With the Crawleys away, could it be party time at Downton Abbey?

Once again, thanks to the Radio Times, Christmas comes early with the storyline revealed for the Downton Abbey 2012 Christmas special set for transmission on Christmas Day on ITV. In a nutshell, the 140 characters or less Twitter version is – what do servants do when there’s no-one to serve?

To: Downton Abbey fans worldwide

From: Downstairs residents at Downton Abbey

Re: Party at Downton!

When: December 25, 2012, 9:00pm

Where: The Yorkshire estate of Downton Abbey (enter upstairs)

Why: The Crawleys are heading north to join the Dowager Countess’s great niece, the fiesty Lady Rose, and her parents at Duneagle Castle.

***Downton Abbey 2012 Christmas Special Spoiler Alert***

While one would hope a warm welcome awaits the Crawleys during their annual trip to the Scottish Highlands, remember, the Dowager Countess is in tow so tensions between the family and their hosts soon become apparent. Will Lord Grantham return sooner than planned to find they’ve had a massive party and smashed up the Abbey? Carson is of course determined to prevent this. However, with the excitement of the approaching Thirsk Country Fair, it’s possible some of the staff could be tempted to push their luck.

***Editors note: Why does this all of a sudden remind me of high school where your parents (The Crawleys) go out to a movie, you (the downtairs) decide to have a few friends over for an innocent party and, come to find out, the movie was sold out and parents come home early. Hits a bit too close to home for me, what about you?***

According to the Radio Times, viewers are being promised “…salacious scandals, clandestine courtships and heartbreaks of seasons past“. According to Laura Mackie, Director of Drama at ITV, “…best have the tissues ready”.

Unfortunately, much of this special will make little sense if you’re in the States and haven’t seen series 3 yet. As was the case last year, the ‘Christmas’ episode, which will be broadcast on Christmas Day in the UK, will be the final episode of series 3 when it plays out on PBS’ Masterpiece meaning this episode will be seen on PBS on Sunday, February 17, 2013. If you’re in the UK, settle in for an amazing night of telly on Christmas Day.

In: Drama