Credit: ITV

SPOILERS AHEAD! Before reading about plans for Downton Abbey Season 4, be sure you've seen or at least read our Downton Abbey Season 3 finale recap here. And if you're wondering when Downton Abbey Season 4 will premiere in the US, click here!

Downton Abbey has just started filming Season 4, which will include the aftermath of the big event at the end of Season 3. Lady Mary gives birth to a son, but right afterward her husband, Matthew Crawley, is killed in a car accident while rushing to celebrate with the rest of the family.

Life after Matthew: Downton creator Julian Fellowes told Digital Spy that Matthew’s departure would dominate future episodes, adding that "Mary trying to rebuild her life" would be a key theme of Season 4. We’ve already read that she’ll be getting a new boyfriend. But, thankfully, we shouldn’t expect more major character deaths. "We don't want it turning into Midsomer Murders, where they live in the same village and 450 people get murdered," Julian laughed. So no other actors are allowed to suddenly leave the show!

Credit: PBS/ITV

What’s next for Anna & Bates? Now that Bates is free, Joanne Froggatt (Anna) teased at least a little bit of good news for the couple. "You certainly see Anna and Bates in times of happiness, which I think was well needed," Anna told Zap2it, although she added that, of course, there will also be drama. "I'm afraid I can't say much but I don't think you'll be disappointed. As an actress you always want to play the drama." Also, she said, Anna is getting a new look! "I get a slightly new hairstyle, very exciting!"

Best season yet? "We have just had the read-through for Series 4 today and I am thrilled with the whole thing, including Anna and Bates's story," Joanne continued. "I obviously can't say more than that but I think it may be the best yet and there are certainly aspects of Anna's character that have never been seen before ... I think these scripts are the best yet. [Julian Fellowes] has done such an incredible job. "

Edith’s independence: At the end of Season 3, Edith was in a strange position. Her editor confessed his love for her, but he’s married. Obviously her family doesn’t want her to be with a married man — Edith as a mistress?! — but Edith is going to make her own decisions, whether to be with him or not. Laura Carmichael told the Lancashire Evening Post that Edith is going to get feisty on Season 4. “She’s coming into her own a little bit,” Laura said. “ think after being jilted she’s thrown it all out the window, any ideas she did have in the first place and I think that’s been good for her. It’s given her a bit of independence and hotspur. I love playing her.”

Are you excited for Season 4? What do you want to see for the characters?

When will Season 4 premiere, you ask? According to the New York Daily News, "Downton fans now can set alarms for Jan. 5, 2014, 322 days hence, which is the projected date for season four."

Sources: Digital Spy , Zap2it,  Lancashire Evening Post

 

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