Downton Abbey Season Four Spoilers - What we know so far
*Update: Edna, the maid who made a play for Tom Branson after Sybil died and was dismissed by Mrs Hughes is returning for season 4. She is played by actress MyAnna Buring.
*Update: We've learned of a new female downstairs character named "Baxter" played by Raquel Cassidy. Could she be the new ladies maid for Lady Cora replacing O'Brien? See a new photo of her and Nigel Harman who plays new valet Mr Green and some other downstairs cast here.
*Update: First set photos of Allen Leech (Tom Branson) and Daisy Lewis. Daisy is rumored to be playing the new governess or possibly a nanny. We still haven't heard her character's name.
*Update: British actor James Fox has been added to the cast. See set photos of him here. Reports are that he is playing Sir John Bullock who is a bit of a cad. No official word on his role yet.
*Update: First set photos of Paul Giamatti in costume as Harold Levinson.
*Update: New Photos of Tom Branson, little Sybil, Lady Mary & son George!
*Update: The Downton Abbey Christmas Special director, Jon East, has been tweeting quite a bit about the show and how the Christmas special his coming along. He even tweeted to DAA saying the Christmas Special script is dazzling! Check out his tweets here.
*Update: There will be a beach scene! The Downton cast & crew were seen filming at West Wittering Beach. Click here for more info & photos.
*Update: The first set photos of new character American Jazz singer Jack Ross and Lady Rose have surfaced.
*Update: Here is a new photo that shows several Downton Abbey cast member in costume posing in front of Highclere with Colonel Alastair Bruce who has worked as Historical Advisor to Downton Abbey since the series began in 2000.
*Update: Brendan Coyle says expect to see a "darker and a more determined" Mr Bates in season 4. He also says, all his hopes for Mr Bates have been "met or exceeded" in Downton Abbey season 4.
*Update: Paul Giamatti has been cast as Harold Levinson, Cora Crawley's (Elizabeth McGovern) maverick, playboy brother. He will appear in the season 4 finale, 'The Christmas Special' in the UK, along with Martha Levinson (Shirley MacLaine). Downton Abbey executive producer Gareth Neame talks about the choice to cast Giamatti here.
*Update: Click here for new set photos from 6/24/13.
We know that filming for season 4 of Downton Abbey is underway, it began the middle of February.
We have seen some amazing Downton Abbey season 4 set photos! Including the headstones of Matthew and Sybil. Click here for tons more S4 set photos.
Season 4 will begin 6 months after Matthew Crawley's funeral. We will see Mary, his young widow, struggling to come to terms with bringing up their baby son named, George, as friends and family rally to lift her spirits. The season will focus on Lady Mary’s struggle and her “difficult” relationship with her baby.
Laura Carmichael, Lady Edith, reported that "everyone is feeling a little blue" in the beginning of season 4, no doubt still coming to terms with Matthews death.
|First still of Lady Mary holding her infant son. *sigh* Credit: Nick Briggs/Carnival Films|
Some New Characters Will Be Arriving:
Handsome young Aristocrat, Lord Anthony Gillingham, will be played by Tom Cullen, 27. Tom was named most promising newcomer at the British Independent Film Awards in 2011. Lord Gillingham, a dashing aristocrat, is an old family friend who could help cheer up Lady Mary. He will make his debut at a party thrown by the Crawley family to help lift Lady Mary's spirit. He helps Lady Mary by giving her useful advice on handling the Downton estate and the issue of death duties.
Charles Blake, another young and handsome aristocrat we will see in season 4, will be played by the talented Julian Ovenden. This guy can sing! No word if he will be doing any at Downton but he has a great voice. Charles Blake appears with Evelyn Napier to offer economic advice on how to help the estate run more efficiently. Lady Mary takes an instant dislike to him.
Producers have hinted that one of these two will attempt to mend Lady Mary’s broken heart. It was previously reported that Lord Anthony Gillingham would be the suitor but maybe not, maybe it's Charles Blake. We will just have to tune in to season 4 to find out!
Jack Ross: Actor Gary Carr will be playing Downton Abbey's first black character Jack Ross, a charming and charismatic young jazz singer. Julian Fellowes said Jack Ross has a "fairly major" storyline and is a very successful and positive character.
Evelyn Napier will be visiting Downton again! Played by Brendan Patricks, he appears with Charles Blake. Hmmm...could we be in for another Pamuk incident? J/K!
New Zealand opera singer, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, has been cast as the only real life character, Australian soprano Dame Nellie Melba. She will sing at the party thrown to cheer up Lady Mary. This is a guest role.
|Kiri Te Kanawa|
Lady Shackleton: An old school friend of the Dowager Countess, played by Dame Harriet Walter. The character is said to be a “force to be reckoned with” who can “hold her own” against the Countess’s barbed wit.:
Dame Harriet Walter
Duchess of Yeovil: This will be a guest role played by actress Joanna David.
Green: Lord Anthony Gillingham's "charismatic" valet, played by former EastEnders actor Nigel Harman:
Martha Levinson: Shirley MacLaine made her Downton debut as in season 3 as Cora's mother and she will be returning for Season 4.
The Nanny: With Tom & Mary both being single parents Downton is in need of a nanny. Producers have said there will be one. No word on who will be playing this character.
Sir John Bullock: According to reports, the casting notes said there would be a new character with this name but no word yet on an actor. He is a party loving character who is a bit of a cad.
That is what we know about new characters in Downton Abbey season 4 so far.
Other Character News:
|Siobhan Finneran - Miss O'Brien|
It has been confirmed that Siobhan Finneran, the scheming Miss O'Brien, will not be returning for season 4. Miss O'Brien will disappear mysteriously.
How shocked are you about this?
Even though there were some mild hints in the season 3 finale that something might be happening, like maybe she would take a job as ladies' maid with Shrimpy's wife, Susan, or let alone the look on her face when Bates wispered "her ladyships soap" to her, I am still shocked that she isn't returning,
Amy Nuttall, who plays Ethel Parks, the housemaid turned prostitute turned back to housemaid also let it be known via her twitter, that she "is not in" Downton Abbey season 4 either.
There are season 4 set photos of Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) running around with her editor Michael Gregson (Charles Edwards). What do you think is in store for these two in the next season?
What’s next for Anna & Bates?
(Photos from the set of season 4)
Now that Bates (Brendan Coyle) 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!"
What will season 4 bring to Tom Branson after the death of Lady Sybil?
According to Allen Leech, some exciting things are in store for Tom toward the middle of the season. He also hinted at some canoodling between his character and the new nanny.
Lady Rose played by Lily James, is moving in with The Crawley's full time in season four.
|Season 4 set photo: Lady Rose (Lily James)|
Will Rose keep on with her wild ways? Who will be her love interest?
We don't know much about Thomas's story line for season 4 but we do know that Miss O'Brien has departed the show and that Thomas will be searching for a new partner in crime. On Thomas's love life, Rob James-Collier said don't be looking for him to get lucky in the love department as it was forbidden at the time. Also, Rob will be wearing a wig on the show for season 4 as he shaved his hair for a role where he plays a psychopathic drug dealer. Rob says it's the "king of wigs" and cost about £4000.
Finally, according to Julian Fellowes, season 4 will not be a continuation of death like we saw in season 3. He said that we don't "want it turning into 'Midsomer Murders,' where they live in the same village and 450 people get murdered,"
Downton Abbey season 4 will air September 2013 on ITV in the UK and January 5, 2014 in the US on PBS.
What would you like to see happen in season 4? Thoughts?
I would like to hear more about Allen Leech's character Tom Branson and I'm dying for some set photos of him!
Click here for our previous report on what we knew about Downton Abbey Season 4 - Part 1.