Downton Abbey: What to expect in series 5

As fans of Downton Abbey prepare for a brand new season to air, HELLO! Online takes a look at the dramatic opening of the highly anticipated fifth season.

Expect hopeful suitors, blackmail and even – in the nervewracking opening episode – life-threatening danger.

As wild fire engulfs the grand house, the lives of Downton’s residents are put at risk, before a heroic act by Thomas Barrow.
Laura Carmichael – who plays Lady Edith – said filming those scenes was quite frightening.

Season five will see a few new faces join the cast as well, including Sue Johnston, as the Dowager Countess's lady maid Denker. Richard E Grant is appearing as art historian Simon Bricker, Daisy Lewis as Tom Branson's love interest Sarah Bunting and new maid Phyllis Baxter, played by Raquel Cassidy.

In the first episode, Dame Harriet Walter will also be returning as Violet Crawley's old school friend Lady Shackleton.

As for the show's star Lady Mary, played by Michelle Dockery, she is still juggling suitors.