Viewers of 'Downton Abbey' season 3 know that the year came with a costly price, killing off two major characters and driving yet a third to quit the show in between seasons. We've heard a bit how the soon-to-film 'Downton Abbey' season 4 will introduce a number of changes and new characters into the Masterpiece series, but are you ready to meet the new cast? Find out who's arriving at 'Downton Abbey,' and check out the first official photo from the series inside!
'Downton Abbey' fans were shocked enough to see both Lady Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) and Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) killed off from the series over the course of season 3, before longtime series star Siobhan Finneran announced that she too wouldn't return for the impending fourth season. Now, in addition to releasing the first new photo from the season, Masterpiece has given out an early bit of scoop by releasing a number of new characters and actors to join the series, including Lady Mary's new love interest!
Actor Tom Cullen will take the role Lord Gillingham, Mary's eventual rebound man and a family friend of the Crawleys who visits the family as a guest at a house party, while Nigel Harman will join as new valet Green. Additionally, Dame Harriet Walter will appear as an old friend of the Dowager Countess named Lady Shackleton, Joanne David will appear in a guest role as the Duchess of Yeovil, Julian Ovenden will play aristocrat Charles Blake and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa will appear as a guest who sings in the house.
Finally, it's also been revealed that season 3 guest star Shirley MacLaine will also return for season 4, but HuffpostTV reveals the character won't appear until the season 4 finale, airing Christmas 2014.
Well, what say you? Are you excited to see a plethora of new faces in 'Downton Abbey' season 4? Check out the first photo from the new season below, and give us your predictions in the comments!