Downton Abbey fans are being greeted with both good and bad news today, with details coming out about the show’s Christmas special and the speculation that Dan Stevens is set to leave the show.
Set to be a feature length, two hour long episode, the special will see the Crawley clan heading up north to the Highlands of Scotland for their summer holidays.
Supposedly the highlight of patriarch Robert’s year (hurrah for a happy Hugh Bonneville), their annual getaway to the spectacular Duneagle Castle will see the family (along with Anna, Bates, O’Brien and Moseley of course) reunited with the rambunctious Lady Rose, who was confined there in the recent finale of series 3 and Lady Edith have another coming together with her newspaper editor Michael Gregson.
The Scottish action’s not just for the gentry though, as those downstairs are set to get a little slice of the new, as O’Brien finds a kindred scheming spirit in the form of Lady Rose’s maid Wilkins
It’s not all just happening up north though, as Downton house itself will see us finally see the place without the Crawley’s being there, with executive producer Gareth Neame saying “While the cat’s away, the mice will play.”
We’ll also see a new face join the Downton ranks, as MyAnna Buring, straight off the back of her role in Twilight, is set to join the staff as a new housemaid who looks set to stir things up a little bit.
Worse news comes in the form that Dan Stevens, who plays Matthew Crawley on the period drama, may not be reprising his role for the upcoming fourth series. According to a report in newspaper The Sunday Express, a source claims that “He will probably do the first episode of the fourth series, but that will be it.” ITV are yet to confirm or deny the reports, so don’t panic too much yet.