You remember Nanny West, right? She was only in one episode as the governess and nanny for baby George Crawley and cousin Sybbie. Her days at Downton, however, were numbered right from the start. As we all know, once you make an enemy of Thomas Barrow, you’re done. Who can forget that fateful day in February 1922 when Lady Cora sacked her on the spot after overhearing this:
“Don’t let that chauffeur’s daughter disturb you. Go back to sleep you wicked little cross-breed.” — Nanny West to George and Sybbie.
When Downton Abbey returns for series five next month in the UK and January 2015 on PBS, we find ourselves in the mid-20’s. Sorry to say, Matthew Crawley is still gone but, on the upside, his and Lady Mary’s son looks to be growing into a spitting image of his late father killed in the road accident that still, to this day, has unforgiving fans of the series upset. Last seen as a baby, Master George Crawley, the heir to the Downton estate, will now be played by twins Oliver and Zac Barker.
Little George is joined in the Downton nursery by Miss Sybbie Branson, played by Fifi Hart and pictured here with her father, Tom Branson (Allen Leech), another single parent after his wife, Lady Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay), died in childbirth.
Having a somewhat older Master George and cousin Sybbie seems to suggest that we’ll be seeing plenty more of both when Downton Abbey returns while their on-screen parents are also reported to be pursuing new romances during the forthcoming series. Lady Mary is still caught between her two suitors, Viscount Anthony Gillingham (Tom Cullen) and Charles Blake (Julien Ovenden), while her brother-in-law Branson continues to embark upon his relationship with Sarah Bunting, the young schoolteacher in Downton who challenged Tom when they met at a political rally last series.
Downton Abbey returns to ITV next month and in January 2015 on PBS…with or without Nanny West.