Fans hoping for a happy ending for Downton Abbey’s Lady Edith are set to be sorely disappointed in the forthcoming fifth season.
Despite being perpetually unlucky in love, culminating in her giving birth outside of wedlock and struggling to decide what to do with the child, the middle Crawley sister will not be getting respite anytime soon.
The cast and executive producer Gareth Neame gave reporters a taste of what’s to come this autumn in a PBS Downton Abbey panel held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.
And the downtrodden Lady Edith, played by Laura Carmichael, will not be finding compassion for her situation from those within her close circle.
TV stars' rhino sketches
TV stars' rhino sketches
1/9 Rhino Doodle by Penelope Wilton (Downton Abbey)
Rhino Doodle by Penelope Wilton (Downton Abbey)
2/9 Rhino Doodle by Hugh Bonnerville (Downton Abbey)
Rhino Doodle by Hugh Bonnerville (Downton Abbey)
3/9 Rhino Doodle by Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey)
Rhino Doodle by Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey)
4/9 Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)
5/9 Rhino Doodle by Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey)
Rhino Doodle by Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey)
6/9 Rhino Doodle by new Doctor Who Peter Capaldi
Rhino Doodle by Peter Capaldi
7/9 Rhino Doodle by Jude Law
Rhino Doodle by Jude Law
8/9 Rhino Doodle by Scottish actress Phyllis Logan (Downton Abbey)
Rhino Doodle by Phylis Logan (Downton Abbey)
9/9 TV presenter Chris Packham's Rhino Doodle
TV presenter Chris Packham's Rhino Doodle
Michelle Dockery, who plays Edith’s sister Lady Mary, said: “Mary doesn't know Edith has a daughter. So Edith certainly won't get any sympathy from her unknowing sister.
“Mary's mean to Edith especially in this season - me and Laura love it when they're mean to each other, it's more fun to do.”
But things are looking up for Mary, as she recovers from the untimely death of her husband Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens).
"She's embracing her new life, really,” said Dockery.
“She's through the grief now and I kind of see (Season) 5 as the new Mary. She's got a bit of her bite back, which we had in (Season) 1.”
The real star of the series will be Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess. Neame said in a previous interview with TV Line that the Downton matriarch will have a “brilliant” storyline, adding: “It’s Downton at its best, this storyline. It’s fantastic.”
The new season, which takes place six months after the Season 4 Christmas special, will air in the United States on 4 January.
It returns to ITV in the autumn, but an official date has not yet been announced.