More News About Series 4 of Downton Abbey! (hopefully this one has a visible source??)

First legit picture of Mary from series 4????

The makers of Downton Abbey have revealed six new characters for the coming series, including a world-famous opera singer, a sharp-witted schoolfriend of the Dowager Countess and a dashing aristocrat to befriend the grieving Lady Mary.

Two handsome young aristocrats will pay a visit to the stately home during series four, The Daily Telegraph can disclose, with producers dropping strong hints that one will attempt to mend Lady Mary’s broken heart.

Played by Tom Cullen and Julian Ovenden, the visitors are among a host of new characters, including an opera singer played by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and an old school friend of the Dowager Countess, played by Dame Harriet Walter, who will feature in the new series scheduled for the autumn.

Ovenden is on the left, Cullen is on the right.

Filming began this week and rejoins the family six months after the funeral of Matthew Crawley. It will see his young widow struggling to come to terms with bringing up their baby son alone, as friends and family rally to lift her spirits. [I AM SO READY FOR THE MARY CRAWLEY SHOW TBQH.]

Cullen, 27, who was named most promising newcomer at the British Independent Film Awards in 2011, will play Lord Gillingham, an old family friend whose appearance could raise a smile from the face of the cynical Lady Mary.

He will make his debut at a party thrown by the family to cheer her up, with scenes including a performance from Dame Kiri, 68.
[Tbh, I don't think this relationship is going to be serious. I think it's just meant to get Mary to rejoin the world after mourning Matthew, you know?]

It will mark a rare television appearance for the singer, who performed at the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul’s Cathedral in 1981.

Ovenden, 36, an Old Etonian and Oxford graduate who is best known for his work on stage, will join the cast as the aristocrat Charles Blake.

The Dowager Countess of Grantham, played by Dame Maggie Smith, will also have a new companion in the shape of “old school chum” Lady Shackleton. Played by Dame Harriet Walter, the character is said to be a “force to be reckoned with” who can “hold her own” against the Countess’s barbed wit.

Joanna David, the mother of the actress Emilia Fox, will play the Duchess of Yeovil, another new guest.

Below stairs, the servants will be joined by a “charismatic” new valet named Green, [New valet? Is he just going to be visiting with a houseguest? Or is like Tom going to get a valet?] played by the former EastEnders actor Nigel Harman. Meanwhile, the ill-tempered ladies’ maid Sarah O’Brien, played by Siobhan Finneran, will disappear mysteriously. [REALLY? O'Brien is going to disappear mysteriously? I'm a bit dubious about that.]

While precise details for all six new characters are still being written by Julian Fellowes, the makers of the programme, Carnival Films, disclosed that the next series would focus on Lady Mary’s struggle as a young widow and her “difficult” relationship with her baby. [SHAKING AND CRYING I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS OMG. Why is her relationship with the baby difficult? Post Partum Depression? Does the baby remind her too much of Matthew? Is she just too depressed after Matthew's death to bond with her baby???]

Gareth Neame, the managing director of Carnival Films and executive producer, said the programmes would show Lady Mary rebuilding her life from the “depths of despair” towards happiness.

“She has a long journey ahead of her before she can go on with life,” he said. “But the hope is, with the support of her family, the servants and new characters she will be able to.

“We all know that when it comes to romantic storylines, particularly in the hands of an amazing writer like Julian, that the 'will they, won’t they’ is much more interesting than a couple when they are married.

“We wanted to keep Dan [Stevens] in the show, but there is a great lesson in that what can seem to be the worst thing can actually be a brilliant opportunity.

“Now we have the added impetus of what on earth is Mary going to do next?”

Downton Abbey, which has already won nine Emmys, two Golden Globes, and a Screen Actors Guild Award, will return to ITV in September.



Sorry for the multiple submisstions, but let's see if this makes the source visible?