Downton Abbey’s fourth season will commence on Sept. 26 in the U.K., but the Masterpiece Theatre show’s fans in the U.S. will be waiting until Jan. 4, 2014 to see the aristocratic family back in action on their TV screen.

Six months will have passed since Matthew Crawley’s (Dan Stevens) untimely fatal car accident when Downton Abbey picks up. There to help Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) pick up the pieces will be the Countess Dowager (Maggie Smith). The Countess Dowager is heard in a trailer for the upcoming season telling her granddaughter, “You must choose either death or life,” while placing a consoling hand on her shoulder. And while Matthew’s death is devastating on its own, there’s also the fact that Lady Mary is also a new mother – a role that doesn’t come naturally for her.

"She was never going to be a very maternal mother," Dockery said at the TCA Press Tour. "Within the aristocracy they didn’t really see their kids very much.… So you don’t see much interaction between the baby and Mary. And actually, to begin with, it’s hard to relate. It’s hard to bond with the baby because, of course, she’s going through the grief. And she looks at him, and she sees Matthew. So, yeah, it’s a slow process, I think, with motherhood for Mary."

As for Tom Branson (Allen Leech), he’s starting to move on from his spouse’s death as well. After Sybil (Jessica Brown-Findlay) died in childbirth, Tom was inconsolable, but when Downton Abbey returns, he’s going to be ready to love again. Playing the role of his new love interest will be Daisy Lewis (pictured above with Leech). “Her romance with Tom will be one of the main storylines of the series,” a source told the U.K. Express. “He will begin to develop feelings for her and they start a secret affair.”

In other romance news, it looks like Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) and Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) will be hooking up in season 4. When asked by reporters at the TCA Press Tour if it would be happening, Logan said, “Yes!” though she did try to walk back the exclamation. Edith (Laura Carmichael), meanwhile, will definitely be continuing on with her illicit affair with her married editor. And while Sir Richard Carlisle (Iain Glen) won’t be coming back into the picture for the newly widowed Mary, she will have her fair share of suitors, including a childhood friend named Lord Gillingham (Tom Cullen).

Downton Abbey returns to PBS in the U.S. on Saturday, Jan. 4.

– Chelsea Regan

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For More 'Downton Abbey' News:

‘Downton Abbey’ Season 4 Pictures Released

Paul Giamatti To Appear On ‘Downton Abbey’ Season 4

Dan Stevens Loses 30 Pounds After ‘Downton Abbey’ Departure

Gillian Anderson Turned Down Role In ‘Downton Abbey’

'Downton Abbey' Returns To PBS Next January


  • NicoleYoung
    NicoleYoung on

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