Now, where were our 'Downton Abbey' favorites?
Posted January 2, 2013
It's 1920 when Downton Abbey returns to PBS' Masterpiece on Sunday (9 ET/PT, times may vary). The Great War is over. The aristocrats and servants fought together in the trenches, and the world will never be the same. USA TODAY caught up with cast members about what Season 3 - and life - holds for their characters.
Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
Where we left him: While the Crawley women seemed to take over the running of Downton, used as a convalescent home for soliders, Robert was left wondering about his role in the world.
Where he's headed: Facing a financial crisis, Lord Grantham finds "the very fabric of Downton Abbey at risk," says Bonneville. "Having been a man of relatively liberal views for a man of his position, we now actually see him being a bit of a dinosaur. And the young bloods, Matthew and Branson, tell the old lion he needs to adapt or die."
Cora Crowley, Countess of Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern)
Where we left her: With the war over, she's hoping life at Downton will get back to normal; she's delighted by the news of Sybil's pregnancy.
Where she's headed: McGovern says Cora's flexibility as an American comes in handy. "It's much easier for Cora to let go of the grand way of life that Downton represents, and she can adjust to living in a different way without batting an eye, whereas it's much more difficult for her daughter Mary and certainly for Robert. Cora is a character who's very open to new ideas and new ways of doing things. When you meet her mother, it becomes clear that her wealth is nouveau rather than old money, and she can adjust to having a chauffeur as a son-in-law much more easily."
Lady Edith Crawley, the Granthams' middle daughter (Laura Carmichael)
Where we left her: Edith gained self-confidence during the war, but her major focus continues to be finding a husband.
Where she's headed: "During the war, we saw a softer side of Edith," says Carmichael. "She gets a purpose. Really, she enjoys having something to do, having a job, helping out when the injured soldiers were staying at Downton." But she hasn't given up the hunt. "She's keen not to be left on the shelf now that Mary's getting married and Sybil is married. The idea of staying in the house with her parents isn't appealing."
Mrs. Beryl Patmore, Downton's cook (Lesley Nicol)
Where we left her: The war years made the preparation of every meal a challenge, as did the young maid Daisy, who wanted a promotion.
Where she's headed: Things get slightly back on track in her little world, says Nicol. "We get more people in, and she's trying very hard to make it work again as it did before, but inevitably, time has moved on and the world is different. Mrs. Patmore is quite relieved at having some new help in the kitchen, (but) the younger ones in the kitchen have ditched their corsets, and me and Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) still have to wear them."
Daisy Mason, kitchen maid (Sophie McShera)
Where we left her: Now a war widow and a little more worldly, she's hoping to become more than a kitchen maid.
Where she's headed: "Oh, my gosh, you're not going to believe Daisy. She's become a bit of a (witch)," says McShera. "She gets a bit power mad. In Season 2, she's hanging on about this promotion, and Season 3 is about, 'Be careful what you wish for.' because she eventually gets what she wants, but someone does come in beneath her, and she's this young pretty thing, and all the boys fancy her, and Daisy's really put out by it."
Thomas Barrow, valet to the Earl of Grantham (Rob James-Collier)
Where we left him: Thomas hit rock bottom when his black market moneymaking scheme imploded, but he worked his way back into the earl's good graces.
Where he's headed: "He's a little bit of a naught boy, isn't he?" says James-Collier. "When we arrive in Season 3, he's now where he always wanted to be. He's at the top of his game as his lordship's valet. You would think that would make him slightly nicer to his fellow man, but no, it's the same old sort of arrogant Thomas, and he just gets worse."
Anna Bates, head housemaid (Joanne Froggatt)
Where we left her: Crushed by Mr. Bates' conviction for the murder of his estranged wife and his life sentence, she's determined to keep his spirits buoyed and hopes alive.
Where she's headed: , "Season 3 becomes a bit like 'Anna Bates Investigates,'" says Froggatt. "She has some hope. So she starts off much more positively, having a goal to work toward, which is freeing her man and clearing his name."
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