Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey Recap: Series 5, Episode 3

Previously, on Downton Abbey: Anna has to go shopping for Mary’s secret weekend getaway with Tony Gillingham. Related: Mary is the worst employer ever. Carson and Robert argue over the best spot for the village war memorial; Baxter tells Molesley the truth; Rose becomes obsessed with getting a wireless; Tom struggles with his internal identity for the 50th time and guest star Richard E. Grant arrives. For more, see last week’s recap.)

Allrighty, guys. Let’s do this.

'Downton Abbey' Discussion: Series 5, Episode 1

Previously, on Downton Abbey: There is too much. Just go investigate the Series 4 recaps for a bit if you need a refresher on last season.

It’s finally here! Downton Abbey Series 5 is finally here! I’m entirely too excited about getting back to these recaps, so let’s just jump right in, shall we? There’s a lot to discuss (surprise surprise) and some of it’s awesome, some of it's awful and some of it’s kind of weird.

In short: We have a lot to talk about. Let's jump right in.

Happy New Year! Here's What We're Looking Forward to in 2015

Happy New Year, Telly Visions readers! From our family here to yours – we hope you all have a wonderful 2015; we're wishing you a year full of love and laughter and, of course, as much great British television as you can possibly cram in to 365 days. Luckily, it appears as though we're going to be quite spoiled for choice in the New Year.

Just a few of the awesome things we have to look forward to include:

Watch: George Clooney Guest Stars on ‘Downton Abbey’ for Charity

We heard about this momentous occasion earlier this month, and now it’s finally here – the mega popular actor George Clooney joined forces with the mega popular costume drama Downton Abbey. This Voltron of cultural awesomeness combined for charity and its end result is sure to make every fan of the world’s most successful period drama smile.

Clooney appeared as part of a Downton skit for ITV’s Text Santa campaign, a charity effort which benefits such organizations as Alzheimer’s Society, Guide Dogs, Marie Cure Cancer Care, Teenage Cancer Trust, Together for Short Lives, and WellChild. Much like the BBC’s annual Children in Need event, the telethon features all sorts of fun, including celebrity hosts, pop stars performing their latest hits and a variety of skits and clips from popular network programming.

The clip, which features Clooney as the Most Honorable George Ocean’s Gravity, opens during the holiday season, just as Lord Robert Crawley has discovered that he’s managed to lose the family fortune.

Again.

Luckily, Absolutely Fabulous star Joanna Lumley appears before disaster can strike, portraying an It’s a Wonderful Life-style angel sent to educate Lord Robert about what his family and estate might be like if he’d never existed. Hilarity ensues.

Watch: George Clooney Visits ‘Downton Abbey’

UK network ITV will air their annual Text Santa telethon on December 19. Much like the BBC’s annual Children in Need event, it features standard telethon fair like TV presenters doing random and/or weird things, pop stars performing songs you’re probably already tired of hearing, celebs dropping by to encourage viewers to donate and all manner of skits and parodies based on popular programming.

And there’s not much in the way of more popular programming than Downton Abbey these days. But, when someone’s already done a musical parody and a full on two-part skit featuring Absolutely Fabulous stars Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley, how do you top that? By adding George Clooney, of course.

Yeah, that’s not a typo.

Watch: Masterpiece Releases New ‘Downton Abbey’ ‘Official’ Series 5 Trailer

We’ve got just over a month to go until Downton Abbey Series 5 premieres in America, and promotion surrounding the new season is starting to kick into high gear.

In addition to a flurry of interesting behind the scenes clips and cast interviews, PBS has released what it’s calling the “official” Series 5 trailer, a new thirty second spot that highlights the many secrets being kept by the various members of the Crawley family and their staff.

Dun dun dun.

This new trailer is an interesting combination of moments we’ve seen previously – in either the first teaser or the early Season 5 trailer – along with a handful of tantalizing new shots. Just enough to help stoke the fires of excitement speculation just a bit higher, yeah?

Rejoice: ‘Downton Abbey’ Has Been Renewed For Series 6

It’s official: On the eve of its fifth season finale in the UK, ITV has confirmed that Downton Abbey will return for a sixth series.

All together now: Yaaaaaaay!

This news shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone, given the truly global success enjoyed by Downton. Series 5 has averaged over 10 million viewers per episode in the UK this Fall. But, as with any show that is so universally beloved, it’s a relief to know that we aren’t going to have to say goodbye to the Crawley clan anytime soon.

Watch: New ‘Downton Abbey’ Trailer to Help Americans Make It Through to January

PBS has provided American fans of megahit costume drama Downton Abbey with another fun little tidbit to help us all along on the long, long road to January and the US premiere of Season 5.

A new trailer has been released, which certainly seems to set the new season up as something that’s both incredibly dramatic, and incredibly emotional.

Set to a rather intense technopop backing track, we’re treated to shots of almost all the major characters, though Anna is merely heard instead of seen. There’s also no sign of Daisy, Tom or Isobel Crawley that I can tell, and it’s left for viewers to assume that Mrs. Hughes must be talking to Carson, offscreen in that bit of the scene you can’t see (I do, if only because in my world, Mrs. Hughes is almost always talking to Carson!) It’s likely that this because they featured those three characters fairly prominently in the first US Series 5 trailer but that’s just a guess.

British Actors You Should Know: Hugh Bonneville

I’d wager a majority of Americans first became acquainted with this week’s featured British Actor You Should Know thanks to his role as Robert Crawley, The Earl of Grantham, in PBS’ monster hit period drama, Downton Abbey.

However, before he became the patriarch of our favorite English country estate, Hugh Bonneville had already built up a successful and varied acting career.

Let's take a look at some of the highlights.

Did You Know ‘Downton Abbey’ Star Elizabeth McGovern is in a Band?

While American actress Elizabeth McGovern is probably best known these days for her involvement in the very British Downton Abbey, in which she plays Lady Cora Crawley, she also has a few hidden talents that might surprise those who only know her from the popular costume drama.

For example, Did you know that when she’s not busy filming at Highclere Castle, McGovern regularly fronts a folk-rock band called Sadie and the Hotheads? Yup, her seven-piece group which will be embarking on a ten-date US tour along the East Coast this December. The band, which was formed in 2007, has seen something of an uptick in popularity since the rise of a global appreciation of all things connected to Downton Abbey.

The tour will kick off in Washington, D.C. on December 4 and wrap in Hartford, CT on December 14.

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