Downton Abbey series 5: Lady Mary to be 'more decisive' over suitors, hints Michelle Dockery

The actress also said she would like to see her character play a spot of tennis

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The Independent Culture

The fifth series of Downton Abbey promises to see change come upon the Crawley family, not least for Lady Mary.

Michelle Dockery will return to screens with the rest of the upstairs and downstairs cast later this month, and she has hinted that viewers will see a livelier Mary than they did in series four.

"She is getting to a point where she's being more decisive between the two of them. What I love about this story is that she's allowing herself to make these choices," she said at the show’s press launch.

"‘Why can't I have a relationship with a man before I decide he's the one I want to settle down with?' she asks Anna.

"It feels like such a modern thing for a woman to be saying at that time, but women were, and that’s what appeals to me. She's very complex, very modern."

Last series saw Mary cut a dour figure, dressed in black and invariably moping around the house as she struggled with the sudden death of her husband Matthew in a road accident.

Now, things are looking up for Lord Grantham's daughter, and Dockery hints that she might even be set for some fun.

"I wouldn't mind seeing Lady Mary playing a bit of tennis," she joked. "You always see those images of women in the twenties, playing it. I'd have to have lessons though."

The hit ITV period drama returns to TV screens on Sunday 22 September, with producers promising "high drama, laughs and right angle moments".

There has been much discussion around when Downton Abbey should and could come to an end, with Hugh Bonneville recently suggesting that creator Julian Fellowes will want to "quit while he's ahead".