Shocker on Downton Abbey

Series writer Julian Fellowes wants fans to know he had no option

Lord Julian Fellowes says he had no choice but to off a favourite character on Downton Abbey.

The writer behind the popular series says it was the only credible exit for the character played by an actor who wanted to leave. 

“We would have loved to keep him,” Fellowes said. “We didn’t really have any option.”

The departing actor told the Daily Telegraph he desired freedom and it was time to move on:

“It felt like a good time to take stock, to take a moment. From a personal point of view, I wanted a chance to do other things. It is a very monopolizing job. So there is a strange sense of liberation at the same time as great sadness because I am very, very fond of the show and always will be.”

Fellowes said the star will be missed. “I’m pretty sure he’s got a terrific future.” He added that there will be no “miraculous Dallas-style re-appearance” of the character.

Meanwhile, in other D.A. news, Dame Maggie Smith told 60 Minutes she has never watched the show in which she stars. “Because it’s frustrating,” she explained. “I always see things that I would like to do differently and think, ‘Oh, why in the name of God did I do that?’”

Here’s how Tweeps responded to the season ender:

 




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Shocker on Downton Abbey

  1. I bought the Blu Ray as soon as I could and now…FINALLY, I can talk to my friends about the crushing finale. They say that the series will go on, although I don’t know how. Let’s hope nobody else on the show has a baby because clearly, this is a fatal condition in Downton!

  2. The only question to be resolved next year will be how ‘close’ Lady Mary gets to the ex-chauffeur. Remember: Tom is now running the Estate. This will be a great builder of dramatic tension. However, Lady Mary will become active in some enterprise and decide not to remarry. Lady Edith will become the mistress of her employer and she will probably leave the show too.

  3. I was shocked that a key character would be removed. Lets hope the chauffeur grows some courage-so far he yells a lot but when it comes to action he seems to run. Poor Edith-A mistress? I was hoping that now poor Bates could be happy but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards for him. I am hoping that Daisy becomes a great farmer and jelly maker. Hopefully Robert won’t bring the family to ruin once again as the stock market becomes fashionable and he bets the fortune again. Branson had better get over his “station” and become a proper manager. I enjoy the unpredicatbility of it all. Like life- you sometimes don’t have choices. It just happens.

  4. AHHHHHHHHHH, they have to convince Dan Stevans to stay with the show. They just have to, it won’t be the same. Ruined it for me. Just ruined it.

    • I’m afraid the last shots of the wreckage, and Matthews remains, leave no doubt that he is not returning. I knew it was coming, having read it on an English site, but that didn’t make it less awful.

  5. I could not believe that would happen when everything was going so good. Also Anna
    did not get a chance to say she is expecting. Will miss Mathew. And now tom will run
    Downton Abbey back to the present and save the day.Fred

  6. So Fellowes had no alternative? – What a load of rubbish! How about arranging that Mathew set off for the US for a six month sojourn with relatives of the Lady of the house who just happen to operate an estate (ranch) in the mid west. There to learn if their are good ideas that might be transported to Downton. This would leave the door open for a possible return when Stevens learns just how much damage he has done to this series and to his own career,.

    On a separate note – what a lackluster final episode to the season. The doctor fails to gain a promise of marriage; second daughter continues her quest for happiness without success; the Irish widower manages to get a new servant fired; poor old Daisy gets led down the garden path; an old Scotish friend turns out to have a failed marriage. Finally, just when it seems we might go to bed happy, Matthew buys the farm!. I bought all three seasons on DVD, deliberately not opening season 3 so that we might not anticipate the end before seeing it on Saturday evening TV. I doubt nowthat I shall ever bother to unwrap any of them, or watch later seasons as they are released – What a pity that Fellowes’ apparent lack of imagination has destroyed an excellent family soap!!
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    • By “no option” I suspect the writer was not meaning creatively. Part of the contract negotiations probably involved the character’s death to ensure the actor could not come back. I’m pretty sure a writer knows how to write a plot line that allows some leeway for future character returns.

  7. My daughter and I had a funny episode re Matthew’s death. She was in England last year and told me she had seen all of Season 3 at that time. When I was watching the recent episode in which Sybil died, I had to pry that out of her ( I couldn’t seem to wait for the denouement). I therefore assumed that, when Matthew (to my shock) died last night, she would be aware of that, and had just refused to let me in on that secret. I called her up and semi-wailed “Matthew died! They killed Matthew!” to which she semi-shrieked back “WHAT????? THEY KILLED MATTHEW??? NOOOOOOOO!!!!” Turns out that episode was the notorious “Christmas special” in England, which she never saw. I had heard that people loathed that episode, but I did not know why. I always assumed it was a particularly maudlin or badly written episode. It never dawned on me that they killed Matthew. Worst part? They aired that episode on Christmas Day. They killed Matthew on Christmas Day!!!! Talk about a way to ruin Christmas!!

  8. First Sybil and now Matthew . He was sensible and real. Not a snob like the rest. It took so long to get him and Mary together. Mary is going to be hell on wheels all the time now. Poor Edith come on she deserves some happiness. I think Branson could end up with Rose down the line.

  9. Devastating! I had a crush on Matthew! how could you have allowed him to leave! I am so tired of the Bates& Anna relationship (YUK) For me Downton Abbey is over, I don”t care if I see any more

  10. why not wait and send him off to ww2? That would make sense and not leave us all depressed for the weekend.

  11. No choice? Really? When Larry Hagman wouldn’t negotiate his contract with Dallas, the producers lined up another actor(Robert Culp) to take over the role of Jr Ewing- There`s always an option if one thinks creatively!!! No matter anymore. I’ll never watch that blasted show again. I don’t need to be depressed by a silly television show!

  12. Never fear, fans.. Next season is set in Paradise.

  13. Never left as message on post before until now. Holy “Message in a Bottle” So much wasted time watching 3 seasons. Done with Downton!!!! Never care to watch again……

  14. Bring back Matthew. I don’t know how? He certainly look very dead. Nevertheless, I believe Downton Abby will carry on with a great cast and even better story lines! And, let’s get some happiness for “poor Edith.”

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