Downton Abbey series 5 start date revealed: Drama to return to ITV in late September

The Crawley household will return to UK screens on Sunday 21 September

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The Independent Culture

The launch date for series five of Downton Abbey has finally been revealed, with fans told to expect the first new episode on Sunday 21 September.

The hit ITV period drama will return to UK living rooms at 9pm for a 90-minute opener, but US fans will have to wait until early 2015.

A 60-second trailer has been released, hinting at a dramatic fire in the stately home that puts a blonde-haired character’s life at risk.

The household is shown struggling to adapt to changing times in 1924, with Mrs Hughes telling Carson: “Downton is catching up with the times we live in”.

“That is exactly what I am afraid of,” Carson replies.

Robert, Earl of Grantham is seen fearing that Lady Edith’s illegitimate daughter will be taken from them, but there are no pointers regarding what could happen to Anna and John Bates’ relationship after her traumatising rape last series.


Maggie Smith’s popular Dowager Countess looks set for more sharp one-liners than ever before, and is rumoured to have a major storyline coming up.

New characters Simon Bricker and Lady Anstruther, played by Richard E Grant and Anna Chancellor, are also introduced in the trailer.

Bricker, an art historian, seems to be flirting with Cora, Countess of Grantham, while Tom Branson appears to have a new love interest in the form of schoolteacher Sarah Bunting.

Producers have promised "high drama, laughs and right angle moments" after the frankly miserable start to series four, when Lady Mary was battling intense grief after the sudden death of her husband Matthew.