Downton Abbey Wiki
Downton Abbey Wiki
Series 3 Series 5

Series Four of Downton Abbey consisted of eight episodes and a Christmas Special with the opening and closing episodes again being feature length. Series 4 continued the story of the Crawley family and their servants in the early 1920s and premiered on 22 September 2013 on ITV in the UK and on January 5, 2014 on PBS in the US.[1][2][3] The story is set nearly six months after the end of the 2012 Christmas Special, and covers February 1922 into the spring/summer of 1923.[4][5]

Series 4 received a record audience in the UK, being the highest-rated drama on British television in 2013 with an average 11.8 million viewers.[6]


Filming began on 28 February 2013 and the cast, as of 31 May 2013, was halfway through filming.[7][8] The series premiered in the UK on ITV 1 in the autumn of 2013, and in the US on PBS on 5 January 2014.[9][3]

Julian Fellowes said that he wanted to slow down the pace of the drama, make it more subtle, and concentrate more on character development.[10][11]

This series featured the show's first black actor with Gary Carr appearing as Jack Ross, a jazz musician and singer.[12]

Two actors who did not appear are Siobhan Finneran (Sarah O'Brien) and Amy Nuttall (Ethel Parks) both of whom are not returning to the show.[13][14]

Lily James appeared again, returning as Lady Rose MacClare who is now living with the Crawleys. Other actors who returned this series include Charles Edwards (Michael Gregson); Brendan Patricks (Evelyn Napier); MyAnna Buring (Edna Braithwaite), now a lady's maid; and Samantha Bond (Lady Rosamund Painswick).[15]

Dame Harriet Walter was on set on 22 March as new character Lady Shackleton, Violet's old "school friend." She was filming scenes for one episode, all of her scenes being with Maggie Smith.[16]

Paul Giamatti guest stars as Cora's brother Harold Levinson, and appears in the Christmas Special alongside returning actress Shirley MacLaine as their mother, Martha Levinson.[17][18]

Other actors new to the series are Andrew Alexander (Sir John Bullock); Joanna David (the Duchess of Yeovil); Nigel Harman (Gillingham's valet Green); James Fox; and Kiri Te Kanawa (Dame Nellie Melba).[19][20][21][22]


You have a straight forward choice before you. You must choose either death or life.
—The Dowager Countess

It is nearly six months after the death of Matthew Crawley and Mary is adjusting to her new life and attempting to move on without the man she loved and raise her son, George.[23][24] She has two new suitors: Anthony, Lord Gillingham - who has known her since childhood but hasn't seen her since - and aristocrat Charles Blake.[25]

Tom Branson is taking on a larger role within the family, having become Robert's right-hand-man.[26] He also meets a new friend in schoolteacher, Sarah Bunting.

Tom and Mary spend more time together and their friendship continues to develop as Mary begins to get involved in the running of the estate.

There is some excitement in the nursery involving Nanny West.

Edith's relationship with Michael Gregson flourishes.

John and Anna Bates' relationship continues as strong as ever, but not without some ups and downs.

Cora's new maid Baxter has a past with Thomas Barrow who has some sort of power over her.[27]







  1. ITV - ITV Commissions a fourth series of Downton Abbey, itv,com, Friday, 23rd November 2012, 4:43PM.
  2. Downton Abbey Series 4 Press Pack, ITV Press Centre, 12th Sept, 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Breaking News: "Downton Abbey" Season 4 Will Begin on "Masterpiece" on PBS on Sunday, January 5, 2014, the Futon Critic, 14th May, 2013, 07:10 AM.
  4. 'Downton Abbey' Season 4: Does Thomas tell Lady Cora about the soap incident?, Andrea Reiher, Zap 2 it, 6th August, 2013.
  5. Downton Abbey Season 4 preview gets rave reviews,, 14th August, 2013.
  6. Two Characters Killed off and another raped, The Telegraph, 11th November, 2013.
  7. This article:, In the bleak midwinter: Downton Abbey begin filming season four with the cast at the graveside of Matthew Crawley By J J Anisiobi; PUBLISHED: 02:46 EST, 1 March 2013 | UPDATED: 06:03 EST, 1 March 2013, with pictures, mentions them filming on a "Thursday"; the article was published on March 1st, which was a Friday. Thus, filming began the previous day, as filming is stated to have "just begun".
  8. The Times Colonist interview with Michelle Dockery: 31st May, 2013: confirms that they are filming episodes 5 and 6 and are halfway through the series.
  9. ITV commissions a fourth series of Downton Abbey, ITV Press Center, 12th December, 2012.
  10. Downton Abbey's own aristocratic baby George, Hello Magazine, 28th July, 2013.
  11. Heads Up: Downton Abbey Series 4, Holly Williams, The Independent, 3rd August, 2013.
  12. ‘Downton Abbey’ Adds Gary Carr As Jazz Singer For Season 4, Nancy Tartaglione, Deadline, 1st May 2013, 10:51 UK.
  13. Another Key ‘Downton Abbey’ Loss: Siobhan Finneran Leaving O’Brien Role, Nancy Tartaglione, 2nd March, 2013, 00:13 UK.
  14. To those of you who've asked, no I'm not in series 4 of Downton Abbey. Looking forward to watching it with the rest of you though!, Amy Nuttall,, 3rd March, 2013, 4:57 AM.
  15. Exhausting day in rehearsal for @PassionPlayLond followed by tango rehearsal for @DowntonAbbey,, 3rd April 2013, 9:57 PM.
  16. Downton Abbey and Maggie Smith prove daunting for Harriet Walter
  17. Shirley MacLaine to return to Downton Abbey in series four, Alice Vincent, Telegraph, 4th March 2013, 11:15AM GMT.
  18. Downton Abbey Exclusive: Paul Giamatti Joins Season 4 Cast as Cora's Brother, Michael Ausiello, TV Line, 24th June, 2013.
  19. First black character appears in Downton Abbey, Gordon Smart, The Sun, 26th February, 2013.
  20. Shirley MacLaine Returning To ‘Downton Abbey’, 6 New Cast Members Join, The Deadline Team, Deadline, 2nd March, 2013, 7:45am PST.
  21. Kiri Te Kanawa reduced Downton cast to tears, Victoria Ward, The Telegraph, 13th August, 2013.
  22. Downton Abbey Series 4 Press Pack, page 3, ITV Press Centre, 12th Sept, 2013.
  23. Downton Abbey Christmas 2012,, Wednesday, 26th December 2012, 7:56PM.
  24. "Downton Abbey" creator Julian Fellowes talks Season 4, CBS News, 18th February, 2013.
  25. Downton Abbey: a guide to the new cast: By Michael Hogan: 2:22PM BST 26 Jun 2013
  26. Primetime Unreality TV interview with Gareth Neame. 17th June 2013 by Anna Howell.
  27. Downton Abbey Season 4 Spoiler: Is Miss O'Brien Going to Die?, Elisabeth Kramer, Wetpaint, 21st June, 2013.

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