Drusilla MoorhouseTODAY contributor
24 minutes ago
© Carnival Film and Television
The new season of "Downton" will feature quite a few new faces.
Last season on "Downton Abbey," we tragically lost some of our favorite characters. No one can fill their brogues and T-strap pumps, but season four, which returns Sunday on PBS, accounts for the turnover by introducing a number of fresh faces — both upstairs and downstairs.
Although she didn't officially bid farewell, O'Brien (Siobhan Finneran), Cora's lady's maid, is MIA in the premiere. Without notice or warning, the spiteful, scheming sourpuss absconded to India — "like a thief in the night" — with Lady Rose's mama, who so admired her hair-styling skills.
Her replacement is just one of many new friends and foes we'll meet this season.
Despite his heavily publicized casting, Paul Giamatti only appears in one episode — the season finale (aired as a Christmas special in the U.K.). Cora's ne'er-do-well American brother finds himself in a spot of bother, which requires Robert to take a trip across the pond to sort things out. What transpires there takes place off camera —pity, because the earl is accompanied overseas by Thomas, and "Thomas Lands in the Big Apple" is a show we'd pay pounds sterling to see. We finally meet Harold when he joins mama Martha (Shirley MacLaine) in London to celebrate Lady Rose's debutante ball and flirt his way through the aristocracy.