***Update: Since this post we have done a major update on what is going on in Downton Abbey Season 4. Click here to check out the very latest news!
What Do We Know About Downton Abbey Season 4?
Downton Abbey is adding its first black character.
The character is called Jack Ross. He is black, good looking, charming, 25 - 30 year old musician/singer at an exclusive club in the 20s.
Another new character is a party-loving cad called Sir John Bullock who “must be able to act drunk”.
There will also be a nanny added since both Tom and Mary have been left as single parents. *sad face*
Series creator, Julian Fellowes, told TV Guide that "there is a lovely nursery story" in season 4.
Does anyone else think that there might be some Nanny & Tom action? I try not to think about it but I just can't help it, I mean after all they already had the new maid, Edna, trying to get her hooks into him in the Christmas episode.
With the exit of Dan Stevens (boo hoo!) at the end of series three, there will be a potential suitor for Mary.
TV Line reports, "the show is looking for a (naturally!) handsome thirtysomething actor to come courting as Lord Anthony Gillingham."
Executive Producer, Gareth Neame, said “In any relationship drama, the will-they-or-won’t-they is always more interesting than married couples. So actually what we’ve been able to do is reset [Lady Mary]. She has to start again, and that will be much more interesting.”
I don't know how I feel about this. While no one expects Mary to pine away forever for Matthew, I don't want her running to the first man that comes along either. She needs some time to grieve. Who knows how this new relationship will come across on screen. I guess we just have to hope for the best & trust Julian Fellowes to deliver something the viewers will be accepting of.
Just a word about Dan Stevens departure....Dan Stevens wanted to pursue other interests, that is why there is no more Matthew on Downton Abbey. He was signed for 3 years of Downton and when those 3 years were up he wanted out. He would not renew his contract or even agree to appear in 1 episode in season 4. Dan discusses why he left here & Julian Fellowes talks about it here.
I felt so invested in Matthew but
We know that there will be a time jump in season 4, Julian Fellowes has confirmed it. He said in this recent New York Times interview, season 4 will begin 6 months after Matthews death, "we begin Series 4 six months later. We don’t have to do funerals and all that stuff. That’s all in the past by then."
Thanks to Julian Fellowes interview with Digital Spy we also know that Lady Mary will be the dominant focus of Season 4 and that Shirley MacLaine's character, Martha Levinson, might make an appearance again.
What’s next for Anna & Bates?
Now that Bates is free, Joanne Froggatt (Anna) teased at least a little bit of good news for the couple in a PBS live online chat she did with viewers. "You certainly see Anna and Bates in times of happiness, which I think was well needed," Although she added that, of course, there will also be drama. "I'm afraid I can't say much but I don't think you'll be disappointed. As an actress you always want to play the drama."
"We have just had the read-through for Series 4 today and I am thrilled with the whole thing, including Anna and Bates's story," Joanne continued. "I obviously can't say more than that but I think it may be the best yet and there are certainly aspects of Anna's character that have never been seen before ... I think these scripts are the best yet. [Julian Fellowes] has done such an incredible job. "
Also, she said, Anna is getting a new look! "I get a slightly new hairstyle, very exciting!"
Season 4 will not be a continuation of death like we saw in season 3. Fellowes said that we don't "want it turning into 'Midsomer Murders,' where they live in the same village and 450 people get murdered," I hope so!!! Please keep all our favorite characters alive!!!
Filming for season 4 is currently underway.
Downton Abbey will air in the Fall 2013 on ITV in the UK and in January 2014 in the US on PBS.
What would you like to see happen in season 4? Thoughts?