Here is the first set of cast promotional photos for the upcoming second season of ITV's Downton Abbey. I've also included alink for the official press pack from ITV for those that want to delve deeper in the series. Enjoy.
ITV’s new costume drama series, Downton Abbey, written and created by Oscar-winning writer Julian Fellowes and made by Carnival Films for ITV stars Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, Hugh Bonneville as Robert, Earl of Grantham and Elizabeth McGovern as Robert’s wife, Cora,Countess of Grantham.
They lead an all-star cast, which also includes Penelope Wilton, Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Phyllis Logan, Lesley Nicol, Siobhan Finneran, Rob James-Collier, Joanne Froggatt, as well as new and emerging actors, Rose Leslie, Sophie McShera, Laura Carmichael, Jessica Brown Findlay and Thomas Howes.
Guest artists include Robert Bathurst, Samantha Bond, Allen Leech, David Robb, Brendan Patrick and Theo James.
Set in an Edwardian country house in 1912, Downton Abbey portrays the lives of the Crawley family and the servants who work for them.
“In 1912, England was teetering on the brink. Apparently placid, still rooted in the traditions of many centuries, it would be less than ten years before the First World War and the Jazz Age had ripped every certainty to shreds. This is the moment when we enter the world of Downton Abbey, the great house of a great family, where the Granthams and their daughters preside over a household in the charge of Carson,the butler, and Mrs Hughes, the housekeeper. All these people must, in their different ways, deal with the changes that are coming. The cast, led by Maggie Smith as the Dowager, Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern as the Earl and Countess of Grantham, Dan Stevens and Penelope Wilton as the unwanted heir and his mother, and a staff led by Jim Carter as Carson, and Phyllis Logan as Mrs Hughes, will bring the halls and passages of Downton to life, with splendour, discipline and passion.” Julian Fellowes Laura Mackie, Director of Drama, ITV said: “We’re delighted with the stellar cast who have come together for Downton Abbey. It’s testament to the quality of Julian's wonderful scripts and the calibre of the production team that some of the brightest and best of the UK’s leading actors are onboard."
Downton is the home of the Crawleys, who have been the Earls of Grantham since 1772. In the drawing rooms and library and beautiful bedrooms, with their tall windows looking across the park, lives the family, but below stairs are other residents, the servants, as fiercely possessive of their ranks as anyone above. Some of them are loyal to the family and are committed to Downton as a way of life, others are moving through, on the look out for new opportunities or love or just adventure. The difference being that they know so many of the secrets of the family, while the family knows so few of theirs.
Downton Abbey is a Carnival / Masterpiece co-production and executive produced by Carnival’s Managing Director, Gareth Neame, Julian Fellowes and Rebecca Eaton (WGBH). It transmits on ITV1 in autumn 2010. The series producer is Liz Trubridge (From Time to Time, A Short Stay in Switzerland), the producer is Nigel Marchant (Fanny Hill, The Philanthropist) and the directors are Brian Percival (Gracie, A Boy Called Dad), Ben Bolt (Doc Martin, Ashes to Ashes) and Brian Kelly (Lilies, Torchwood).