On Christmas Day, ITV will be airing what has become to them quite the holiday tradition: The “Downton Abbey” Christmas special. It’s a fun and at times emotional event (especially the one that aired last year), and they serve as a nice bridge between one season and the next.
But can we really speculate on the future of the show without seeing the special? While it is difficult, there are a few things that we can say already about season 5, beginning with one important detail when it comes to filming. Production on the new season will begin in a matter of months in the United Kingdom, and the premiere date will likely be in September 2014. Given that the established format with the show has already proven itself to work, there is no real reason to change filming dates or the episode count (unless they just really want a Christmas episode that is actually set at Christmas for a change).
From the standpoint of the cast, we know that there is not any deaths expected this Christmas (let’s toast to that after what happened last year), and there at least would be an option for everyone to return. All of the major series regulars will once again be back pending some shocking news, though we suspect next year is when there will be some significant turnover and contract speculation. That is when most of the major deals are up, and some (see Elizabeth McGovern) have already hinted that they have some decisions to make.
The one final thing to keep a look out for is what happens with the time period. As we get deeper into the twenties and approach the thirties, times for British estates could be harder than ever. If you thought Downton was having a difficult time surviving now, just wait until you see what is coming around the bend.
Is there anything in particular that you are hoping to see from this upcoming season? Share some of your thoughts below, and click here if you want to read some more news related to the Christmas special. Also, be sure to sign up for the page if you want to get some more updates related to this and some other great shows.