handsome men and it’s threatened to expose him before. In Season 3, a new attraction tested his evil bond with co-conspirator O’Brien and nearly led to his undoing. However, he emerged from the fire relatively unscathed, and in a more powerful position than he could’ve hoped for. Will his new position offer even more opportunity for Thomas to cause grief, or will his recent scrapes have him toeing the line?
THOMAS: “I don’t want to give away all my secrets.”