If you have a spare 90 minutes, some of the cast and producers of “Downton Abbey” did a Television Academy event over the weekend, and there is video of the entire panel. It’s worth a watch for the fans — though there aren’t any huge Season 5 spoilers revealed.

But amongst the topics discussed are the famous fans of “Downton Abbey,” how creator Julian Fellowes always had Brendan Coyle in mind for the role of Mr. Bates and how people follow Fellowes around in stores, begging him to bring Lady Edith some happiness. Hee. Poor Lady Edith.

Joanne Froggatt also discusses her character’s controversial rape plotline from Season 4, saying that it was an “eye-opening experience,” but that ultimately, Anna’s choices made sense to her in the context of the times, when a woman like Anna would have her name and reputation sullied by publicly declaring that she was raped. Froggatt says it was “heart-wrenching” to play.

As for Season 5, there are a couple tidbits:

– Fellowes teases in regards to Edith’s paramour Michael Gregson to “stay curious” and says “you’ll have to watch” to find out if he returns or what happened to him.

– Froggatt also says that “in Season 5, Anna is more and more honest with Mary.”

– Finally, Rob James-Collier discusses the Thomas-Baxter-Molesley plotline in Season 5.

“[Baxter] was supposed to be the new O’Brien and
report back to him all the gossip and scandal, so he could use it for
his own ends. Along the way, with her own guilt, she starts to resist.
We see that play out in this series that we’re filming at the moment, what that hold is he has over her,” says James-Collier. “We
see her resist Barrow and pull Molesley along for the
ride. [Molesley] is her knight in shining armor. He comes along and strengthens her, and the two go against Barrow. We see that manifest itself [next
season] and play out, and it is pretty good.

“There are a few scenes where Molesley says something and Barrow does a
double take because this guy had skulked around the shadows of Downton.
All of a sudden, he has grown a pair of the proverbials. It is amazing
what love can do to a man. It is lovely to see that relationship
developing between the two of them, but for Thomas, he is outraged. We
will see if we can counteract them.”

“Downton Abbey” returns in September in the U.K. and in 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."