Sneak Peek of Downton Abbey Season 5

We Downton Abbey fans are a needy bunch, aren't we?

We just can't deal with the off season. We get cranky. Well, some of us do.

If you are as addicted as I am, and if you have resisted the temptation to peek online, you have suffered separation anxiety for months without new episodes of the Grantham and Crawley family saga.

But with Downton Abbey Season 5 only weeks away -- the debut is January 4, 2015 -- our longing will soon be appeased.

This week I was lucky to get a preview of Downton Abbey Season 5 and although the Downton folks are pretttty tight-lipped about revealing too much, here are some snippets that I can share.

The year is 1924 and there is a new government in power. Robert and family are nervous about the implications for the upper class.

The cast is getting younger. That is, there are children running around and they are adorable.

Edith's heart throbs with maternal yearning as she sees her daughter from afar. What will happen with their relationship, and will the baby daddy re-emerge? Signs point to yes.

Robert perceives his standing in the community as diminishing when he is overlooked for a prestigious chairmanship. And guess who gets it? Carson! Robert outwardly professes his happiness for Carson, but privately grumps that in his grandfather's day the idea of being usurped by a butler would have been unthinkable.

There are intimations that O'Brien may return.

Bad boy Thomas continues his nastiness, but another side of him is revealed that gives viewers insights into his behavior.

Last season ended with Mrs. Hughes and Carson having a moment by the sea. Will their fierce dedication to their jobs leave time for a little romance? My guess is .... not yet.

Daisy decides she should learn math and sends away for a textbook. She is frustrated when it doesn't go well and complains that she is stupid to Mrs. Patmore (I could so relate). Carson thinks there is no point in Daisy learning math.

Branson is smitten with a young schoolteacher in the village. It is likely that this relationship will blossom -- and will be approved of by the family -- when she is invited to attend Cora and Robert's anniversary party.

The Dowager Countess turns matchmaker for her senior friends but signs are that there is a juicy story line for her -- romance? -- as the season progresses.

Best of all -- There will be a Season 6!