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Downton Abbey Timeline Explained: When Is A New Era Set?

Downton Abbey: A New Era will bring the Crawleys to the cusp of a new decade. Here’s how long after the 2019 Downton Abbey film A New Era is set.

Here is how many years Downton Abbey: A New Era is set after the Downton Abbey TV series and 2019 feature film. Downton Abbey ran for 6 seasons on the BBC and on Masterpiece PBS in the United States. Downton Abbey: A New Era brings the extended Crawley family, including Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern as Lord and Lady Grantham, Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Talbot, and Maggie Smith as Lady Violet the Dowager Countess, and their loyal servants back to the big screen.

Downton Abbey continues to be a global phenomenon over a decade after the TV series originally premiered. After Downton Abbey’s sixth and final season aired in 2015, creator Julian Fellowes confirmed a feature film adaptation in July 2018. The Downton Abbey movie premiered in September 2019 to widespread critical and fan acclaim.
An unabashedly feel-good film that served as a perfect continuation of the beloved TV series, the Downton Abbey film was the largest film debut in Focus Features’ history and grossed $194.2-million worldwide. Naturally, a sequel was expected and Julian Fellowes announced in April 2021 that the follow-up, titled Downton Abbey A New Era, was already in production with the entire principal cast returning. Originally slated for a Christmas 2021 release, Downton Abbey: A New Era was pushed back to premiere on March 18, 2022.

How Many Years After Downton Abbey Is A New Era Set?
Lord Grantham Sybbie
Downton Abbey: A New Era appears to take place between 1927 and 1929. According to Julian Fellowes, A New Era picks up right where the 2019 Downton Abbey movie left off. By bringing the Crawley family into the cusp of the 1930s, it means the Downton Abbey story will be nearly entering its third decade. Downton Abbey season 1 began on the same day the RMS Titanic sank in April 1912 and the series continued throughout the 1910s, depicting World War I and the Spanish Flu pandemic, and into the 1920s. When the series wrapped with Downton Abbey season 6, the year was 1925. The Downton Abbey 2019 film then picked up in 1927, depicting how the Crawleys and their servants reacted when King George V (Simon Jones) and Queen Mary (Geraldine James) visited Downton.

However, judging from Downton Abbey: A New Era’s teaser trailer, there could be a time jump during the film to bring the story to 1929. Downton Abbey’s creator told People, “We’re trying to mark the change… The fact that Crawleys of Downton are nearly in the 1930s, which is merely the beginning of the modern world.” Downton Abbey: A New Era’s trailer also depicts the wedding of Tom Branson (Allen Leech) and Lucy Smith (Tuppence Middleton), which hints that some time does pass during the course of the sequel. Meanwhile, Daisy (Sophie McShera) looks to have also married Andy Parker (Michael C. Fox), so a new era is beginning for the Downton Abbey cast downstairs as well as upstairs. Further, a time jump seems even more likely considering how much older the Crawleys’ children like Sybbie, George, and Marigold look in Downton Abbey: A New Era.

Surprisingly, Maggie Smith returns as Lady Violet in Downton Abbey: A New Era, even after the Dowager Countess told Lady Mary that she was gravely ill at the end of Downton Abbey 2019. How Lady Violet has managed to survive and continues to soldier on is one of the many questions Downton Abbey: A New Era will answer, especially since it’s the Dowager Countess “mysterious past” that kicks off Downton Abbey: A New Era’s plotline of the Crawleys traveling to a villa in the South of France. If the story of the Crawleys continues after Downton Abbey: A New Era, it will undoubtedly mean they will officially enter the 1930s and meet all of the changes a new decade will bring.

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