Dame Maggie Smith in the trailer for season four of 'Downton Abbey'
Dame Maggie Smith in the trailer for season four of 'Downton Abbey'
Dame Maggie Smith in the trailer for season four of ‘Downton Abbey’

“You have a straightforward choice,” says Dame Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess in the kindest and least characteristic tone she has ever used, “you must choose either death…” and there is a significant pause, “… or life.”

Lady Mary takes this in, looks back over the recent past, including a devastating and brutal loss, and asks, without mutiny, “and you think I should choose life?”

So begins the one minute montage trailer for the next season of Downton Abbey, which starts this month in Britain, and airs on PBS in January:

Roll on the new year!

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By Fraser McAlpine