It’s the sequel that the world practically demanded, as the idea of Downton Abbey 2 was a request that most fans already had in mind the moment that first film concluded. With the announcement of the sequel’s Christmas release hitting the media not too long ago, those familiar with Julian Fellowes’ period drama have been waiting to get their first glimpse of the cast at work. And today happens to be that day, as the first set photo has been released, and already we can see some trusted old friends.

Released by Focus Features through their social media platforms, this first Downton Abbey 2 snapshot shows a scene being filmed in the downstairs kitchen of the Crawley family estate. So while you won’t be seeing Lady Mary or any of her family in this new tease, you can see some of the figures that have kept the household running through six seasons of televised bliss. Take a look at Downton Abbey 2’s first production photo, below:

On the subject of old friends, it looks like two might be easily spotted in this picture. Most notably, and clearest of all, would be our look at the return of Allan Leech’s Thomas Branson. Sitting at the head of the table, the potential future heir to Downton Abbey may be the figure we’re seeing sat down to a meal and a conversation with the household staff.

The blur of this photo is ambiguous enough that we might be looking at another Downton Abbey 2 cast member altogether. Upon taking a second look, there’s a chance that we could be looking at Rob James-Collier’s Thomas Barrow in this particular shot. In any case, that definitely has to be Mr. Mosley hiding behind the set’s clapper, 100%.

Now that we’ve spotted some of the cast returning for Downton Abbey 2, it can be hoped that the next piece of excitement to come from the set will be an official look at some of the new players added to the cast. With Hugh Dancy, Nathalie Baye, Dominic West, and Laura Haddock already announced as the fresh faces that will be visiting Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, and the rest of the series’ principal cast, that is where the true mystery lies. Well, that, and in the continued question of how Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess will cut down her competition in this next adventure.

Downton Abbey 2 is currently in production, preparing to enter theaters worldwide at Christmas. So prepare your finest theater going attire, and be sure to RSVP accordingly. Oh, and check out the 2021 release schedule, as it never hurts to have some fun while waiting for history to be made yet again. And in the meantime, we'll patiently await our next, non-blurry look, at the world of Downton Abbey.

Who is that obscured figure sitting at the head of this Downton Abbey 2 set photo?
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