The Great War is over and a long-awaited engagement is on, but all is not tranquil at Downton Abbey as wrenching social changes, romantic intrigues, and personal crises grip the majestic English country estate for a third thrilling season. With the return of its all-star cast plus guest star Academy Award®-winner Shirley MacLaine, Downton Abbey, Season 3 airs over seven Sundays on PBS beginning in January 2013.

Credit:
(C) Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for MASTERPIECE

Usage:
This image may be used only in the direct promotion of MASTERPIECE CLASSIC. No other rights are granted. All rights are reserved. Editorial use only.

Winter

'Downton Abbey' season 3

The drama at the English estate kicks off on PBS on Jan. 6, 2013. Get a sneak peek at some of the photos from the new season!

/ 8 PHOTOS
The Great War is over and a long-awaited engagement is on, but all is not tranquil at Downton Abbey as wrenching social changes, romantic intrigues, and personal crises grip the majestic English country estate for a third thrilling season. With the return of its all-star cast plus guest star Academy Award®-winner Shirley MacLaine, Downton Abbey, Season 3 airs over seven Sundays on PBS beginning in January 2013.

Credit:
(C) Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for MASTERPIECE

Usage:
This image may be used only in the direct promotion of MASTERPIECE CLASSIC. No other rights are granted. All rights are reserved. Editorial use only.

The cast

The Great War is over and a long-awaited engagement is on, but all is not tranquil at Downton Abbey as wrenching social changes, romantic intrigues, and personal crises grip the majestic English country estate for a third season.

  • Share

The great dames

Dowager Countess Violet (Maggie Smith) will pit her sharp tongue against new foe Martha Levinson (Shirley MacLaine), Cora's mother, in the new season.

Photo Nick Briggs Nick@nickbrigg
  • Share
The Great War is over and a long-awaited engagement is on, but all is not tranquil at
Downton Abbey as wrenching social changes, romantic intrigues, and personal crises grip
the majestic English country estate for a third thrilling season. With the return of its all-star
cast plus guest star Academy Award®-winner Shirley MacLaine, Downton Abbey, Season 3
airs over seven Sundays on PBS beginning on January 6, 2013. Shown: Shirley MacLaine as Martha Levinson

© Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for MASTERPIECE

This image may be used only in the direct promotion of MASTERPIECE. No other rights are granted. All rights are reserved. Editorial use only.

The American

Shirley MacLaine joins the cast in season three as Martha Levinson, the Countess of Grantham's mother from America.

Photo Nick Briggs Nick@nickbrigg
  • Share
Downton Abbey Joss Barratt Photographer

Inmate

Lord Grantham's valet, John Bates (Brendan Coyle) may have escaped the death sentence after being found guilty of murder in season two, but he's still behind bars. Bates and lady love Anna (Joanne Froggatt) will be fighting for his freedom this season.

Joss Barratt
  • Share
Downton Abbey Joss Barratt Photographer

High standards

Downton's butler, Mr. Carson (Jim Carter), came down with the Spanish flu at the end of the season. Prior to that, he struggled to keep the small staff performing its duties exactly, though much of the male staff was off at war.

Joss Barratt
  • Share
The Great War is over and a long-awaited engagement is on, but all is not tranquil at
Downton Abbey as wrenching social changes, romantic intrigues, and personal crises grip
the majestic English country estate for a third thrilling season. With the return of its all-star
cast plus guest star Academy Award®-winner Shirley MacLaine, Downton Abbey, Season 3
airs over seven Sundays on PBS beginning on January 6, 2013. Shown from left to right: Laura Carmichael as Lady Edith Crawley and Robert Bathurst as Sir Anthony Strallan

© Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for MASTERPIECE
This image may be used only in the direct promotion of MASTERPIECE. No other rights are granted. All rights are reserved. Editorial use only.

Mr. and Mrs. Strallan?

Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) found love again with season one suitor Sir Anthony Strallan (Robert Bathurst), but will they make it down the aisle in season three?

Photo Nick Briggs Nick@nickbrigg
  • Share
Downton Abbey Joss Barratt Photographer

Running the house

Housekeeper Mrs. Hughes (Phyliis Logan) and cook Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) kept the estate tidy and fed during the war. In the new season, one of the ladies will face a challenge that brings the two closer together.

Joss Barratt
  • Share
The Great War is over and a long-awaited engagement is on, but all is not tranquil at
Downton Abbey as wrenching social changes, romantic intrigues, and personal crises grip
the majestic English country estate for a third thrilling season. With the return of its all-star
cast plus guest star Academy Award®-winner Shirley MacLaine, Downton Abbey, Season 3
airs over seven Sundays on PBS beginning on January 6, 2013. Shown: Siobhan Finneran as Miss O'Brien

© Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for MASTERPIECE
This image may be used only in the direct promotion of MASTERPIECE. No other rights are granted. All rights are reserved. Editorial use only.

The help

O'Brien was her scheming self at times during season two. Expect more of that behavior in the new year.

Photo Nick Briggs Nick@nickbrigg
  • Share
1/8