Season three of “Downton Abbey” begins next week in England (where it may well be swallowed by the Olympics). But that was the reason PBS felt free to show such a long trailer of the upcoming action in the beloved series.

A list of upcoming spoilers included Lord Grantham going broke (and downright weeping over it); Cora doesn’t mind so much and consoles him saying they should enjoy things while they last. “I’m glad we have a wedding to celebrate.”

And what of that wedding?
Lots of scenes of spats between Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery, pictured left) and Matthew: “How could you be so disappointing?” “Should we break away now?” But they seem to still be looking toward a wedding by the end of the long clip (said to be almost all taken from episode one of the new season).

Bates is in prison and there’s a big scene of him there, visited by the faithful wife and head housemaid Anna.

Lady Sybil comes back to dinner with her outspoken activist husband Tom, the house’s former chauffeur. It does not go well.

Lady Edith seems to be dating a much older guy.

Downstairs, they’ve hired a very tall new butler. James is still there.

But they’ll likely make the most of the visit from Shirley MacLaine’s new character Martha Levinson, the mother of Cora, countess of Grantham, who comes to visit. (There was talk of Mary going off to New York to live with her for a while, but it seems as if she’ll be coming to Downton instead.

Primarily the exchanges with Maggie Smith’s character will be the best part.

In one scene:

Reaquainting her says Violet, Countess of Grantham, “I’m reminded of the virtue of England.”

“But isn’t she American?” she is asked.


Later there is an exchange between the septuagenarian actresses:

“I,m afraid the war has made old women of us all,” MacLaine’s character says.

“I don’t know about that,” says Smith, “but I always manage to keep myself  out of the sun.”