Hello Jana here,
‘Downton Abbey‘ has taken the TV series platform that Americans are familiar with, turned it on its ear, polished it to a British-shine and showed us what a witty, elegant and proper thing it could be. Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you know the premise. And if you’ve been living in a cave, I’ll give you a rundown so you’re caught up. Lord Crawley sees his family heritage, especially the grand country home Downton Abbey, as his mission in life. The death of his heir aboard the Titanic means distant cousin Matthew Crawley, a Manchester lawyer, suddenly is next in line and accepts moving onto the vast estate with his even more modernist, socially engaged mother, who clashes with his lordship’s domineering, conservative mother, the dowager. Marrying off the daughters is another concern. Meanwhile, the butler presides over a staff which serves the family, but also lead most of their entire lives in the servants’ quarters, intriguing amongst themselves.
The show became an overnight success from it’s birth in 2010 and has garnered 97 nominations with 35 wins, including two Golden Globes. Yeah, I said 97 nominations. Amazing, right? It should not be a surprise that season 5 has been announced by Carnival Films and Masterpiece Theatre on PBS. With that announcement, comes the word of new cast members to join the show.
Richard E. Grant (‘Girls‘, ‘Doctor Who‘) will play Simon Bricker, a visitor to Downton as a guest of the Granthams. Anna Chancellor (‘Four Weddings and a Funeral‘, ‘The Hour‘) as Lady Anstruther and Rade Sherbedgia (‘Eyes Wide Shut‘, ‘Snatch‘) as a Russian refugee, which in ‘Snatch‘ he played Boris the Blade or Boris the Bullet Dodger, or Boris the sneaky fuckin’ Russian. MASTERPIECE Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton says, “We look forward to introducing these new characters to our MASTERPIECE audience. They will make a wonderful addition to the beloved Downton Abbey ensemble.”Downton Abbey’s Executive Producer Gareth Neame, the Managing Director of Carnival Films, says, “We are delighted to welcome these talented actors to the world of Downton. The characters they play are set to bring yet more excitement and intrigue to the show.”
The new series will feature returning stars Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter, Penelope Wilton, Phyllis Logan, Samantha Bond, Laura Carmichael, Lily James, Allen Leech, Brendan Coyle, Joanne Froggatt, Lesley Nicol, Sophie McShera, Rob James-Collier, Ed Speleers, Kevin Doyle, Raquel Cassidy, David Robb, Tom Cullen, Julian Ovenden, Daisy Lewis, Douglas Reith, Jeremy Swift and Andrew Scarborough.
Fun trivia – As of 2013, Downton Abbey is the highest rated PBS “Masterpiece” drama series of all time, seen by an estimated 120 million viewers in 200 countries and regions. According to Jessica Fellowes’ book, “The World of Downton Abbey” (2011), the acclaimed TV series cost an average of £1 million per episode to produce.