PBS is gearing up for the January stateside premiere of Downton Abbey‘s third season in a big way. The network has released three juicy new promos, a scene from episode one featuring season three newcomer and Academy-Award winner, Shirley MacLaine trading barbs with Maggie Smith’s Lady Violet, and an epic five minute recap of the first two seasons that should entice new fans, as well as delight those who are already addicted to the upstairs and downstairs goings on of Downton Abbey.
The promos reveal a picture of a household still recovering from The Great War, as the Crawley’s struggle with serious financial issues. Lady Violet’s belief that “nothing succeeds like excess” is going to be challenged in a big way this season. As the second promo says, the Crawleys “have everything to lose.”
Money troubles aside, the big event everyone is looking forward to this season is Mary’s (Michelle Dockery) long-awaited marriage to Matthew (Dan Stevens). Hints abound in the trailers that the happy couple may not make it to the altar without a hitch (that falling veil scene is particularly ominous), but–spoiler alert–the star-crossed couple will make it into bed.
Meanwhile, the downstairs contingent will have their share of excitement as well. Mr. Bates (Brendan Coyle) will continue to fight for his freedom after being wrongly accused of murdering his ex-wife, while Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) “breaks in a new footman,” who is–get this–O’Brien’s (Siobhan Finneran) nephew (something tells me Thomas (Rob James-Collier) isn’t going to like that). You can watch all of the promos and the recap below, and if that’s still not enough to hold you over until the premiere, check out our exclusive interview with Mrs. Patmore herself, Lesley Nicol.
Season three of Downton Abbey premieres Sunday, January 6th at 9pm on PBS.