You are cordially invited to watch Downton Abbey: A New Era on the big screen this April. Julian Fellowes' blockbusting heritage series moves further into the 20th century, exploring the trials and tribulations of the aristocratic Crawley family, as well as those who serve downstairs on the Downton estate.
The story this time splits itself in two different directions. The splendidly acerbic Violet Crawley reveals fragments of her personal history pertaining to a villa in the south of France. This prompts several members of the family to embark on a Continental trip to investigate.
At the same time, Downton opens its doors to a lavish film production, and it's no ordinary movie. This being set at the end of the 1920s, talking pictures are starting to become all the rage, and the Downton staff find themselves in a flutter over the arrival of several glamorous movie stars.
Don't know your Carsons from your Crawleys? Bring yourself up to speed with our handy Downton Abbey character guide, and don't forget that Downton Abbey: A New Era tickets are now on sale.
Played by Hugh Bonneville
The son of Violet Crawley and the current owner of the Downton estate who makes some unexpected discoveries about his parent's background.
Played by Maggie Smith
The acid-tongued Dowager Countess is the mother of Robert Crawley, and she has a few skeletons in the closet pertaining to her history in the south of France.
Lady Mary Talbot
Played by Michelle Dockery
The daughter of Robert Crawley, Lady Mary is a widow, having been married to the ill-fated Henry Talbot. In the new movie, she is left in charge of Downton as Robert Crawley and his retinue dig into Violet's Gallic backstory.
Played by Elizabeth McGovern
Cora Crawley is the wife of Robert Crawley and has an important stake in the Downton Abbey estate.
Played by Laura Carmichael
AKA the Marchioness of Hexham, Edith Pelham, the second daughter of Robert and Cora, is married to married to Herbert "Bertie" Pelham, 7th Marquess of Hexham (played by Harry Hadden-Patton).
Played by Jim Carter
Carson is Robert Crawley's devoted footman and accompanies his employer to the south of France.
Played by Phyllis Logan
Charles Carson's wife, Elsie is the head housekeeper at Downton and is in charge of the female servants.
Played by Brendan Coyle
Robert Crawley's valet, John is a Boer War veteran and a longstanding member of the Downton entourage. He is married to Anna.
Played by Joanne Froggatt
Anna was the head housemaid at Downton Abbey and is currently lady's maid to Lady Mary Crawley. She is the wife of John Bates.
Played by Allen Leech
Tom is the former chauffeur and the current estate manager for Downton Abbey. He is an Irish socialist and a member of the Branson family. He is the husband of the late Lady Sybil Branson.
Played by Tuppence Middleton
Lucy Smith entered the Downton universe in the 2019 movie, where she promptly fell for, and subsequently married, Tom Branson.
Played by Robert James-Collier
Thomas is is the current butler, succeeding Charles Carson at Downton Abbey, having formerly worked there as a junior footman, first footman, head valet, and under-butler.
Played by Penelope Wilton
Violet Crawley's verbal sparring partner, Isobel Grey AKA Lady Merton is connected to the Crawley family via her late husband Dr. Reginald Crawley, her late son Matthew Crawley's marriage to the aristocratic Lady Mary Crawley and by her grandson George Crawley.
Played by Lesley Nicol
Beryl is the kind-hearted cook at the Downton Abbey estate and shares a close friendship with Daisy Parker.
Played by Sophie McShera
Daisy is the assistant cook in Beryl Patmore's kitchen on the Downton estate.
Played by Hugh Dancy
Jack is a film director who elects to make Downton his next shooting location. Jack is leading the charge for talking pictures or 'talkies', which are moving cinema beyond the realm of silent pictures.
Played by Dominic West
Guy Dexter is the handsome leading man of Jack Barber's new movie. It's suggested in the trailer that he's attracted to butler Thomas Barrow.
Played by Laura Haddock
Myrna is the diva-ish star of Jack Barber's new movie and immediately creates a frisson upon her arrival at Downton.
Lady Rosamund Painswick
Played by Samantha Bond
The widow of the late Marmaduke Painswick, Lady Rosamund is the daughter of the previous Earl of Grantham and Violet Crawley.
Dowager Countess, Lady Maud Bagshaw
Played by Imelda Staunton
Lady Maud is a lady in waiting to Queen Mary. She first appeared in the Downton Abbey movie when she accompanied the King and Queen of England on their 1927 tour of Yorkshire.
Click here to book your tickets for Downton Abbey: A New Era, which arrives in Cineworld cinemas on 29th April.