This has been a very busy weekend when it comes to “Downton Abbey”: not only have we learned that Shirley MacLaine is going to be reprising her role as Cora’s mother Martha for season 4, but that there are a heap of new actors stepping into the world of Britain during the 1920s. The most notable name at the moment has to be actor Tom Cullen, thanks in part to the role he is going to be playing as Lord Gillingham. This character was revealed earlier this year to be the primary love interest for Michelle Dockery’s Mary in the wake of Matthew’s death. We imagine this story being a slow burn, and it may take a full season before the two characters really manage to draw close at all.
Since we don’t really want to speculate any further about the plot, let’s just share for the time being a tweet from Cullen himself confirming the news of his casting:
“I can announce that I’m in the new season four of Downton Abbey. So excited. My heart is beating a little too fast… Thank you for all the amazing messages. Really touched.”
First of all, we just have to say that it is really touching that Cullen (who is known for the first season of “Black Mirror”) is receiving so much support despite taking on what has to be a very difficult role, as so many viewers loved Matthew and are going to have a difficult time accepting anyone who is not him. Hopefully, the writers do a nice job pretty early on here of differentiating the two characters, that way there is never any sort of sense that Gillingham is meant to replace Matthew rather than being an extension of Mary and the Grantham family’s story.
Do you like what Cullen could potentially bring to the show? If you want to see a quick photo from the fourth season focusing primarily on Mary and her young son, you can do so over here.