Downton Abbey Christmas Special & series 4 confirmed

Downton Abbey Christmas Special & series 4 confirmed

ITV announced details of this year's Downton Abbey Christmas Special, to air at 9pm on Christmas Day. Radio Times has this photo and a full report. 

This year's Christmas special, to be screened by ITV at 9pm on Christmas Day, will be a feature-length two-hour affair. Those hoping for carols around the Downton piano will be disappointed though.

In contrast to last year's snow-flake filled special, this year's Christmas episode will see the Downton clan heading to the Highlands of Scotland for their summer holiday. And the Crawleys - along with Bates, Anna, Molesley and O'Brien - will be swapping Downton for the even grander Duneagle Castle...

...The episode will see Lady Edith bump into her newspaper editor Michael Gregson... who just happens to be holidaying nearby - and this will cause conflict between Matthew and Mary who disagree about the married journalist's motives.

The ITV press centre also has the press release about series 4 which has been commissioned, and is due to start filming in February. 

Downton Abbey will return to ITV1 in 2013 for a fourth series of the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning drama. Filming of eight new episodes for autumn 2013 plus an extended special episode for Christmas 2013 begins at Highclere Castle and Ealing Studios in February next year. The opening and closing episodes will again be feature length with series four continuing the story of the Crawley family and their servants in the early 1920s.

For those who missed Dan's appearance at the NY Thanksgiving Parade yesterday, there is a video on Tumblr. Another video on You Tube is not viewable outside the US. 

Comments

Can't think why

Can't think why Dan doesn't agree to soldier on for Downton series 4, whilst also continuing to pursue diverse and challenging projects as he has done this year. Perhaps his finding Matthew 'so honourable I sometimes want to beat him about the head', and the frustration of only knowing 1 or 2 episodes ahead where his character is going, has a lot to do with his reluctance. Or maybe the advice to 'have the tissues ready' for the Christmas special means the deed is done and Julian Fellowes is intent on spoiling our Christmas evening. Whatever happens at Downton we can look forward to Summer in February - surely due to be released soon.

Yesterday I went to see

Yesterday I went to see 'Gambit' with Colin Firth- absolute tosh. Dan has been touted as the new Colin Firth, we talked afterwards of what would make an actor of Firth's stature take such a role. The consensus was that roles in great films e.g. 'A single Man' and 'The Kings Speech' are few and far between. Colin Firth's career was partially defined by P&P, but many of his subsequent films like Dan's Vamps were not box office successes, but actors need to work. Surely it would be better for Dan to keep his high profile in Downton for the next year or so, act his socks off and choose projects to pursue in the meantime which test his range and ability, either in theatre or film, rather than appear in the odd piece of 'silliness' (i.e. Vamps). But what do I know?

A very bad career desicion of Dan, if true

If it is true Dan will leave Downton I think he has made the worst desicion ever for his career. He will ruin the serie, I definitely will stop watching it if the Matthew-Mary plot is not there anymore: that is the core of the drama, as Matthew, the heir of Downton, is the key character for the serie. I hope it is not true, but if it is I will get very dissapointed on his lack of responibility to the series (even if the producers also must end it in time - no more than 5 seasons!) and to his fans. If it happens, I promise never to watch any film he is starring in.

MATTHEW-LESS DOWNTON??

AN IMPOSSIBLE IDEA! I TOO WOULD FIND IT DIFFICULT TO WATCH, HOW ON EARTH COULD ANYONE "KILL HIM OFF"....ON A CHRISTMAS SPECIAL?? LOVED DAN'S INTERVIEW, THOUGH BRIEF, ON THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE BROADCAST. HE ALWAYS COMES ACROSS SUCH A GENTLEMAN, ENGAGED AND ENGAGING.... AND INTELLIGENT. A POTENT MIXTURE. DO HOPE YOU COME BACK TO DOWNTON, DAN, BUT WHATEVER YOU DECIDE, I WILL BE ROOTING FOR YOU!
jean/usa

Downton Abbey

I do hope it's not the case that Dan Stevens will be leaving Downton Abbey as his departure will spoil the programme for millions of viewers, especially those of us who were captivated by his relationship with Lady Mary. Downton Abbey without Matthew (and possibly Mary) isn't Downton Abbey! I'm not sure Dan appreciates how viewers feel about his role? It's not fair on Julian Fellowes to expect him to write the script to accommodate actors leaving the show. Dan is only 30 and has his whole acting career ahead of him. An extra year or two doing Downton Abbey will make little difference to his career, and will give all the viewers so much pleasure. Downton Abbey is simply the best TV drama of all time, but it won't be the same wonderful programme without Matthew and Mary.

Adding to Regarding the Rumours comment

I do so agree with this comment - well said. Surely Dan and his management team realise that Downton mania is even greater in America than here in the U.K. and fans don't take kindly to actors who leave them in the lurch. So please don't tarnish your image by abandoning the show that has given you international fame, not to mention the headache you will give Julian Fellowes

Regarding the Rumors

I've been reading all the news headlines with the news of the renewal of Downton and the number one thing everyone is talking about is that Dan will not be returning for 4 and if he does it will only be for the first episode. Normally I don't post on things like this, but I'm disappointed in Dan for wanting to leave. I realize that perhaps he didn't realize this show would be such a hit, but every actor should go into a show thinking that it just might. He will have years to do other shows and movies. I know the hope is that Downton will run 5 seasons, that's only two more. Dan should stay for those last two seasons if not for the steady paycheck, then at least for the fans. In fact it should be for the fans primarily. By him leaving it just makes me think he cares nothing for fans and only about his current popularity and how he could get other things to do. Which I think will come for years to follow because of his job with Downton anyhow. It will look better on Dan's image for him to stay. I hope he reconsiders and stays on Downton for season 4 and the possibility of 5. *crosses fingers and prays*

Season 4 and Other Things

I look forward to Season 4 of Downton Abbey; the television world has order again and is at peace with its return. However, will Dan be a cast member? What has happened to his role in The Catastrophist and whom will he play?

I saw him on television during the Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade. How delightful to hear how this little family is enjoying New York! As always, it is a pleasure to see Dan interviewed!

As with all things, time will

As with all things, time will tell. It often happens that films cast actors and then change at the last minute, for numerous reasons. ITV have been careful not to reveal who will return to series 4. All the better to get people watching, talking and interested. 

Downton

I should think ITV not revealing any news about whom shall return/leave for S4, has more to do with protecting plot lines for the Christmas Special than anything else. Because if ITV confirm that Dan Stevens isn't returning (as rumour would have it) then that would mean he has to be killed off in the Christmas Special. Considering their press release states that the setting for this episode, is filmed on a Scottish country estate. I would imagine the chances of him being accidentally shot at a grouse shoot, will quite high. The same would apply to any other of the cast who are not returning.

Matthew Killed Off

If Matthew is killed off in the Christmas Special or any other season or episode, I promise I will never, never, NEVER watch Downton Abbey again.....promise....promise....promise....!!!

Good news at last!

Good news, so pleased to hear this.

I think Mr Stevens is being

I think Mr Stevens is being badly served by both ITV and his PR team. That he is prevented from being able to deny or confirm recent rumours must be part of a contractual obligation which has unfortunately led to the current speculation, perhaps a statement from the commissioning tv company and/or his team could have deflected some of the more personal flak. Having said that he has not helped himself in a series of interviews which have seen him suggest he needs greater intellectual fulfilment than that provided by the series, and that instead of concentrating whole heartedly during the filming of series 3 he was reading the Booker long list on his kindle. May I suggest he does not do a 'Romney' and alienate legions of fans worldwide by suggesting that they are not important to his ongoing career, had he been a rather less significant character his departure would not have been so controversial, and from recent comments made by Julian Fellowes this is a series with a defined time line. The fact that he has been able to work on other projects suggest that though arduous the filming schedule is more flexible than some.
However, one does not want to see an actor who clearly does not relish being cast in the production carry on and not give of his best thereby undermining the work of those that do. We all do a disservice to Mr Stevens by our speculation, so as he says let us watch the episodes and 'we'll see'. I have to admit that I am a great fan of the Guardian blog on 'Downton' hilarious stuff...but Sunday night without the roller coaster ride looms awfully dull, we may scoff etc but we love it!

Dan Stevens

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