We now interrupt our series of “Lady Mary’s love interests” with a breaking “Downton Abbey” update: The official cast photo for the new series is finally online. This is something that has become an annual tradition, with the cast arranging themselves outside of the famed residence in a zig-zag pattern, that way to actually fit in the wide array of people who actually appear on the show.
What is particularly interesting about this group this year is who is present, and who is not. For example, we do have a Lady Rose sighting! She is pictured in the far right on the image, which is proof that there are major expectations to have Lily James be an important part of the show. The same probably goes for Michelle Dockery’s Mary, who is positioned directly to the right of Robert (Hugh Bonneville). This is the first time that Mary has been highlighted to this level; the past few years, the immediate left / right positions to Robert have been occupied by Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) and the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith). Judging from her dress, Mary is also still in mourning.
This year, it is also worth noting that there is no room for guest stars. Shirley MacLaine was included last year despite having only a couple of appearances as Martha, and there’s no Tom Cullen or Gary Carr present here. What does that mean? Probably that there just wasn’t enough room on here, and the show does not want to tip their cap as to who could become a permanent edition to the show next year.
In the dazzling outfit competition, the winner is clearly Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael), given that she stands out from a mile away in this, even without getting the position at the front of the photo.
The new season of “Downton Abbey” will premiere soon on ITV, and will be on PBS beginning on Sunday, January 5. Click on the image above if you want to take a closer look.