Is it already time to reenter the upstairs-downstairs world of Downton Abbey we love so dearly? Not quite!
While season 5 premieres in the U.K. this fall, viewers in the States will have to wait until Jan. 4, 2015 to see what the beloved characters are up to next!
Luckily for us, a few of the show’s stars were on hand during the Television Critics Association press tour to drop a few hints about the upcoming season to Today.com.
WARNING: Mild spoilers ahead!
- Season 5 picks up six months after the Christmas special
The last episode of the season took place in the summer of 1923, so it appears our favorite aristocrats and their band of servants will be donning winter clothes for the first episode back.
- There will be no surprise deaths
According to executive producer Gareth Neame, all the major characters are safe from the Grim Reaper this season! A huge relief given we still haven’t recovered from Matthew Crawley’s untimely death in season 3.
Though Allen Leech, who plays former chauffeur Tom Branson, knows what viewers are really thinking: “You’re all expecting the “Downton Abbey Red Wedding,” aren’t you?” he teased, referring to the infamous Game of Thrones episode in which several major characters were killed off.
- Mary’s back to her old self — for the most part
“This [season] she is quite impulsive,” Michelle Dockery said of her character. “She’s embracing her life, she’s through the grief now. I see kind of season five for Mary as the ‘new Mary’ — she’s got a bit of bite back she had in [season] one.” And yes, she’ll continue to enjoy attention from both Lord Gillingham and Charles Blake!
- Bates is in for another rocky season
Good ole Mr. Bates may be headed back to prison after becoming the prime suspect in another murder — the valet who raped Anna. “In [Anna’s] heart of hearts, she has this doubt, it just doesn’t leave her,” revealed Joanne Froggatt, who plays the ladies maid with a heart of gold. “It’s something that sort of haunts her in season 5.”
- Edith still can’t catch a break
While Edith’s (Laura Carmichael) lover, Michael Gregson, remains missing, Lord Grantham’s second daughter is troubled that her illegitimate daughter is being raised by Downton tenants, though she still manages to secretly visit the child. And, to top it off, she’ll continue to receive no love from her older sister. “Mary’s mean to Edith especially in this season,” Michelle revealed. What else is new?!