Downton Abbey Season 4 Scoop: Romance for Mary and Tom? Lasting Love for Edith? Shake-Up for [Spoiler]? Plus -- Is Season 5 the End?

Downton Abbey Season 5 End Date FinaleWill Downton Abbey soon close its doors? Will Mary’s broken heart mend? And will Edith finally find love?

The cast and executive producers of the hit PBS drama gathered at the Television Critics Assoc. press tour in Beverly Hills on Tuesday night to unveil the first footage from Season 4, debuting Jan. 5. They also offered up some juicy teasers about what’s in store for Lady Mary, Edith, Daisy and the rest of the residents of the famous estate.

RELATED | Michelle Dockery on Dan Stevens Leaving Downton Abbey and Mary’s Future

A LOOK AHEAD | A sneak peek at the new season featured an emotionally distraught Mary throwing down her napkin at dinner and remarking that after everything Matthew went through in the war, it’s a cruel twist of fate that he would perish in a car accident. Seeing how much pain her granddaughter is in, the Dowager Countess tells Mary, “You must choose either death or life.” The matriarch also takes it upon herself to find a purpose for Mary: She enlists Tom to instruct the widowed mom in the running of the estate since she or her son own half of Downton. Also spotted in the clip package: Edith glams up to have dinner with her editor at a posh London restaurant; Rose tries to recruit Anna as her chaperon so she can attend an event; and everyone is atwitter over Valentine’s Day.

WORKING GIRL | Edith isn’t just flirting with her editor. “She is still involved with the paper [as a journalist], and it is a lot more complicated than that,” said her portrayer Laura Carmichael, who thinks of her character as “the Carrie Bradshaw of the ’20s.” “The death of Matthew really affects the whole family,” she continued. “So when we start, she hasn’t seen Michael Gregson for some time because the family’s been in mourning. … Their relationship is interesting and different to any of the others.” Executive producer Gareth Neame added that it is a “very different season” for Edith, full of “very active stories.”

MENDING HEARTS | “There are a number of new characters,” teased Neame. “There’s certainly some eligible bachelors.” As Michelle Dockery hinted to TVLine, “It’s important for [Mary] to eventually move on, so [Tom Cullen's character] is a potential love interest.” One person who won’t be wooing Mary is Branson. “We’re aware that there is suspicions about Tom and Mary’s relationship,” said the actress. “They are very much friends. He is her brother-in-law still. They become close because of what they’ve both been through. But romantically, I don’t think it’s going anywhere.”

RELATED | Downton Abbey Season 4 Casts Paul Giamatti as Cora’s Brother

MOTHER AND SON | “[Mary]  was never going to be a very maternal mother,” admitted Dockery. “But also, she’s within the aristocracy. They didn’t see their kids very much. You don’t see much interaction between the baby and Mary. To begin with, it’s hard to bond with the baby because she’s going through the grief, and she looks at him and sees Matthew. It’s a slow process with motherhood.”

SERVANT ROMANCE | Mrs. Hughes and Carson won’t give in to their feelings just yet. “We still have a very nice working relationship,” shared Phyllis Logan. “We still have spats. We occasionally get to drink a glass of sherry.” Meanwhile, Daisy is “still in that bratty teenage stage with Ivy,” who’s attracting a lot of male attention, said Sophie McShera.

LOVE TO HATE | “It’s going to be a complex world for [Thomas] going forward,” previewed Neame. “[With O'Brien gone], there’s going to be a shake-up to what happens to his story.”

TO THE FUTURE | “What’s wonderful about the show is it’s opened doors for all of us,” said Dockery. “So many of the cast are doing things in between [seasons]… As far as we know, we’re all doing Season 5 next year. Beyond that, we really don’t know. As long as the core cast remains…” Neame chimed in that the series won’t be going off the air “anytime soon” thanks to its global appeal. “The show is so popular around the world now,” he said. “It’s beloved, and it’s in fine form. … The fourth season is in extremely good health. I think the show has got a lot further to go. If people around the world love the show, we want to make it.”

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27 Comments
  1. Shame to get all pumped up for a new season..to only get 12/13 episodes..Hardly seems worth it

    • Shazzer says:

      12-13 episodes is the standard these days. I love the show and am happy to have it at all. You could always just wait till the series ends and watch them all at once I guess if the 12-13 eps aren’t enough for you.

    • Dick Whitman says:

      Except we don’t get that many. We’ll be lucky if we get 8 + the christmas special.

    • Esaul says:

      For a show that does well without relying on NIelsen Ratings, I think it is worth it. Plus, I’m sure there are a lot of people who watch several other shows in between show breaks. I know I have quite a few to hold me over.

    • Natalie says:

      you do realise that most British TV dramas tend to only be on average 6-8 episodes long I can’t see them changing the amount of episodes they film just to suit the Amercian audiences!!

      • david rivers says:

        Well, they should. the only reason I came to this forum is to find out why episode 8 is the “season finale” – what???? I thought 8 episodes was a mini-series, not a full season in a multi-year program. BTW – don’t bash American ideals – I can’t imagine how much American eyes are paying for the DA rights, as I know PBS is raking it in. 8 episodes makes me feel a little cheated, and it is woefully too short. I’d rather see shorter weekly episodes then only 8. So now I have to wait 46 more weeks to see season 5?

    • Tinemi says:

      Actually I like the british sistem (that now we see in cable tv) with shorter seasons. They are easier to watch, the stories are not dragged so much (with some exceptions) and if I want to binge-watch it wont eat a whole weekend, maybe just a full day.

    • Bob says:

      With a British show, you’re lucky to get 12-13 episodes. Many series (seasons) are only 6 episodes, sometimes only every other year. The BBC is fully funded by taxpayer money, unlike PBS in the U.S., which is only partially funded. They took a huge hit in the Great Recession, forcing the cancellation of several shows or greatly reduced numbers of episodes.

      • H says:

        Downtown is produced by ITV not the BBC and is therefore funded by adverts not by our TV licence. The BBC is not funded through tax it’s payed for by only those who own a colour TV who pay a annual fee. This fee has remained the same throughout the recession and as far as I know has not resulted in the cancellation of any shows.

    • dee123 says:

      That been the U.K norm for DECADES. Suck it up.

  2. BL says:

    That’s too bad about Tom Branson and Lady Mary (not being romantic). There are promo pictures floating around the internet with Mary, Tom and the two kids and it is the sweetest thing. Now that Mary has Downton, is it really so important that she find a man? From what I remember of season 1, she was only desperate to land a man to secure a fortune and with that no longer being an issue, I don’t see why we need to spend season 3 seeing Mary date.

  3. Monica4185 says:

    I’m glad Edith is getting an active storyline can’t wait. I’m glad they’re showing us how the aristocracy raised their children with Mary and the baby.

  4. Ella says:

    “the Carrie Bradshaw of the ’20s.” – Hahahahahahahahaha!!! Edith wishes.

  5. dani n. says:

    One of my favorite actors who portrayed Dennis on Eastenders is in this season. Can’t wait to see what& how he does!

    • Marie K says:

      I hadn’t heard that Harman was going to Downton…..Yippee! One more reason to look forwardt o the next season. Thanks!

  6. B.Sidney says:

    disapointed about Mary and Branson , I thought they we’re going with them.

  7. Autumn says:

    Oh, I’m so glad that there are no plans for a romance between Mary and Branson. I would not have liked that at all.

    • bonnieux says:

      Oh, no, please say it isn’t so. Tom and Mary! No why.
      As we know he is of the lower class….just knowing that won’t work for me.

  8. Robin says:

    The strangest thing just happened…reading that they were not going to pursue a Mary and Tom (Branson) romantic storyline I felt kind of upset. Which I found extremely odd since I am still very hurt and upset by Sybil’s death. Sybill and Tom were my very favorite on the whole show! And when I saw the promo photo of Mary and Tom holding their children…and next to each other – I was like “oh they best not be thinking of going there!” But now that I’ve read that it isn’t happening, and read what will happen…with Tom showing her how to manage the estate and all – I really am kind of disappointed they aren’t going there.

  9. GiGi says:

    Is that the cute actor that plays Andrew Foyle I saw in the season 4 teaser??!!

  10. Downton is one of the few quality television shows worth offering. While the American networks offer one graphic crime series after another and mindless comedies, Downton proves that there is an audience for well-written drama

  11. I love Downton Abbey and I hope they continue with many more seasons!

    • Eileen says:

      I agree! I love Downton Abbey and want it to continue past Series 5. The Writer for the show is brilliant and I enjoy every series. I definitely do not want Mary and Tom to be an item!!!!

  12. Isabella says:

    Tom and Mary, perfect love…. I want…. I Hope…I´m Brazilian and big fan Downton Abbey! I hope this romance happen between Mary and Tom .. but I think it is only in the 5th season, there must be disagreements, perhaps get together only at the end, like a happy ending to the series.

  13. Sherlene Ottinger says:

    I Love Downton Abby !!! and I’m glad Tom and Mary aren’t getting together !!!!

  14. S Rafalowski says:

    I’m so upset that they killed off Matthew. Why, why, why! They have ruined the show for me. I was looking forward to seeing Matthew and Mary grow old together. So mad!