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Spoiler Note: Events from last season as well as speculation from the new season follows in the article!
The problem with British imports is that U.S. audiences often don’t get new seasons for months after the programs air in the U.K. The flip side of that coin is that U.S. audiences get stills and previews well in advance of the imported show’s actual premiere, which can help drum up anticipation and interest. Such is the case for Downton Abbey, an ITV program that airs on PBS in the States. ITV is gearing up for the Season 4 premiere on the network and has released the first official preview for Season 4.
Obviously, this preview needed to start with Mary and her status after having a baby and losing her husband (boo Dan Stevens). Mary is clearly in mourning, but she has a nice little conversation with her grandmother, the Dowager Countess, which seems to have hopefully ignited a little fire in her. Rose also seems up to some shenanigans, and we get a few clips featuring her fiery little flapper self with Downton Abbey’s first black cast member, Gary Carr, who from the looks of things will be a super important member of the cast this season. Then again, Daisy gets plenty of screen time in this preview, as well, so this preview is probably a little lopsided in some ways.
I’m really interested to see both Mary and Tom come out of grieving and get their lives together. Recent reports have indicated Mary will date in the coming season, and I’d love for Tom to embrace his responsibilities at Downton and find someone to love, as well. Unfortunately, the snippets in the preview are cut together so quickly that even if we watch the preview a few times—which I obviously did—we still don’t get to see all that much. Unless you like makeout sessions, because there are a ton of those in this clip, although people's faces are distorted in a few of those, as well. ITV did a great job of putting together an interesting trailer for Season 4 that doesn’t tell us all that much about what we will be getting when the show hits the schedule.
Speaking of which, the preview notes that Downton Abbey will be hitting the network in Britain, soon. A U.S. release will likely occur in 2014, following the airing of this year’s Christmas special in Britain. You can check out the official Season 4 cast photo, below.