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Spoiler: DOWNTON ABBEY Season 5 to Open with Death-Defying Stunt

Action isn't usually what viewers are seeking when they tune into ITV's cult period drama DOWNTON ABBEY, but it's what they'll get in the Series 5 premiere, according to Vanity Fair and several UK-based TV news sites. (Stop here if you don't want spoilers!)

In the first episode, there is a life-threatening fire in one of the main character's bedrooms. The sequence is set to include special and visual effects, as well as actual fire.

As Executive Producer Liz Trubridge told "The scenes were shot between the actual house and the studio. Because of the very nature of a stately home, you can't have smoke, because it can cause damage...we actually had our designer rebuild the gallery on the stage at Ealing... We did some of the sequences at Highclere, and some were done in a room that we could that we could set fire to and burn down at Ealing."

According to an article by The Telegraph, Highclere Castle, where DOWNTON ABBEY is filmed, has a real-life history of fires, starting with one 150 years ago in the North Library.

Season 5 of DOWNTON ABBEY will premiere in the U.S. on Jan. 4 on PBS.


A pre-World War I British period drama, Downton Abbey is one of the most widely watched and critically acclaimed television dramas in the world. The international series has won multiple Golden Globe, PrimetimeEmmy and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

"Downton Abbey," is the recipient of multiple Golden Globe, PrimetimeEmmy and Screen Actors Guild awards. The international hit series is from writer and creator Julian Fellowes.

Photo courtesy of ITV.

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