WATCH: First Trailer For ‘Downton Abbey’ Season Four

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!

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.

He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.

Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic

See more posts by Fraser McAlpine