*Two-hour Christmas special*
It’s grouse season and Lord Sinderby, has rented out Brancaster Castle in Northumberland and invited the Crawley family to a shooting party. While good sport is enjoyed, Stowell (ex New Tricks star Alun Armstrong) has an axe to grind and a scandalous secret threatens to undermine the holiday.
Surprises are in store as the families become better acquainted with each other and some new faces arrive on the scene.
Meanwhile, the servants hold the fort back at Downton. As Anna faces an uncertain future behind bars, Bates takes drastic measures in a bid to clear her name. Baxter and Molesley are busy on a joint plan and Carson and Mrs Hughes consider a business venture together.