Calling all Downton Abbey fans! Thomas Howes (William) gives us a sneak peek at what we can expect from the upcoming series.
Starting with a bang (literally) where series one left off, this year turns everything upside down for the denizens and servants of Downton Abbey as the Great War begins. "Because at that time they were so used to just taking orders from their masters, they didn't question it - the orders came from above and were followed," says Howes. "What's interesting in series two [is that] the First World war throws everything up in the air. It shakes people's perspectives. It shows the worth of human life, so people begin to think, 'Well actually, why would we work for these people?' It starts people questioning things. It brings about all these changes to the balance of power."
For those of you who haven't been as addicted to the show as the rest of us, Thomas Howes play William, the second footman in Downton who is called up in this series to fight in the First World War. We've been following his love interests with the adorably ditsy scullery maid Daisy (played by Sophie McShera) and are dying to know what's in the works for the two of them this season. "William and Daisy could just fall in love straight away, and there would be a resolution - I know that's what people want. But I think what happens is more interesting. It makes them more like real people who do have those trials and tribulations and those changes of heart and mind," says Howes. "I'd like to think deep down that Daisy is in love with William. But at the time where the series is set, she's not in that place. It makes for a more dramatic series of events that they are not on the same page."
Our favourite William is also being sent off to war this season with the belief that "it will be all over by Christmas" and be a great adventure for him.
Thomas also mentions his opportunity to perform some amazing stunts on the set of Downton. "I like all that stuff. I've always got into stunts; even at drama school, I was falling down trap doors and swinging in on ropes. I really love a challenge, but in Downton it was really hard going because there's no CGI. These were real explosions right in front of our faces, and you just had to make sure that you cleared out of the way."
Having won numerous awards for its first series, we can't wait to see what's in store for the characters this time around as the period piece moves towards being a war drama at the same time.
Downton Abbey, Series 2 airs on BBC Entertainment (DStv) on 8 July.