Tuesday, November 27, 2012

More DOWNTON ABBEY on the Way!

As we here in the States eagerly await the arrival of Downton Abbey, Season 3, the Brits (who've already seen all of that one except the special Christmas episode) are celebrating the news that there will be a Season 4.

The newest news is that filming for Season 4 will begin at Highclere Castle and London's Ealing Studios in February, with eight episodes, plus another Christmas episode, set to be broadcast on Britain's ITV later in 2013. No word yet on when exactly these episodes will be set, although it sounds as if we'll still be in the early 1920s.

Laura Mackie, Director of Drama at ITV, gave these hints in the official announcement: "Viewers can look forward to more drama, comedy, love, hatred, jealousy, rivalry, ambition, despair and romance," Mackie said. "We’re thrilled to welcome back a drama series that has become a much anticipated part of all our lives every autumn and achieved success around the globe."

Meanwhile, Season 3, which takes the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants from Spring 1920, when Lady Mary and Matthew are finally planning their wedding and Bates the valet is still languishing in jail, through the following Christmas. Expect more drama from evil servants O'Brien and Thomas, even though they're now foes instead of co-conspirators, family complications for all the Crawley women, and more turmoil over that bloody inheritance involving the Earl of Grantham and Matthew, the heir apparent.

Will true blue Anna find evidence to exonerate Bates? Will Daisy ever be anything but a scullery maid? Will Mary and Matthew fall into wedded bliss? Will Edith find a love of her own? What about Sybil, pregnant and married to the Crawley's former chauffeur? And how will Cora's free-spirited American mother, played by Shirley MacLaine, factor into all of this?

The show's British fans already know the answers to those questions, but Americans will have to wait till January 6 to find out. PBS will air Season 3's episodes over seven Sundays, with a marathon of Season 2 episodes starting December 2nd at 8 pm to ramp up to the new ones.

Urbana's WILL adds a Sneak Preview of the first episode of Season 3 at I Hotel on December 18, with Krannert Center costumers and dessert to sweeten the evening.

If you want to see videos and pictures and interviews to whet your Downton appetite, check out PBS's main Masterpiece site. There are good teasers out there on iTunes, but stay away from the Downton Abbey Facebook page unless you want to be spoiled!

1 comment:

  1. Here's a genuine question, because we anglophiles love to nitpick this stuff....

    Would it be correct to call Matthew the heir-presumptive? It's conceivable that the Earl could still father a son (if he was widowed and then remarried), who would then get in ahead of Matthew. Is that a correct use of the term?

    (This of course ignores the whole question of whether one of the drowned heirs is alive after all.)