Apologies to those in other territories around the world but here in Britain, Downton fever has started ramping up. This weekend finally saw the release of the trailer for series four and it’s living up to the promise on the strength of this montage. As we’d expect, there are tears, kisses, a fair-but-stern line from Violet, the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) and gorgeous dresses. But there’s also a generous sprinkling of new characters – of whom perhaps one or two may be potential new suitors for Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) and, as we head further into the racy 1920s, there’s a loosening of the stays with jazz and the naughty Lady Rose getting a starring role.
So, I’m excited. When the show kicks off proper, I’ll be live-tweeting during the episodes to explain historical elements or just point and laugh at any characters I recognise as having taken inspiration from the Fellowes family. The series will begin six months after Matthew’s death, near the end of 1922, and beyond that I cannot say any more. But rest assured, as soon as I can – I will! Discussions of the characters, storylines and historical context will be found here and on Twitter. I’m also doing some more talks in London and the US – see the Calendar for more details. And in the meantime, you might like to pop along to Bampton, the real-life Oxfordshire village that serves as the location for Downton – I’ve just opened an exhibition there showing some of the costumes from the show, which is on for a month. See more here: West Ox Arts.
For a Downton fix now, you can watch the trailer HERE.