Tag Archives: DowntonAbbey

Julian Fellowes On Downton as a Feminist Tale

When Downton Abbey goes off the air at the end of the fall (or in March of 2016, depending on your country), the years it will have covered are from 1912, when the Titanic Sank through 1925 or 26. Some critics have wondered if this was Fellowes plan. Did he ever mean to even get to the 1920s, or was the pressure to keep the show going responsible? Some wonder why he didn’t go through the entire antebellum period to the mid 1930s?

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Talking to Entertainment Weekly, Fellowes said that this period of time was actually exactly what he wanted to cover.

“The show is about the discovery of female independence as much as any other single themes,” Fellowes says. “The changing role of women between 1912 and 1925 was fantastic, given that it was only 13 years.”

With the last season especially, Fellowes has been making the show more explicitly about female independence.

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Downton Abbey Season 6: Branson Returns

Who needs America anyway? Branson seemed in an awful hurry to get himself and Sybbie across the pond and off to a new life, randomly blunting out America like it was some sort of mental tick. But with only one season left of the show, it seems that the lure of returning for one last hurrah suddenly didn’t seem such a bad notion.

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Allen Leech was spotted filming for the final series of the show last week. But here’s where it gets interesting. The place Downton was filming? Brooklands Museum, which is the former site of the Brooklands racing circuit and aerodrome. Brooklands was the world’s first motor racing circuit built for that purpose, as well as one of it’s very first airfields. The track opened in 1907. In 1926–which is right around the time we expect the final season to occur– Grand Prix motor racing was introduced. That sounds like a fantastic excuse for Branson, who went to America to sell and work on cars, to have a reason to come back.

Not only that, but the beau, Matthew Goode, who was played by Henry Talbot, the one that Lady Mary was so attracted to in the Christmas specials? Motor car racer. Just saying. I see a convergence of potential plot points, don’t you? Talbot is rumored to be returning next season.

More photos from filming, including tons of extras in period hats, below.

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Downton Abbey Cast: Fantasy Endings for Season 6

With Downton Abbey slowly grinding towards the last go round (so many eras ending!), PBS sat the cast down and asked them what sorts of endings they’re hoping to see at the end of the Season 6.

We do know the fate of one very important cast member of Downton–the house that the Dowager lives in. Byfleet Manor might not have quite the name recognition of Highclere Castle, but its interiors are just as familiar, and we have seen both the upstairs and the down over the course of the last five years.

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Darth Barrow in….. Downton Wars

It’s the ultimate mashup. Downton Abbey meets Star Wars in a digital short cooked up by none other than Robert James-Collier. Starting along with his pal, ‎Brendan Coyle as Obe-Wan Bates.

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The first episode (and RJC has already teased that there will be more) is entitled (appropriately) “The Phantom Butler.”

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ITV Bosses Tried to Keep Downton Abbey On the Air

File this under “least surprising news of the day.” According to a story by the RadioTimes, there was almost a Downton Abbey Season 7. ITV was prepared to renegotiate with the cast and pay whatever it took to keep enough key players to push the series forward. There was just one problem.

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Fellowes was done. If you read between the lines of his commentary on the DVDs and in the Downton script books, he never meant for the show to go this long in the first place, but his original intended ending (which included Matthew and Mary breaking out and Matthew moving to America) was foiled when Stevens wouldn’t play ball and come back for one final season.

And try as they might, ITV could not convince Fellowes to allow the show to continue under another showrunner’s direction.

Fellowes is due to begin work on his new NBC period drama The Gilded Age and has always said he could never write it at the same time as Downton. But it is understood that appeals to allow another writer to take over the ITV show fell on deaf ears. 

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