The wait is almost over, Downton Abbey fans of the United States!
This Sunday, season four of the Emmy-award winning drama returns stateside for season four on PBS‘ Masterpiece Classic. TV Guide spoke with series executive producer Gareth Provan for some insight into season four which includes the exit of Dan Stevens (Ex-Matthew) last season, what this means for Michelle Dockery’s Lady Mary, where is Branson (Allen Leech) in all of this, and just how many season does he see “Downton” continuing on! Here are a few interesting excerpts below!
Gareth on how it seemed fans of ‘Downton’ got over the death of Matthew when at first they were livid!: “The thing is that episode ran on Christmas Day in England, and unlike over here, that is the biggest TV day of the year because the tradition is that we stay at home with the family and watch. So it was a big shock and in a way we did ruin a few Christmases. But those twists and turns and shocks are part of the energy of the show. It’s the soap opera of it all that is what hundreds of millions of people around the world are watching. I think as much as people hated the loss of such a loved character, it’s what’s going to happen next that keeps people engaged. We did get comments from China saying, “We want you to bring his character back from the dead!”‘
Gareth on how Mary is doing post the death of her beloved Matthew at the beginning of season four: “We are about six months after his death when we return. Mary is a living death, she’s completely given up. We filmed the first episode in February so it was very wintery, and everything seemed dead. Mary’s family and servants will slowly start to bring her back to the fact that she has a child and has to live. That’s really what the first episode is about. It’s a complicated situation, because there’s so much pain associated with that child.”
Gareth on how long he, and series creator Julian Fellowes, think Downton Abbey will continue: “We’re starting to shoot Season 5 in a few weeks. There won’t be a 10th season, so it will be somewhere in between. We will try to manage the way we bring the show to an end in hopefully as good of a way as we gave birth to it so we feel complete. It can’t go as far as 1930 because the actors would be very much the wrong ages.”
So, will you be watching Sunday night for the return of Downton Abbey? How long do you think the series should continue so it still can deliver interesting soap opera and not run its course? Let us know!