‘Downton Abbey’ season 4 spoilers: Julian Fellowes on Dan Stevens, time jumps

Downton AbbeyWhile fans in the United Kingdom have been waiting for quite a long time for some more details about “Downton Abbey” season 4, the end of the show’s third season in America seems to have allowed for some more details to finally be spilled. (Warning: spoilers head for those who have not watched Sunday night’s episode!)

While creator Julian Fellowes is of course not going to get into specifics regarding how some of the characters are going to move forward from the death of Matthew Crawley, he did at least tell the New York Times when the story for the new episodes will pick up: six months after the fact, that way there is no need to witness funerals and much of the grieving process. Mary will still be mourning the loss of her husband and the father of her child, but she will starting to be out of the darkness and have her eyes at least occasionally glancing to the future. (Doesn’t this open up the possibility for love again?)

In addition to explaining that change will once again be an important theme of season 4, especially once you consider the fact that the 1920s were a time of shifting culture for young men and women, Fellowes also opened up in the interview about the challenge that came following Dan Stevens’ request to move on from the show and try new things:

“When an actor playing a servant wants to leave, there isn’t really a problem – [that character gets] another job … With members of the family, once they’re not prepared to come back for any episodes at all, then it means death. Because how believable would it be that Matthew never wanted to see the baby, never wanted to see his wife? And was never seen again at the estate that he was the heir to? So we didn’t have any option, really. I was as sorry as everyone else.”

Do you think six months is the appropriate amount of time for a jump, that way we can see some of these characters doing new things in their lives? If you want to see who is the current frontrunner to play Mary’s new love interest, you can do so over here.

Photo: ITV / PBS

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