For five seasons, the residents of a fictional Yorkshire country estate have thrilled audiences all over the world as their lives have played out amidst such historical touchstones as the sinking of the Titanic, the first World War and the Spanish influenza pandemic.
Now, as “Downton Abbey” gets ready to return for its last hurrah, a new trailer is giving fans a glimpse of what is sure to be an emotional final season.
“If I could stop history in its tracks, maybe I would,” says Hugh Bonneville as Robert Crawley, The Earl of Grantham. “But I can’t, Carson — you nor I can hold back time.”
The trailer begins with Charles Carson, the Downton butler who has worked there since he was a child, removing his name tag and apparently packing up his belongings. A father figure to the servants, Carson has displayed a tendency towards nostalgia that will undoubtedly make such a departure quite powerful.
Next come scenes of the Abbey being closed up, and a peek at several key residents reminiscing. And, is that Edith (Laura Carmichael) who looks like she may finally find love again?
“We have had our moments, haven’t we milady?” asks Joanne Froggatt as lady’s maid Anna May Bates.
“We certainly have,” replies Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley, endlessly devoted to her Downton home.
As the soundtrack croons lyrics like “time to/say goodbye,” there are quick shots of Mary looking surprised, the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) concerned and heart-tuggers involving Carson and Mrs. Hughes, newly-engaged and deeply in love.
That may lead to one fan theory that seems certain to emerge from this trailer: Since viewers see shots of several characters in a church rising to their feet, but Carson and Mrs. Hughes are not among them, could that mean that the final season will include their wedding?
Other plotlines are teased as well, including what seems to be Daisy taking over the farm of her deceased husband. Just don’t get too excited yet, because although this clip says the episodes begin next month, “Downton Abbey” won’t return to the United States (via PBS) until Jan. 3.