THE highly anticipated return of Downton Abbey will take the characters from the 1970s to the year 2025.
Fans will see the Crawley dynasty and their staff struggling through the Winter of Discontent, the Thatcher years, Britpop, global warming, invasion by China and the devastating Nanoplague of 2022.
Creator Julian Fellowes said: “We open in 1972 with Lady Sybil Branson rollerskating into the parlour wearing silver lamé flares and heart-shaped sunglasses.
“But, like beloved 1970s TV star Michael Crawford, she has a rollerskating calamity when she overhears Marxist butler Mr Carson planning a wildcat strike.
“In the 80s the family home becomes Downton Thrillworld complete with the Lady Marys Love Life rollercoaster. In the 90s an ecstasy-addled Lord George invites travellers onto the estate for a four-day illegal rave.”
The series will then continue into the far future, where Violet Crawley has an intense sexual relationship with RoboButler 3000 and Lord Hepworths son can only inherit his estate wealth if he agrees to be genetically altered to breathe sulphuric acid.
The timeline will continue to accelerate, with series five covering 2038-3899 and series six covering the 5.4 billion years it will take for the sun to become a red giant.
Next year’s Christmas special will be set in a black hole where the Countess of Grantham will be stretched into a piece of string a trillionth of a millimetre wide and four billion miles long.
Fellowes said: There are no stars left, no visible light, and the heat-death of the universe is well underway. The perfect setting for a nine-course dinner party.”