For all the things international smash “Downton Abbey” has working in its favor, the one thing that drives American viewers nuts is that the show airs in its entirety across the pond before it airs stateside. However just because the UK gets first crack at the new episodes it doesn’t mean American audiences can’t torment themselves a little bit by checking out season 4’s first trailer which just posted online today and gives US fans a taste about what’s to come for them in 2014.
When viewers last left the Crawleys (spoiler alert), they had just celebrated the birth of Matthew and Mary’s first child, yet were blissfully unaware that Matthew en route to returning to Downton was killed in a car accident. It was a move that sent shock waves through two cultures, albeit a few months apart.
Dan Stevens, who played Matthew, was ready to move onto other projects and his exit from the series proved to be an emotional gut punch that will reverberate through the new season. Today’s trailer opens with Lady Mary still grieving for her husband and being consoled by (the amazingly talented) Dame Maggie Smith who plays her grandmother Violet, the Dowager Countess of Grantham. It’s a gripping snippet of a scene that reminds fans why they love this series.
The new footage then dives into a montage of all the core characters including a few new ones which will include the series’ first African-American series regulars. Set around the time of the “Roaring 20’s,” the season will expose the Downton crew to many new people from across all social classes and also (of course) introduce a number of new possible suitors for Lady Mary, who has reverted back to her “ice queen” persona that was so prevalent in the first two seasons.
Again, it’s really just a teaser trailer, but one that fans in the US and UK have been waiting for! You can check out the new footage at the top of the page.
“Downton Abbey” returns on ITV in the UK on September 15th and here in the US on PBS on January 5th.