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Monday 22 September 2014

Sizzling opener as
 Downton Abbey goes up in smoke

Dean Gray

Published 15/08/2014 | 02:30

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Actress Laura Carmichael attends the "Downton Abbey" Los Angeles photo call held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel, California.  Photo credit: Tommaso Boddi/WireImage
Actress Laura Carmichael attends the "Downton Abbey" Los Angeles photo call held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel, California. Photo credit: Tommaso Boddi/WireImage

Downton Abbey is to go up in smoke as series five begins, when a heartbroken Lady Edith accidentally sets fire to her bedroom.

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The character, played by Laura Carmichael, will be seen weeping in bed over her secret daughter, whom she gave up when her lover mysteriously disappeared.

But a book too close to the fireplace goes up in flames, putting the rest of the house and its inhabitants in danger.

Fans will see the family and servants scramble to get out in time and to save Downton, uncovering some house secrets along the way.

The series opener also sees the cast in 1924 having mixed reactions to the news that they have a Labour Party prime minister - some of the servants welcome the change, while butler Carson (Jim Carter) and members of the family including Hugh Bonneville's Earl of Grantham worry their world is about to change.

Irish Actor Allen Leech said his character, former chauffeur Tom Branson, who now lived as part of the family with his daughter Sybbie after his marriage to the late Lady Sybil, would sympathise with those feeling the class system needed a shake-up.

But he believed Branson would be unlikely to play a very active part in it.

He said: "It would be impossible for him to go back to the man he was. I think he's not as naive as he was when he arrived last year, but he's still very strong in his views."

Irish Independent

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