We may be lightyears away from Season 5 of Downton Abbey, but let's stir the spoiler pot, shall we? This week, some cast members escaped the Dowager Countess' disapproving gaze and served up some TV tea.
Over at E!, writer Lauren Piester spoke with actors Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith), Allen Leech (Tom Branson), Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary) and Joanne Froggatt (Anna) as well as producer Gareth Neame; here are the highlights:
— Next season, airing in the U.S. on January 4, will take place somewhere around 1924.
— Paul Giamatti and Shirley MacLaine aka Mama and Brother America won't return this season, but there's a new character named Lady Anstruther, played by Anna Chancellor, who will be "looking for something" and causing trouble trying to find it. Here's hoping it's the Charleston.
— Lady Mary's finally over her husband Matthew Crawley's death and back to her old mean girl tricks. We'll see if that means she'll give her many suitors a chance or finally become the farm house manager in fine clothing she was always meant to be.
"I think this year, she's quite impulsive," Dockery said. "She's embracing her new life, really. … She's got a bit of her bite back."
— The story arc of Anna's rape by the now-late butler will continue and Bates just might kill someone else, because at this point, who's really counting?
"I think that starting season five, you see her obviously changed by what happened to her. There's a lot of pressure for her and Bates. They're both keeping secrets from each other," Froggatt said. In response to a question about who Bates will murder this season, Neame joked, "All bets are off."
— There may be hints of romance building between Lady Mary and her BROTHER-IN-LAW Tom Branson, widower of the class system-bulldozer Lady Sybil. This does not sound like a good idea at all. If any characters are meant to be together, it's Mrs. Hughes and Carson, the dual heads of the Downton service clan. Lower class folks need love too!
No mention of what shady Thomas is up to or whether O'Brien will return. That is unfortunate because Thomas needs someone to be shady with, it's hard plotting alone in the dark. *holds breath until January 4*
Image via ITV.