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Season 4 of Downton Abbey is just around the corner for U.K. fans and will hit the States in early 2014. Just ahead of the show’s premiere the cast and crew have given us some hints concerning what lies ahead. If you are a fan of the drama, which airs on PBS in the U.S., Season 4 promises to be a transformative season, full of modern technology, new characters, and a whole new outlook on life.
Elizabeth McGovern, who plays the Cora in the series recently spoke out to talk about the changed attitude of her character after realizing that “life is finite,” and the cast and crew seem to agree that changes are afoot. Executive producer Liz Trubridge recently told the Telegraph that Season 4 won’t be so somber, and that the show would like to avoid any more deaths in the near future.
“We don’t want to have any more deaths at the moment, that’s for sure. At least not straight away…But let me put it this way, I think we’re very conscious of the effect that both of Sybil and Matthew had on viewers and therefore you don’t want to keep doing that - of course you don’t.”
This opinion shouldn’t come as a shock, since last season was full of tumultuous plotlines and deaths, with major cast members including Jessica Brown Findlay and Dan Stevens choosing to leave the series. It also marked an end of an era in which people lived life by the demands of their specific stations. In the series, the world is shifting ever closer to modernity and the people living within the walls of Downton Abbey will need to change and adapt in order to fit into a new era.
Creator Julian Fellowes also recently touched on the new direction the show seems to be going in.
“The fourth [series] is more about getting into the 20s: what young people wanted, the changes in music, the arrival of the movies, cars, transport and all of that stuff.”
Over the years, characters like Branson and Rose have brought new ideas about living a modern life into the plotlines. Those changes and ideas have been small but important in seasons past, and while Rose will reportedly chill out some in the new season, a whole slew of new and old characters are set to bring the 1920s to life. Reportedly, Edith will even throw a huge party in which actress Christina Carty will cameo as Virginia Woolf.
Other new cast members and guest stints will include Gary Carr, Paul Giamatti, Dame Harriet Walters, Nigle Harman, and Tom Cullen. U.S. fans still have a while to wait before these new episodes air, but at least we’ll have a few previews to tide us over in the meantime.