Several stills have surfaced online from Downton Abbey‘s upcoming Christmas special, featuring a distinct change of setting for characters both upstairs and downstairs. Potential spoilers ahead!
Downton Abbey fans still have a few weeks to wait until the two-hour Christmas special comes to their screens, but a few stills from the episode have come to light to sate (or perhaps torture) our Downton desperation. Check out the photos below!
[scrollGallery id=1028 start=0 autoScroll=false height=300 thumbsdown=true]
It looks like two distinct plotlines will carry this year’s Christmas special: The Crawleys’ summertime in Scotland, and the adventures of Downton’s staff left behind in Yorkshire.
“As ever, Downton will take its audience through a whole range of emotions,” says Laura Mackie, ITV’s Director of Drama. “All of life’s experiences will feature in this episode… best have the tissues ready.”
According to ITV’s press release, Edith’s love life will be an important element of the series 3 Christmas special, as her attached editor also turns up in Scotland along with the Crawleys. Mary and Matthew, never ones to keep their noses entirely to themselves, will apparently find themselves at odds over the motives of Edith’s potential suitor.
Also returning for the episode will be the boundary-breaking Rose, who lives (unhappily) at Duneagle Castle, where the Crawleys are visiting. Events will apparently come to an emotional climax at “the Gillies’ Ball.”
Among the staff, Bates, Anna, Molesley, and O’Brien will travel to Scotland with the family, but the rest of the downstairs denizens will remain at the house for the summer. An upcoming county fair will apparently be a source of excitement for the remaining staff, including the all-business butler Mr. Carson. Mrs. Padmore may experience a bit of a change as well, as ITV’s statement hints that romance might be in the offing for Downton’s adorably cross cook.
As previously reported, Downton Abbey has recently been renewed for a fourth series, set to air in the autumn of 2014. However, it is possible that this may be one of Dan Stevens’ final episodes as Matthew Crawley, as at this time, there do not seem to have been any developments pointing toward the renewal of the actor’s contract.
Downton Abbey‘s series 3 Christmas special will air Dec. 25 at 9 p.m. on ITV.