Anglophiles, Rejoice! 'Downton Abbey' Returns Sunday -- Here's A Primer

Jan 5, 2014

Will Lady Mary find true love after Matthew’s tragic death? Will Lady Edith make a friend? Will Robert Crawley stop making stupid mistakes as he runs Downton? What will Violet say? What’s going to happen to Bates and Anna?

So many questions. Maybe we’ll get some answers starting 8 p.m. Sunday, when “Downton Abbey” returns to KERA-TV, Channel 13.

Do you have “Downton Abbey” fever?  Get up to speed on all things “Downton Abbey.” And, we promise, no spoilers.

‘Lady Mary is like a British Scarlett O’Hara’

Garden & Gun has offered its top 10 list of “reasons why we love ‘Downton Abbey.’” “The series is tailored for a Southern audience–fabulous interiors, beautiful hunt scenes, and a love of land that strikes a chord with us here in Dixie,” the magazine reports.

Among the reasons: “Lady Mary is like a British Scarlett O’Hara: beautiful, spoiled and determined. Let’s just hope she leaves the drapery on the windows.” And then there’s this: “No one loves—or plans—a wedding like we do in the South. Except maybe the British.”

KERA’s Bill Young, our British TV guru, says: “You REALLY know you’ve arrived when you make it in an issue of Garden & Gun magazine.” Bill chronicles TV over the pond on the Tellyspotting blog.

If you were a ‘Downton Abbey’ character, which one would you be?

Which “Downton Abbey” character are you – Mrs. Patmore? Thomas? Or how about Violet? Take this quiz.

And if you want to take more quizzes, check this other one out, too.

An animated recap of Season 3

Looking for a recap of the last season? Head over to Tellyspotting for a fun (and animated) look at Season 3.

More on ‘Downton Abbey’

Explore the world of Downton Abbey on PBS’ website – we didn’t see any spoilers.

A sneak preview of Sunday’s show:

'Mary is mired in grief ... Clashes arise, sparks fly'

Can't stand to watch any previews? Well, here's some text provided by PBS and Masterpiece Theatre:

Six months after Downton Abbey's great tragedy, Mary is mired in grief and the estate is engulfed in death taxes. As the family struggles to lift their financial and emotional woes, clashes arise, sparks fly, and it is up to the older generation to bring Mary back to life, and Robert to his senses – no easy task in either respect. Another departure leaves no tears in its wake, but rather opportunity for new faces – and drama, alliances, and sparks of an entirely different sort – below stairs.

As London draws Downton's youth with its glamorous jazz clubs and sparkling literary scene, social change sweeps its way up to the venerable estate, bringing with it a threat to the continued relevance and very existence of Downton Abbey. But neither the Crawley family nor its servants can anticipate a dire new threat that penetrates the Abbey's ancestral walls, buttressed as they are by loyalty and love.

How realistic is the 'Downtown Abbey' manor? Find out Monday

"Downton Abbey" has given us a peek into life at a stately British manor. But how realistic is the show’s depiction of how these homes function? We'll find out at 1 p.m. Monday on "Think" on KERA 90.1 FM as host Krys Boyd talks with Lucy Lethbridge. Her new book is "Servants: A Downstairs History of Britain from the Nineteenth Century to Modern Times."

But wait: There’s more!

Season four of “Downton Abbey” runs through late February on PBS. But … “Downton Abbey” will return for a fifth season sometime in 2015. PBS recently announced:Downton Abbey Season 4 recently completed its run in the U.K. where it drew 11.8 million average viewers -- making it Britain's highest-rated television drama in 2013. Earlier [in 2013], more than 24 million viewers watched the third season of the series in the U.S., making it the most-watched drama in PBS history.”