Downton Abbey producer teases “twists and turns” in series 5

The Dowager Countess is taking centre stage in the new run - and it's Downton at its best, says executive producer

In mere months Downton Abbey will be back on our telly screens. So it’s only fair that the cast and crew are starting to share some secrets from series five… 


Gareth Neame, the show’s executive producer, has revealed that the upcoming run will contain “high-stakes drama, the laugh-out-loud comedy and… romance” as well as “a few really nice twists and turns” for the characters we know and love.

One of those being the Dowager Countess, who is always a beloved presence, but doesn’t get many really meaty storylines of her own.

“She has a brilliant storyline this season,” Neame told TV Line. “It’s Downton at its best, this storyline. It’s fantastic.” 

The dramas won’t all concern our favourite quick-tongued Matriarch though. Anna will still be dealing with the repercussions of series four – “It’s something that sort of haunts her in Season 5. It’s this added anxiety on top of what else she’s going through,” Joanne Froggatt told journalists at the TCA press tour. 

While Mary is still on the look out for a man. “She’s still not quite sure, and I think there’s a good hook for the audience in the fifth season to see which decision she’s going to make,” says Neame.

And there really could be romance on the cards for Carson and Mrs Hughes: “Downton is about romantic love and companionship, and in that sense, they are one of the Downton relationships, even if they’re not married. Obviously that was a lovely tease at the end of last season, so we’ll see what happens to them.”

Not that everything will be plain sailing. According to Michelle Dockery, the introduction of a new character, Lady Anstruther (played by Anna Chancellor) will create “havoc” down at the Abbey.

“She’s a troublemaker. She comes to the house and she creates havoc,” Dockery said


Downton Abbey will be back on ITV later this year