For those of you who have been waiting (and have been wringing your hands avoiding spoilers on the internets), Downton Abbey finally returns tonight to PBS (9/8 CT) for the launch of Season Five. Among the guest stars we can look forward to this season are Harriet Walter (“Atonement”), reprising her role as Lady Shackleton, and Peter Egan (“Death at a Funeral”), who returns as Lord Flintshire, together with completely new characters played by Richard E. Grant (“Girls”), Anna Chancellor (“The Hour”), and Rade Sherbedgia (“24”).
Meanwhile (*WARNING: TEASERS*), tonight’s season premiere picks up where we left off at the end of Season Four. It is now 1924, and Lady Mary is still running a step or two ahead of her passel of suitors (who are all so blinded by love, it seems each vow to never ever give up). It is refreshing that she seems to have regained her spine and intellect after losing Matthew, and seem to be in no rush to tie herself down. Lady Edith’s child is now a toddler, being raised by the tenant farmer and his family. Her frequent visits and lavish attentions on the little girl are starting to raise the eyebrows of his wife, however. Daisy, thank goodness, seems to be still bent on bettering herself (good for her!), whereas Thomas is still (yawn) hissing blackmail threats against Miss Baxter, the lady’s maid. We welcome back Tom’s new vocal friend, the sassy schoolteacher Miss Bunting, as Lady Rose invites her to Robert and Cora’s 34th anniversary party. Needless to say the evening at Downton Abbey heats up, in more ways than one.
In case you can’t stand waiting for the whole season to unspool in real time, it has been announced that Downton Abbey Season Five will be released on DVD and Blu-ray January 27, 2015. It will have a runtime of 8.75 hours, plus 40 minutes of extras, and be available for download as well. You may suffer in wait for the first few weeks, but then you can binge and dangle spoilers to your friends to your heart’s content when you get the whole season in your gloved hands weeks before it ends on TV. Enjoy!
OFFICIAL SITE: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/downtonabbey/