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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Are you missing 'Downton Abbey,' too?

Lady Mary in season four with Downton's yet-unnamed heir.

It's been exactly two weeks since the season three finale of "Downton Abbey" here in the U.S., and I'm still in upstairs/downstairs withdrawal. Thankfully, news of season four has leaked allowing those of us with a Dowager Countess jones-ing to get a fix.

What we know:
 
- Season four will open six months after Matthew's death with the Crawleys getting on with things, stiff upper lips and all that.


- Siobhan Finneran (the unfortunately be-banged O'Brien) will not be returning. This was foreshadowed with O'Brien, desirous of a change of scenery, all but throwing herself at Shrimpy's wife with tressing services when hearing of their posting to India. O'Brien is said to "disappear mysteriously."
 
- Several new characters will be introduced, including...

 
1. Lord Gillingham, an old family friend of the Crawleys, played by Tom Cullen. YUM! He is set to help Lady Mary cast off her widow black.
 
 
2. Lady Shackleton, an old school friend of the Dowager Countess, played by Dame Harriet Walter. "[T]he character is said to be a 'force to be reckoned with' who can 'hold her own' against the Countess’s barbed wit." Delicious.
 
 
3. The Duchess of Yeovil, played by Joanna David. There is no other info on this character.
 
 
4. Charles Blake, an aristocrat, played by Julian Ovenden. Another suitor for Lady Mary or will preternaturally sadsack Edith be thrown a very handsome bone?
 
 
5. Green, a valet played by Nigel Harman. Wasn't Downton overrun with valets in season three's finale?
 
 
6. A house guest who sings at a party to cheer Lady Mary up will be played by Kiwi opera star Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. Random!

7. The as yet uncast character of Jack Ross, described as "a singer in an exclusive club," will be "Downton Abbey's" first black character.
 
 
- And last, but certainly not least, Shirley MacLaine will return in season four's finale as Lady Cora's very American and very overbearing mother, Martha Levinson! Dumplings, why would Mrs. Levinson return? A marriage? A death? To bail out the Crawleys after Lord Robert, unable to resist shady overseas investments, becomes involved in the Teapot Dome scandal? 
 

12 comments:

My Crafty Home Life said...

I had to leave a comment on this one, to test our "blog-ship" {aka, friend you never met}. I have never seen any of the episodes. I have no idea when I will find the time to catch myself up on any of this. So...shocker...I don't get it?

Raina Cox said...

My Crafty Home Life - If you're laid up with the flu or some other ick for a week, I highly recommend watching it. You can get all of the episodes at PBS.com.

Lekalia Interiors said...

Thanks for the update! Can't wait for the next season! Bummed to hear that scheming O'Brien will be gone! She's such a sh*#-disturber!

Interior Design Musings said...

I'm in complete and total withdrawals! I've resorted to watching pride and prejudice over and over for a small fix. OK, you did not mention Rose (the young fresh cousin who will be living with them), I'm predicting she will hook up (I know that phrase does not go with this show, but you know what I mean) with Tom in the next season. Also, if they kill off the grandmother, I'll die. She by far has the best lines - total zingers!! M.

mistress maddie said...

And I thought I was the only one needing smelling salts from with drawls! I just saw all this cast news yesterday. I'm thinking this Mistress needs to meet Lord Gillingham, right quick!!! And I sure hope Burrows gets some lovin' this season, otherwise he is likely to hump everything with a leg. Just saw Quartet, so that helped some of the withdrals.

Raina Cox said...

Lekalia Interiors - I didn't mind O'Brien because she was never boring. And that hair! Fascinating.

Interior Design Musings - You're right! Rose will now be residing at DA. I wonder if the valet Green was brought on for her pleasure.

mistress maddie - I don't know of Quartet. Off to investigate...

gmjl said...

I'm not missing our local PBS channel trying to get viewers to donate after every episode...the season finale had a 25 minutes begathon afterwards.

Raina Cox said...

gmjl - Agreed. Go ask Ralph Lauren to pony up more for his non-advertisement advertisement at the beginning of each episode.

Robin said...

I am looking forward to the devilish Jeremy Piven in Mr. Selfridge starting in a couple weeks to fill my need for British costume drama.

I will miss O'Brien and her bangs. It will be hard to find someone to love to hate so much.

wellfedfred said...

Do track down Quartet, oh, do.

Marzz said...

Only time will tell, but I may have broken up with Downton when Matthew Crawley died. Not so much because I loved Dan Stevens, but I'm so tired of Julian Fellowes' nearly predictable writing. A baby is born, and so another parent (Sybil, Matthew) dies tragically because the actor wanted out of the show. Ugh!

The Down East Dilettante said...

I'm deep in research for the book, so I'm eating, drinking, and sleeping the Downton Abbey world, as I research the summer homes of the Pulitzers, Stotesburys, Rockefellers and Morgans, with their 20 room servants wings, scullerys, butler's pantries, servant's halls, etc etc etc...

I may actually overdose.