With the fourth series of ITV's juggernaut , Downton Abbey already a month into filming, a lot of interesting information has leaked. Here are the highlights. Needless to say, there are spoilers looming folks.
ITV have released a first picture of Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) and baby George. It seems that the opening episode of the fourth series will take place six months after the events of the 2012 Christmas special as Mary comes to terms with both Matthew's death and motherhood.
Elsewhere many a guest star has been revealed for the new series. Former Hotel Babylon actor, Nigel Harman has been cast as a visiting valet named Green while Dame Kiri Te Kanawa who will play a visiting musician. Law And Order: UK's Harriet Jones will be playing Lady Shackleton, an old friend of the Dowager (Maggie Smith) while Tom Cullen will be playing Lord Gillingham, a character with a history with Lady Mary and Joanna David will appear as the Duchess of Yeovil and Julian Ovenden will take the role of Charles Blake, a visiting aristocrat in Yorkshire.
Of course, a returning character from last series will be Shirley MacLaine's Martha Levinson but it is not confirmed for how many episodes she'll be in. I have to admit, I wasn't too keen on the character last series but her return could be pretty interesting. Another interesting storyline due to air in the fourth series is apparently the arrival of the show's first black character. While this show sometimes has the subtlety of a sledgehammer, I really am intrigued to see if the show can tackle a race related storyline, which seems to be what this storyline could be about.
Last but not least, it seems that Siobhan Finneran has quit the series as dour lady's maid, Mrs O'Brien. The character will not be appearing in the fourth series at all, though her exit will hopefully be explained onscreen. I'm not the biggest of O'Brien fans but here's hoping it's a decent explanation.
Press Releases: http://www.radiotimes.com/downton?ref=Article.TagBottom
Downton Abbey's fourth series will air on ITV in September.