Downton Abbey returns to ITV this autumn for a fourth series, continuing the story of the Crawley family and their servants in the early 1920s.
Sunday 22 September 2013, 9pm
Following Matthew’s untimely death, new mother Mary is struggling to come to terms with her loss. Robert and Violet disagree on how to bring her through it. Downstairs, hearts are set to be broken as Jimmy finally takes an interest in Ivy.
Carson has an unwelcome reminder of his past while Mrs Hughes sees an opportunity to help grief stricken Isobel. Thomas is up to his old tricks and has the children’s Nanny in his sights.
Sunday 29 September 2013, 9pm
Emerging from her grief, Mary starts to take an interest in the running of the estate, but is met with resistance from Robert. As Molesley’s fortunes worsen, Bates hatches a plan to help him.
Out for a bit of fun, Rose gets into a sticky situation at a tea dance in York. Mrs Hughes urges Carson to let an old wound heal.
Sunday 6 October 2013, 9pm
An extravagant house party at the Abbey gives the Crawleys a chance to reconnect with old friends and culminates in a performance by opera singer Dame Nellie Melba.
Among the guests are the eligible Sir John Bullock, who soon attracts the attention of Lady Rose; Gregson, who is keen to win Robert’s approval if he is to make a future with Edith; and Mr Sampson, a slightly mysterious acquaintance from Robert’s gentleman’s club. Some guests prove more welcome than others and along with the celebrations come skulduggery and heartache.
Below stairs, with preparations in full swing tensions run high, and Mrs Patmore begins to feel the strain. Jimmy’s attempts to impress Ivy in front of love-rival Alfred don’t go to plan, and hapless Molesley is made an offer of employment he finds hard to refuse. Meanwhile, in the elevated circles above Branson finds himself a fish out of water, but the consolation he is offered may come at a high price.
Rose’s attempts to liven up events inadvertently raise painful memories for Mary, and Gregson uses surprising hidden talents to save Robert from a fix and win his respect.
Sunday 13 October 2013, 9pm
Amid the fallout of the eventful house party a trip to the bright lights of London is planned. Here Sir John Bullock shows his true colours and Rose finds gallantry comes from an unexpected quarter.
Gregson shares ambitious plans with Edith, taking their relationship to another level.
Back at the Abbey Mary faces a pressing question about her future, Isobel accepts an offer from Dr Clarkson which rekindles her social conscience, and the manipulative Edna finds herself outmanoeuvred.
Below stairs Carson reveals surprisingly intimate details of his former life, and Daisy’s clumsy attempt to get closer to Alfred may push him further away.
Sunday 20 October 2013, 9pm
Change is in the air as an exciting opportunity for Alfred creates tension between Ivy and Daisy.
Isobel appeals to Violet’s sense of charity, but it doesn’t come without a fight, and Branson considers a whole new future for himself and baby Sybbie.
Sunday 27 October 2013, 9pm
A birthday party is planned for Robert, but Rose’s surprise contribution to the event ruffles feathers above and below stairs.
A new farming venture on the Downton estate comes with dramatic repercussions for Mary, and Edith receives more unwelcome news.
Sunday 3 November 2013, 9pm
Cora’s playboy brother Harold is in a fix and Robert must travel to America to help bail him out, whilst a new farming venture at Downton sees Blake and Mary forced to put aside their differences.
When Violet is taken ill she finds help comes from an unlikely corner. With romantic tensions causing disharmony downstairs, things don’t quite go to plan when Mrs Hughes, Mrs Patmore and Carson conspire to keep the peace.
Sunday 10 November 2013, 9pm
Rosamund hatches a plan to help Edith out of her predicament, but will Violet see straight through it? Isobel is on the receiving end of some unexpected attention, while Mary asks Gillingham for a favour.
Rose has her nose put out of joint when plans don’t go her way, and Alfred realises too late that he may have made a mistake. Just when Bates and Anna seem to be coming through the worst of their troubles, some unexpected news gives her fresh cause for concern.
Wednesday 25 December 2013
It’s the summer season and as part of Rose’s ‘coming out’ she is to be presented at Buckingham Palace. The family and servants are at Grantham House, their London residence, preparing for the busy social program.
Not one to miss such a grand occasion, Cora’s mother, Martha Levinson makes the journey from New York with her playboy son Harold, fresh from his recent brush with the law. Both outspoken and larger-than-life, they make quite an impression amongst certain members of London’s high society, in particular with Lord Aysgarth (James Fox).
Isobel finds herself with an admirer while Edith is wrestling with a moral dilemma. Downstairs, Daisy gets an unexpected invitation and Carson treats the staff to a special day out. When the Crawleys are implicated in a scandal that threatens to engulf the monarchy, Robert will go to great lengths to protect the royal family, and his own.
Are you looking forward to Series 4? Let us know below…