After receiving 16 Primetime Emmy Nominations last week, Downtown Abbey’s creator, Julian Fellowes along with members of his cast, addressed the Television Critics Association Panel at the summer press tour last night, and in doing so EW.com got some interesting scoops for the series upcoming season three, which will debut here in the U.S. on January 6th.
Besides the fantastic addition of Shirley MacLaine to the cast for several episodes as Cora’s American mother; here are a few things to expect in the new season below!
Season 3 will span about two years at the start of the 1920s. Fellowes explained that it’s about the recovery from the war — specifically “the impact on this family of the Irish troubles, for instance. That really started up after the end of the First World War, and actually, at the time, was much more the headline than the suffragettes or the other things. The Irish problem seemed to be a kind of yawning difficulty for the British empire and everything. But, you know, again I don’t think a lot of people know about that. It’s rather nice to go into that.”
The happiness we saw at the end of season 2 will be short-lived: Major financial woes will stress out the Earl of Grantham and his family, while Mary (Michelle Dockery) and Matthew (Dan Stevens) endure a heated argument in the midst of their wedding planning in which she accuses him of disloyalty to the family.
John Bates, the Crawleys’ loyal servant convicted last season of murdering his wife, is still in jail in season 3. At the end of the panel, actor Hugh Bonneville revealed a t-shirt under his dressier outfit: “FREE BATES.”
There’s a newcomer in downstairs-land: the handsome Alfred!
So what are you looking forward to most when Downton Abbey returns this winter? And, what do you think of its chances to pick up an Emmy for Best Drama Series? Let us know!