Pull out your dancing shoes, because Downton Abbey will be entering the Jazz Age.
[Warning: The following contains major spoilers from the past three seasons of Downton Abbey. If you haven't caught up yet, read at your own risk!]
It's been months since fans reeled from that shocking Christmas episode that also rocked the Crawley family, and now they're moving into the 1920s with new babies, suitors and even a musician or two. The story picks up in February 1922, when Downton Abbey is still in deep mourning for the loss of heir Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) from an auto accident.
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"Both the audience and the characters have experienced some passage of time," executive producer Gareth Neame said at PBS' Television Critics Association fall preview on Tuesday.
"You know the trouble with you lot? You're all in love with the wrong people." -- the wisdom of Mrs. Patmore
Not every servant on Downton Abbey can have the fairy tale romance of Bates and Anna (false murder rap and imprisonment aside), and a servant in the 1920s is further constrained by his/her status. For every Gwen (Rose Leslie) who opened up her romantic prospects by becoming a secretary, sadly there's a fallen Ethel (Amy Nuttall) who's forced into prostitution after having an affair with a military man. What's one of the serving class to do but flirt awkwardly with one of their own in hopes of safely pairing off?
While on hiatus from playing Downton Abbey cook Mrs. Patmore, Lesley Nicol performed in a play, voiced a character for the upcoming animated movie Turkeys (with Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson) and shot an episode of ABC's Once Upon a Time, playing a royal attendant to young Snow White's mother, Eva (Rena Sofer). All the while, five...
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When Downton Abbey returns for its second season on Jan. 8, 2012 on PBS, the action will pick up two years after that fated garden party in which the Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) announced that England was at war with Germany.
During Sunday's preview of the hit British series, executive producer Gareth Neame confirmed that the action in the seven-episode second season will take place over two years, just like the first season. "The new series is a similar sort of span," he says. "We start in 1916. The war will come to a conclusion within this series, and the final episodes is the time after the war."