Downton Abbey is welcoming new faces, and maybe new drama for its upcoming season five.
Richard E. Grant is joining the cast as Simon Bricker, a guest of the Granthams who visits Downton Abbey. Grant's other TV credits include Girls and Doctor Who. Anna Chancellor (Four Weddings and a Funeral) will guest star as Lady Anstruther and Rade Sherbedgia (24, Eyes Wide Shut) will play a Russian refugee.
Returning guest cast members include Dame Harriet Walter as Lady Shackleton and Peter Egan and Lord Flintshire.
"We look forward to introducing these new characters to our Masterpiece audience. They will make a wonderful addition to the beloved Downton Abbey ensemble," Rebecca Eaton, Masterpiece executive producer, said in a statement.
Downton Abbey season five is slated to premiere in the UK in the fall with a winter 2015 start in the US. Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter, Penelope Wilton, Phyllis Logan, Samantha Bond, Laura Carmichael, Lily James, Allen Leech, Brendan Coyle, Joanne Froggatt, Lesley Nicol, Sophie McShera, Rob James-Collier, Ed Speleers, Kevin Doyle, Raquel Cassidy, David Robb, Tom Cullen, Julian Ovenden, Daisy Lewis, Douglas Reith, Jeremy Swift and Andrew Scarborough will all return for the fifth season.
"We are delighted to welcome these talented actors to the world of Downton," Downton Abbey's executive producer Gareth Neame, the managing director of Carnival Films, said in a statement. "The characters they play are set to bring yet more excitement and intrigue to the show."
Downton Abbey season 4 wraps its US run on Sunday, Feb. 23 on PBS.