25 July 2014: Spoiler Alert! The Best Twists From Series 5
It’s been seven long months since we last checked in with the inhabitants of Downton Abbey. But the wait is nearly over folks and this week, during a Downton Abbey panel, Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith), Allen Leech (Tom Branson), Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary) and Joanne Froggatt (Anna Bates) took to the stage in Beverly Hills and revealed some of the storylines we can expect from the new series which airs in September and is set in 1924. Read on at your peril...
1. LADY MARY HAS HER BITE BACK
Lady Mary has finally got over the death of her husband Matthew Crawley, and as well as juggling a handful of suitors, is back to her old bitchy boots ways. Michelle Dockery said, ‘I think this year, she’s quite impulsive. She’s embracing her new life, really… She’s got her bite back that we had in Series 1, which I’ve enjoyed playing.’ Poor Edith…
2. ANNA AND MR BATES ARE STILL HAVING PROBLEMS
Sigh. At the end of the last series we saw nasty Mr Green rape Anna. Not long after he was run over by a car, leaving most to believe that her husband Mr Bates had done it. When we meet the couple again it’s still unclear whether the valet was pushed by Mr Bates. Joanne Froggatt, who plays Anna, said, ‘It is the ultimate moral dilemma isn't it? Whether or not Mr Bates did it or not is sort of beside the point. He has a genuine motive that most of us can connect with, and it's sort of a death that you think, “Could that have happened by accident?”’ She added, ‘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.’ Dislike.
3. BRANSON IS BACK ON THE MARKET (#YES)
Hunky former chauffeur Tom Branson was in the early days of a blossoming romance with teacher Sarah Bunting at the end of the last series. But sadly for Tom, whose wife Lady Sybil died in Series 3, it looks like it will fizzle out. Allen Leech said, ‘It would be lovely if it worked but in life nothing ever does. Sarah would like it to be more romantic than Tom would. He's reminded of the person he was and I think that's probably as far as that's going to go. It's more of a mis-match than a love match.’
4. LADY EDITH GETS MARRIED
Ok we’re getting carried away... After a disastrous string of relationships involving being stood up at the altar, and having a baby with a newspaper editor who is now missing, only for the baby to be adopted to save her reputation, Laura Carmichael hopes Edith might finally find love. ‘I hope so,' she said. 'We're all fans and we all have to have faith that it will end happily for her.’ What we will see however, is more of a storyline about the daughter Edith gave up for adoption. ‘In this series, she is more involved in her newspaper career,’ added Laura. ‘As well as that, Julian Fellowes had to tackle the big question of her motherhood and it's still there. What we follow as the audience is very much the story of her and her child.’
5. RICHARD E. GRANT MAKES AN APPEARANCE
Having already popped up in Girls as a cocaine addict, in Series 5 of Downton the legendary Richard E. Grant plays an art historian called Simon Bricker. In a recent interview Richard said, ‘Journalists over the years have said to me, “Are you going to be in Downton? Why aren’t you in Downton?” I didn’t feel like I could email Julian to say, “Oi! Can you please write me a part?” He knows who everyone is. He was an actor. I would imagine if I had done that it might have had the reverse effect. So nothing happened, and I thought, “Ah, well, I’ve missed out on the Harry Potter franchise, and I’ll miss out on the Downton phenomenon”. Then a month ago, I got an email asking if I’d do four episodes, and instead of playing someone downstairs, like I did in Gosford years ago, would I play someone upstairs? I said "yes" fast. But it’s possible someone else turned it down or dropped dead. Who knows?’
Season 5 of Downton Abbey will air this autumn on ITV1. Watch the teaser trailer below...