Sunday, September 1, 2013

Downton Abbey - Series 4 Trailer and Analysis

Finally after months of waiting for any footage of Downton Abbey: Series 4 to be released, we finally have a trailer to show for it. Now you all know that I don't have very high hopes of Series 4 (Series 3 was ended very badly indeed), but nevertheless I still want to know what happens next. And who knows? I could be completely wrong and Series 4 might not be as bad as I think.

Now, I'm posting the trailer to Series 4 in this post AND I will be analyzing the trailer and posting what I think a particular part of the trailer means for Series 4. Feel free to comment what you think a particular part means.

0:00 - 0:10
Obviously, Mary is still in deep mourning after loosing Matthew and Violet is trying to help her. While I do not think (or at least I hope not) that Mary was planning to do anything drastic (after all, that would be either the end of the series or the show would have jumped the shark even higher than at the end of Series 3 that would lead to the demise of the show), her life must be consumed with such grief that it's affecting her well being or her son's well being. Is she ignoring her new son because he reminds her of Matthew? Is she eating less or making herself ill?

0:12 - 0:13
Dance sequences. There is evidence of development of a romance for kitchen maid Ivy and footman Jimmy (and possibly jealousy for footman Alfred which will make Daisy jealous). So this love square continues on then? Lady Rose is also seen dancing with (as we have been told) Jack Ross, a Chicago jazz singer, that will no doubt raise some eyebrows among the other characters. A possible romance, perhaps? Or maybe just two friends dancing? (I'm inclined to believe the former).

0:14 - 0:15
Various couples in Series 4. The obvious ones are Robert and Cora and Anna and Bates, but there are a couple of mysterious/unidentifiable couples in this shot. The one couple is very obviously a new maid and her sweetheart. The man (who's face isn't very clear) doesn't appear to be Tom (Branson, that is) or anyone else that I recognize. Maybe he is a new footman?

In the second couple, the man looks like he could almost be Tom (notice the hair), but who is the girl? Could it be baby Sybbie's nanny all dressed up?

0:16 - 0:17
Poor Daisy is crying again. Did Alfred reject her again? Or did Mr. Mason die and she is mourning his death? If the latter, that would mean that she inherits his farm and might possibly leave Downton?

Mary is still in mourning and Carson comforts her. Perhaps Carson will give her some advice that will help her through her grief?

0:18 - 0:19
Uh oh! Trouble for Bates and Anna? They seemed like they just had an argument. Could Anna be facing a similar problem as Mary in Series 3 and is having a hard time having a child? Or are there trust issues afoot? I doubt that one of them is looking to cheat since they haven't been married all that long and Anna stood by Bates while he was in jail... unless Bates has a wandering eye, but I doubt that. Besides, I think Julian Fellowes know that if he went down that road, a lot of fans would be very angry.

0:19 - 0:20
A glance between Jack Ross and Lady Rose? Definitely strong evidence of a romance.

Now in just this single screenshot, there is a lot going on. Prominent in the picture is Carson looking perturbed, but look in the background: Mrs. Patmore is in quite a state while Mrs. Hughes tries to hold her up. Some shocking news for Mrs. Patmore, perhaps? (I doubt she is in physical pain).

0:22 - 0:23
Uh oh, a fight! (A little action!) And it looks like out of that fight, Jimmy has been hurt. How do I know it's Jimmy? The flip of his hair! Could the fight be about protecting Ivy's honor? Or did he become a gambler and got into a fight over a debt?

0:23 - 0:24
Jimmy/Ivy romantic scene, but who walks in? Alfred! Though he looks amused? Maybe he isn't in love with Ivy like he was last series? Or could it be because he has something on Jimmy to get him fired now? Could Jimmy be two-timing Ivy? Or did Lord Grantham suddenly stop approving of romances in his staff and Alfred is going to tell on Jimmy?

All is well with Anna and Bates again? (Though perhaps not for long!)

0:26 - 0:28
(Possibly) the new nanny and Tom had an argument? Maybe they've started to fall in love with each other, but Tom doesn't want to be unfaithful to Sybil's memory and tells her it will never work. Either way, both are unhappy. Could this be the after math of the scene at 0:14-0:15? (The hair on the both of them matches in the other screenshot)

0:29 - 0:30
New character and potential suitor to Lady Mary, Lord Gillingham, approaches Mary. Articles state that he is an old family friend that goes to a party at Downton to raise Lady Mary's spirits. Mary still appears to be wearing black (hence, still in mourning), so this must be early in the new series. She doesn't look necessarily happy to see him, but doesn't seem to entirely reject him either; maybe it's a bit of a deer-in-the-headlights look. Violet seems to approve of his approaching Mary, though will she think that he is a suitable match for Mary or does she just want him to lift her spirits and go on his way?

0:30 - 0:31
Bates crying? Don't tell me they killed off Anna. Though I'm not a fan of the Bates/Anna romance anymore (I thought they stretched it out too far in Series 2), I don't want to see Anna die. Maybe they just had another fight? Yes, that must be it. They can't kill off a popular character like Anna, right? RIGHT?! (*remembers Sybil and Matthew*)

Mrs. Hugh is helping out at a prison? Or is she visiting someone in prison? Cold that be her old flame, Joe Burns, that is in prison? Maybe after she turned down his second proposal in Series 1, he went on a crime spree and the law finally caught up with him? I don't know: does it look like it could be Joe Burns after the ravages of time caught up with him? Here's another picture of him.

0:33 - 0:35
Various characters being comforted. Mrs. Patmore comforts Daisy (maybe over the loss of Mr. Mason? If that is the case, of course. I don't see her being that comforting over Alfred rejecting her.). Violet comforts Mary (a continuation of the first scene in the trailer). And Tom comforts Isobel (so sweet!). Isobel might feel that she has no use at Downton since Matthew is dead... though an argument could be made that she is the grandmother of the new heir, so she does have a use there.

0:36 - 0:39
Tea sipping (is that new character Charles Blake, who we are told is brought to Downton by Evelyn Napier, the one in that shot? Or is it another shot of Lord Gillingham?). Cora looks like she is forcing a smile and Robert looks like he is rolling his eyes at something (or looking to see how Cora is reacting... or both.). And another new character! Is this Harriet Walter's new character that is coming in as a friend to Violet?

0:40 - 0:42
This almost looks like it could be one scene (or two shots in the same scene). Rose introduces Robert to Jack Ross? (You get the feeling that this Jack Ross is going to be a big character in the upcoming series? I mean, they keep showing shots of him).

0:43 - 0:44
Robert and Carson disapprove... though of what, it could be anything.

Oh! and Anna and Bates seem to be okay again. (Don't tell me a good part of the series is going to be them bickering back and forth).

0:44 - 0:49
Everything is coming up smiles again! Rose and Anna seem to be developing more of a friendship. Robert is clapping (perhaps over a particular opera singer who will be at Downton). Cora is genuinely smiling. What is Edith wearing? Were necklines like that in the 20s? Seems a little shocking. 'Course, Edith could be the "modern" one now that Sybil is gone. A random shot of Thomas (can he just leave already? Please?). Mary seems to be enjoying a conversation with Lord Gillingham. Violet seems pleased as does Carson over something. And Rose (emulating Cora from Series 1) welcomes someone (perhaps Jack Ross) to Downton.

And now for some other things I noticed:

  • Where are the children? There were no shots of either Sybbie Branson or George Crawley (Mary and Matthew's son). We saw their parents, but no shots of them with their parents. There are promotional shots of both, so we know they are both in the series, but they probably won't have a big role to play since they are both still young.
  • No Michael Gregson (Edith's editor)... In fact, very little of the trailer had anything Edith in it -- she showed up at the end of the trailer. I hope they phase out Michael Gregson: never really liked his character.
  • What about Cora's new maid? There might have been a shot of her (if that was indeed her), but we don't see anything specifically relating to O'Brien replacement.
  • There's a lot about Mary and her mourning, but nothing about Matthew. Let me explain: there was no shot of the grave site, of Mary looking at his old photographs, nothing. I'm assuming that he is going to be talked of a lot in the upcoming series, but there wasn't any depiction of Matthew in this trailer.
What did you think of the new trailer? How did you interpret the scenes in there? Leave a comment!

 God Bless,
God Bless, Miss Elizabeth Bennet


  1. Great thoughts and post, Elizabeth. Despite missing the kids here in the trailer, at least we'll get to see them in S4. That will be fun. :)

    I did read that Mary has a hard time connecting with her son because a.) he reminds her of his father and b.) she's not a very emotional person. Interesting things are ahead.

    1. I thought I read the same thing too somewhere, but I couldn't pinpoint where. Thanks!

      There does seem to be more emphasis in the media about Mary and her suitors than Mary and her son: I hope that the latter doesn't get overlooked.

  2. Thank you for this detailed review of the trailer...and the speculations for season 4! I'm excited for it now, though I greatly hope it doesn't become redundant in a way. Oh, but there are definitely new things coming to Downton!

    By the way, from this post, I found that Siobhan/O'Brien really left the show? I suppose they gave her a 'smoother' egress instead of killing her off as well.

    Also, is the 'new nanny' Edna from the last episode (or was it the Christmas special) of Season 3? Because, oh, she's still there...

    1. Yeah, Siobhan/O'Brien left the show. I think since she was signed to a three year contract, she decided to move on. Maybe she'll get fired off camera or something.

      No, Edna left Downton in the Christmas special. The nanny is played by a different actress. I'm glad they got rid of Edna: really didn't like her.

  3. This was extremely interesting, Miss Elizabeth! I hadn't previously heard anything about season 4, but I admit I didn't have high hopes for it since both of my favorite characters are dead. : ( Now I'm so intrigued, I'm looking forward to watching it!

    Um, that is most definitely Edith in the 3rd shot, which means that is definitely NOT Branson (surely the writers are not THAT crazy.) I actually think it could be Michael Gregson, but as you said, it's very difficult to tell.
    Oh no, not more trouble with Anna and Bates! Arrrggg. Why do they always have to run into so much trouble? I've always liked Anna, but somewhere near the middle of the 2nd season Mr. Bates started to really annoy me and now he's just plain-down bothersome. What is his problem that he can't just stay out of trouble? I agree, the whole Anna/Bates romance has become waayyyy too drawn out.

    What's this about O'Brien's replacement?! I won't be sorry to see her go, I admit, but I don't remember anything about a replacement at the end of season 3. And where's Thomas? Did he finally go to jail? So many questions!

    Who is this Jack Ross fellow? Some weirdo Rose palled up with? Figures. : P

    Oh, Edith, that dress. What were you thinking, dear?

    This trailer was very intriguing! I probably wouldn't have searched it out on my own, so thank you for posting it! : )


    P.S. Um, yeah, I really think that's Michael Gregson. Just saying.

    1. I don't think that is Edith in that third shot: her hair looks a little too dark to be Edith. Although that could be just the lighting? Though the hair doesn't look quite right for Branson either...

      Yeah, I used to really root for Anna and Bates, but after the whole Vera plot went on forever and that it was such a roller coaster for them, I just stopped caring. But Anna was always a likable character.

      I guess after Series 3 ended, Siobhan Finneran decided to leave the series, so the writers didn't have much of a chance to write her out. Thomas is still there (he had a quick shot in the trailer), but I would like to see him leave.

      From what I've read, Jack Ross is a jazz singer from Chicago that shows up at Downton (why, I don't know). I have a feeling he's going to be in the fourth series a lot.

      And you're very welcome! :-)

  4. Very interesting analysis. I'm still debating whether I will watch this season or not. If it were entirely up to myself, I would probably skip it, but if my mom and sister watch it, I might watch too so I won't be out of the loop. I'm not looking forward to it, though. Now, if Thomas left, that would definitely be exciting! Totally agree with you, there. ;)

    1. I wasn't looking forward to it (and in some ways, I'm still not), but I'm curious on how the story plays out. Though I insist that it would have been a lot better if Matthew was still alive.

      I'm not sure why people like Thomas. I don't care if he is made to be more sympathetic in this last series, I still don't like him. He's almost always looking out for himself and not others.

  5. I will probably watch it only because I saw the other 3 seasons and am curious about all the new characters they introduced in the last few episodes. I do agree with Miss Elizabeth that it would've been better if Matthew hadn't died. And Thomas-let's not even go there.

  6. What a great post, Miss Elizabeth! I was pleased with the trailer, but also kind of annoyed, because that less-than-one-minute could tell us so little! But with your analysis I've certainly got a lot more to think about what might be happening. I'm curious for some of the new characters, but very much curious for the development of the Rose character. Against most people's opinions, I kind of like her.

    1. I'm glad you like my post! I have a feeling that Rose is going to be a prominent character in this series.

  7. Hello Miss Elizabeth,
    This is just to let you know that I've nominated this post for Miss Dashwood's I'd Like To Share for this month. : )



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