downton-abbey-season-5-rade sherbedgia-richard-grant-anna-chanchellor.jpgPBS announced Friday (Feb. 14) that “Downton Abbey” has added a few new faces for Season 5, which begins shooting this spring in England.

Richard E. Grant
(“Doctor Who,” “Gosford Park”) has been cast as Simon Bricker, who visits the estate as a guest of the Crawley family. Anna Chancellor (“Four Weddings and a Funeral”) joins in the guest-starring role of Lady Anstruther and Rade Sherbedgia (“24,” right) will play a Russia refugee.

That last one has certainly piqued our interest as to the plot of Season 5. The Russian Civil War took place between 1917-1922 and there are estimates that up to 2 million people fled the country in that time. We wonder how this particular refugee ends up in York.

PBS also reveals that Dame Harriet Walter will return as Lady Shackleton — she’s Lady Violet’s old friend with whom Violet tried to get Molesley a job — and Peter Egan will return as Lord Flintshire, a.k.a. “Shrimpie,” Lady Rose’s father.

“Masterpiece” executive producer Rebecca Eaton says in a statement, “We look forward to introducing these new characters to our ‘Masterpiece’ audience. They will make a wonderful addition to the beloved ‘Downton Abbey’ ensemble.”

Gareth Neame, EP of “Downton Abbey,” adds, “We are delighted to welcome these talented actors to the world of ‘Downton.’ The characters they play are set to bring yet more excitement and intrigue to the show.”

There are no return dates yet, but if the show remains true to form, Season 5 of “Downton Abbey” will premiere in September in the U.K. and January 2015 in the U.S.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."