“Downton Abbey” fans in the United States still have a long wait ahead of them. Although season four of the hit period series will run in the U.K. in the fall, stateside viewers will have to wait until Jan. 5, 2014 for the premiere. Fortunately, we have spoilers to hold us over.
Season three of “Downton Abbey” shocked fans when Matthew died in a tragic car accident after meeting his newborn son. Viewers had time to grieve, but when the show returns we’ll see Mary still trying to come to terms with the death of her husband – and how it will affect their child.
Starting off in 1922, six months after Matthew’s accident, the Crawley family will still be mourning the deceased heir. And while the new season four photos may not look like much, E! Online teases that the promo pictures actually reveal a lot about the drama ahead.
It’s obvious that Mary will be struggling with Matthew’s death, but E! reveals that healing is a lot more difficult when “every time she looks at the baby, she sees her beloved.” Mary’s detachment from her son can be seen in the promo photo which shows a black-clad Mary (Michelle Dockery) holding her baby while standing next to Branson (Allen Leech) and his daughter. While Mary looks cold and distant, Branson reaches out to her baby who grabs his finger.
“It’s hard to bond with the baby,” Dockery explained to reporters. “She looks at him and sees Matthew. It’s a slow process, I think, with motherhood for Mary. The aristocracy didn’t really see their kids very much. So there’s a nanny, and, eventually a governess looking after baby George. ... You don’t see much interaction between the baby and Mary.”
While the baby may not be around much, Mary’s brother-in-law, Tom Branson, will. “They are very much friends and he is her brother-in-law, still. I think they become close because of what they’ve been through,” the actress told Access Hollywood of the two characters. “And also, Mary becomes far more involved in the running of the estate with Tom, so we do have a lot of scenes together.”
But as for fan-speculated romance between the two widowers? Dockery doesn’t believe it’s going to go that route. “It’s very inappropriate,” she said of the relationship.
That doesn’t mean there is no potential for happiness in Mary’s future. “Downton Abbey” viewers will meet Lord Gillingham (Tom Cullen), an old friend of the Crawley family who will help Mary move on.
Season four of “Downton Abbey” will premiere in the fall in the U.K. and on Jan. 5, 2014, in the U.S. What are you looking forward to seeing in the new season? Let us know in the comments section.