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Downton Abbey in the Media

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Julian Fellowes wants DA simulcast in the UK and the US:

 

http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2014-05-28/downton-abbey-should-follow-in-doctor-whos-footsteps-says-julian-fellowes

 

I 100% agree with him. This is the first year I actually had to wait for the new season (I binge-watched seasons 1-3 a week before season 4 aired), and I'm already preparing to unfollow anything DA-related between September and January because I don't want to be spoiled. Part of me is tempted to stream it on a sketchy site, but DA is something I share with my mom. I'm away at school and she's not tech-savvy enough to stream the show on her own. I don't want to watch it without her and find out everything before her.

 

Also, PBS's excuse for not simulcasting is so lame. The spoilers increase buzz (and therefore viewership)? I mean, ok, I guess that could be true, but idk it's just such a dumb reason. I'm sure there are plenty of people who were spoiled for Anna's rape and thought, "Hmm, no thanks."

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My local PBS station has offered the DVD of the upcoming season as a donation gift the last couple of years. The DVDs are sent a few weeks before the season premiere. I wonder if that has any influence on the timing. 

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Adding to Tara's list of things revealed in the teaser, I thought I may have detected an English accent in the voiceover. That makes me suspect that the season will take place either IN or involving people FROM England. (Maybe I should have spoilered that... sorry!).

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Dan's problem was not that he left.  It was a big commitment for him, being a main character.  He had to be available for seven-month stretches, more or less.  And he signed on for three seasons and didn't expect it to go beyond that.  None of them really did.

 

His problem was the way he handled it. He acted pretentious and tweeted and talked a bit too much.  He should have laid low and been discreet like JBF did.  She was quiet as a mouse until she finally gave an interview six months after her death episode aired.  That said I'm sure he's not that bad about it.  Some fans have said he's been very nice and gracious, so I think this is a bit too quick to jump on him.

 

I also think they're being pretty nasty about his career moves.  The guy never said he wanted to be a big movie star.  In fact he said he knew Downton would likely be the most high-profile thing he ever did.  He just wanted to move on and do new roles and projects.

 

But that earlier article from the same site….is it true there was some incident where an actress from the show says he took advantage of her in some way?  And that they dislike him now? I hadn't heard anything about that.  I know the "three sisters" are still very friendly with each other and  I thought Dan was on good terms with them too.  But they live in London and he's in the US now.

Edited by ZulaMay

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Briefly, since I know this is slightly off-topic -- I agree with most of what you said, however, I will say it's very easy to be gracious when fans are praising your every move and calling you wonderful. It's much more difficult when they aren't exactly pleased with you. Ignoring them is fine. Cursing them out...well, that says a lot more about him than it does about them. The fact that I rarely hear about star quarterbacks who threw a game-ending interception or star hitters who struck out at the final at-bat or star basketball players who missed the winning layup cursing out their fans after a game tells me all I need to know about this actor's opinion of himself.

 

As for his relationships with the rest of the cast, not sure about the other two sisters, but when the Downton cast was on "The View" recently (hey, a media mention -- yay, topic!) Michelle Dockery mentioned something about them going to see him, "apart from me." Make of that what you will.

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Well, since it's OT I'll just say what MD said is interesting.   Hmmm.

 

But I know he was apparently gracious with fans at Sundance (I think it was Sundance) when he was promoting The Guest, and this was after he had come under vicious attack for leaving Downton.  And I don't think leaving the show is the same as losing a game, is it?  It's kind of like an athlete choosing to sign with another team when his contract is up.  Not that some people don't get upset about that!

 

Anyway, IDK.  Like I said, it's probably best to lay low and say/do as little as possible.  And if you don't have anything nice to say…?   We all know the rest.

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Well, I don't know what's true & what's not, but it has to be awfully annoying for an actor to move on, but everyone keeps hanging on past roles. If he was harassed a lot in interviews about leaving Downton, I imagine it must be irritating then to have fans wanting him to sign Downton memorabilia. Though he could be nice about it.

I was watching the Today show & Savannah said to Daniel Radcliffe about his new movie "This must be such a change for you. For the first time you aren't playing a wizard". He was gracious & agreed, but what he should have said was "I have done other movies & have been on Broadway. Do your homework, beotch!"

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I tend to say "name names" on this kind of thing. As a Matthew fan I wish he'd stayed but really, it's not that big of a deal. He was obviously willing to burn a bridge and if people have issues - I am totally willing to buy he's a douche who came on to someone on the cast if... someone on the cast is willing to say "Dan Stevens was a douche to me because...""

 

So far no one on the cast is willing to call him out publically.

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Is it all made up? I'm not familiar with the site.

 

And I don't have issues with Dan Stevens. He made a choice and frankly, never came off as disrespectful about it, in my opinion, or arrogant. He didn't write his last episode and as near as I can tell, didn't spring it on Julian Fellowes that he wanted to leave. Personally, as much as I loved Matthew, I think there wasn't much to do with Matthew in a Season four unless he was having an affair (which considering the character's ongoing schtick about honor, seems wildly out of character) or if Mary was having an affair (far more likely considering Mary's character but would never ever happen unless Mary ended up the precious little victim over it)

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On another note, I still think Matthew's death was one of the funniest things ever put on film. Just when I think Fellowes has no sense of humor, he offs Dan Stevens in the most spectacularly hilarious fashion.

 

admittedly I didn't start watching Downton until this year, but I have to agree. It was hilariously melodramatic and the timing on Christmas day was just lovely.

 

But we're not supposed to think the writer/producer was mega pissed and took it out on the audience :)

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I think it's more like he was mega pissed and took it out on Dan.  It was melodramatic and graphic but also comical and ridiculous.  It made Matthew look foolish:  one minute he's smiling like a loon and not looking at the road and the next he's dead in a ditch.  All in all it was disrespectful to the character.  I guess it was disrespectful to the audience too, but I got the sense it was the writer's way of sending him off in a cheekily inglorious fashion.

 

I knew it was coming so I got the popcorn.   Sybil's death pretty much hardened me, and I wasn't a fan of Mary/Matthew anyway.  But I can see why people got upset.  That was not what they wanted or expected on Christmas.

Edited by ZulaMay
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I knew it was coming so I got the popcorn.   Sybil's death pretty much hardened me, and I wasn't a fan of Mary/Matthew anyway.  But I can see why people got upset.  That was not what they wanted or expected on Christmas.

The thing is though, even watching it live on that Christmas Day, we pretty much did know it was coming. It was no secret that Dan was leaving. It was pretty obvious he wasn't just going to be tamely written out to live somewhere else, the storyline didn't allow for it. I'm fairly sure it had already been spoiled that he was dying - I know I spent the entire episode just waiting to see how it finally happened. The death did not come as a surprise to me at all. I was surprised to come online and find so many people up in arms because they hadn't seen it coming.

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The majority of viewers probably don't pay attention to the press coverage of the show or the rumors.  They just switch on the TV when the show is airing and take it as it comes.  That's why they were blindsided.

 

I knew how it was going to happen, actually.  Or I was pretty sure.  We knew from before S3 aired that neither Dan nor Jessica had signed new contracts (again, most people probably didn't pay attention to that).  When Matthew showed up after their honeymoon with that new car and they made such a fuss over it….then the car disappeared for the rest of the season….I had a feeling it might be Chekhov's car.

 

Then there were clues in the trailer that most people missed:  they showed him speeding down the road in the original trailer but quickly removed that part so that most people never saw it.  And a TV station in Norway, of all places, aired a completely different trailer that pretty much filled in the rest of the blanks..  But again, the vast majority of people never saw it.  I only stumbled on it by accident.

 

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I wasn't blindsided, I just thought it was petty vengence by Fellowes against Dan Stevens, and the unwitting audience got to be the collateral damage. Fellowes can insist all he wants that Stevens refused to "come back" for one or two episodes in season four to leave the door open - there's at least one interview where Fellowes says this. But at the end of the day, Stevens's contract was up, and he didn't wait to tell people he wanted to leave. If a happy ending was important to Fellowes, there was time to write it.

 

And I get why Fellowes was pissed, because the Matthew and Mary arc was the story, and he couldn't force Stevens to do the show. But, and it's funny, because I was discussing this with a friend in reference to a fanfic, the character of Matthew is nothing but a dummy for beating on the show anyway, and poorly written. I mean, Matthew begins as a reasonably good looking guy, upper class, who is 27 and living with his mom. He appears to have utterly no friends or prior aquaintences, he's got no family but his mom and his presumbly dead father, and the distant cousins barely seem to know he exists. He's treated like an interloper, Mary merrily yanks his chain because he might end up not the heir, he finds a nice girl that everyone hates because she isn't Mary and he isn't marrying his cousin, he ends up paralyzed, he recovers only to have Mary yank his chain again so that Lavinia can lay a horrendous guilt trip on him on her death bed, he then gets clobbered with an inheritance that he feels like shit about and everyone treats him like an asshole for not being a money grubbing whore (and this was also basically a rehash of Daisy and WIlliam's plot) he finally caves, produces the heir and dies in a car wreck. The only piece of luck Matthew ever had was dying before it was revealed that Mary cheated on him. :)

 

I mean, I can see why Dan STevens wasn't happy with some of the storylines. I would have preferred he stay with the show but.... I can see his side of it, and I didn't like how it got portrayed as his doing something wrong and Fellowes acting like the guy gave them notice the day before filming ended. If the happy ending or leaving the door open was really important to Fellowes, he had the power. Instead he went with the car crash. I can't blame Stevens for that.

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I see Dan's side of it.  The writing for his character in S2 was pretty ridiculous.  I know some people loved the scene where he walked into the concert and started singing along with Mary, but I imagine he might have found it embarrassingly cheesy.  It kind of was.    Then he prepares for the role of a newly paralyzed young man, with all of the challenges it presented to him as an actor, only to have his character jump out of his wheelchair a few episodes later, miraculously recovered.

 

And they certainly had warning that he might not return when he never signed a new contract.  Even if they were trying to negotiate with him to stay, they would have known for months that he might not be around come S4.  JBF said she was given the option to resign right around the time they finished filming S2, which would have been at least six months before S3 filming got underway.  The script was not written at that point.

 

As for whether or not he would return for a couple of episodes in S4 to "explain" Matthew's absence/death?  What difference would it have made?  They planned to keep the show going, and Fellowes said the only way to write Matthew out of the picture was to kill him.  He couldn't very well get them together only to have Matthew abandon her or something.

 

So either way, he was going to die.  The only remaining question was how would it happen?  And it was the writer's decision to do it the way he did, with a shocking graphic shot at the very end of the Christmas Special.  He could have chosen to have him die off-screen between seasons, giving viewers months to get used to the the idea.  And not ruining Christmas for some viewers!  That was on his head, not Dan's.

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The writing for his character in S2 was pretty ridiculous.  I know some people loved the scene where he walked into the concert and started singing along with Mary, but I imagine he might have found it embarrassingly cheesy.  It kind of was.

 

It wasn't kind of cheesy, it was a cheese fondue :)

 

As was the whole wheelchair routine because he's a male lead in a show about 1910's and 1920s - there was no way they were keeping him in a chair. I certainly knew Matthew was going to stand up at some point. And barring a significant change in plot, there was no way for Matthew to be alive but off screen, I agree. The only reason I could see an episode in season four would be a slightly more sympathetic "Matthew is stricken with leukemia and lets let everyone say goodbye" episode... which also would have been terribly cheesy. Now I love cheesy, so I would have been fine but its not everyone's taste.

 

I just don't like Fellowes putting it on Stevens that it had to be that way. Take my "Matthew gamely dying of cancer" thoughts - that could have easily been written into season three to let the audience know Matthew is going. Or if Fellowes genuinely wanted to leave the door open (I don't believe he did simply because Matthew alive but "away" means no dating storylines for Mary) then god knows "went to Germany and was abducted by the Nazi Party" is in play on this show.

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Clearly the writer didn't care whether the death was traumatic or not.  He crossed that line by a mile when Sybil died.   So while I don't approve of how he killed Matthew (or Sybil), I don't see why people were so shocked.   It wasn't as horrible to watch IMO, even if it was Christmas.  

 

And then in S4 people were up in arms about the rape episode, even though they actually showed a warning notice before the broadcast.  Yet there was so much outrage about it being gratuitous and graphic and shocking.   Did these people not watch Season 3?  When the show has already done graphic death scenes and is now posting a warning, people should be prepared for something bad.  What did they expect?  Nudity?  Not on this show.  Violence and death, sure.  But never nudity.

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"Never nudity?"

I don't know. Brideshead Revisted had Charles lying his head on Julia's bare breast, and that was on PBS in 1981.

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But I'm talking about Downton, not Brideshead.  The closest we've come to nudity was Bates and Anna in bed with their shoulders showing.

 

And now I need brain bleach….

Edited by ZulaMay
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The closest we've come to nudity was Bates and Anna in bed with their shoulders showing.

 

 

Mmmm...I think Pamuk showed more skin than Bates, but then, the scene was different, so...Maybe he was like Axl from The Middle...

 

Re: the discussion of Dan Stevens, it was good for him to get out so that he wouldn't be typecast for the rest of his life. I don't know that he has gone to the extent that Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson have, but he has tried to broaden his horizons. But in the (small) sample of things I have seen on the interwebs, he appears to be a bit more polarizing than I originally thought.

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If a happy ending was important to Fellowes, there was time to write it.

I don't see how, once Dan Stevens decided to leave, Fellowes had any choice but the ending he did. What else could he do? "Oh, Matthew's on a trip to Australia, to learn how to modernize an estate"? "Oh, Matthew has some horrible disease and he's in a sanitarium"? There was the choice between the quick death and the lingering death, and I think everyone would have preferred the former. And they aren't making the show rehash the heir plot.

Edited by Obviously
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Oh I think Matthew needed to die, Obviously, because Mary as a character can't do anything of interest with Matthew alive but off at the sanitorium in Arizona having his TB treated. ;)

 

But Matthew probably didn't need to die graphically and violently in an episode that everyone knew would air on Christmas day, and I don't like Fellowes putting it all on Stevens that they had no choice since Stevens only gave them short notice... When in fact Stevens gave everyone plenty of notice that he didn't intend to sign for season four. There was plenty of time to kill Matthew off in season three. Fellowes went with a petty bitch move, in my opinion.

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What if they had ended the Series 3 Christmas special with Mary and Matthew and their son together at the hospital?  Then in the Series 4 opener, maybe they could have had say Anna make references to how Matthew had been killed in a car crash literally just hours after the birth of their baby.

 

Like maybe Bates would ask her how Mary was doing and then she could say, "Not very well,  But can you blame her with her husband dead in a car crash on his way home after Master George's birth?"

 

Or maybe Robert and Cora could have that conversation.

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I was in favor of a recast. Matthew's death left too big of a hole in the show. He centered way too many storylines and they really lost their footing without him. The same thing would have happened if Michelle Dockery left. Killing of Sybil made sense as she'd been more peripheral. Unfortunately, they had already used the "bandaged and unrecognizable" soap trope. Otherwise, nu-Matthew could have been bandaged up for awhile before his new face was revealed.

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I don't know. Unless an actor has an actual identical twin, recasts are always so hokey and soapy. I know that Downton IS a soap, but I couldn't take the show seriously if they did that.

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As a Sybil fan I feel her if her death was graphic and upsetting then there was no reason Matthew's shouldn't be too.  At least M/M got a long lovely moment alone with their baby together.  Sybil and Tom got a brief scene with the others all around and not one word of dialogue from her.  She had to communicate everything by facial expressions (which she did well, but still).

 

Not that I approve of how they killed Matthew either.  If they were going to have to do it twice within eight episodes, it would have been better to make it less traumatic.  It was bad enough losing both of them as it was.  No need to make it even worse.  They were going for an Emmy reel with Sybil, IMO (they did submit that episode), but it didn't work.  Except for Maggie, who would have won anyway.

Edited by ZulaMay

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I don't know much about the backstage politics of this show, and didn't start watching in real time until last season, but with regards to the Dan Stevens/Matthew's death situation, this is what I've been able to surmise:

 

I saw an interview (damned if I can find it now) where Fellowes talked about having to kill off two major characters (Sybil and Matthew) in one season. He said that JBF had given him plenty of notice that she was leaving. Idk exactly how much "plenty of notice" she gave him, but I get the feeling now, when I rewatch the S2 CS, that he was already planting the seeds for her death the second Cora read the letter from Sybil that revealed she was pregnant. So let's assume that she told him she wanted to leave before he'd even started writing S3, giving him plenty of time to outline her death.

 

Then he said that DS hadn't said he wanted to leave until the beginning of S3. From what I've heard about Fellowes's writing process, he only writes final drafts for the first five episodes of a season before filming starts, then writes the rest as filming continues (presumably to leave room in case something doesn't work, newly-paired actors don't click, etc.) So let's say that if DS told him about leaving at the beginning of S3, he'd already written the first five episodes, and presumably had an outline for how he wanted the rest of the season to go. Finding out one of your male leads will be leaving throws a huge monkey wrench into the plans for a season (not to mention the rest of the show's run). So Fellowes had to find a way to work Matthew's death in without disrupting plans for other characters in S3, and the most logical way to do that would be to kill him off quickly at the very end (whether or not the way Matthew was killed was an obvious punishment to DS for leaving is a mileage issue, unless someone from the show has said differently).

 

Idk whether or not that blind item is true (I'm leaning towards not, based on the website's reputation), but I hope DS isn't being rude to fans. Yes, he left the show to pursue other projects, which was 100% his right, and I could understand him not wanting to be Matthew Crawley in people's eyes anymore. But that's no reason to be a dick.

 

 

Clearly the writer didn't care whether the death was traumatic or not.  He crossed that line by a mile when Sybil died.   So while I don't approve of how he killed Matthew (or Sybil), I don't see why people were so shocked.   It wasn't as horrible to watch IMO, even if it was Christmas.  

 

And then in S4 people were up in arms about the rape episode, even though they actually showed a warning notice before the broadcast.  Yet there was so much outrage about it being gratuitous and graphic and shocking.   Did these people not watch Season 3?  When the show has already done graphic death scenes and is now posting a warning, people should be prepared for something bad.  What did they expect?  Nudity?  Not on this show.  Violence and death, sure.  But never nudity.

 

I think the uproar about the rape is an interesting point of discussion. It definitely got the media buzz I'm sure they were hoping for (hey, topic!), but I'm wondering if the reactions speak to what Brits and Americans expect on television. I mean, as an American, I can turn on my television at three in the afternoon and stumble across a syndicated rerun of Law and Order: SVU or Criminal Minds and think nothing of it. But does the UK feature as much violent programming as the US does? I feel like a lot of the negative response towards the show "going there" came from UK viewers during the original UK broadcast (I don't have any statistics handy to prove this for sure, but this article talks about the complaints Ofcom got; not sure if the FCC faced a similar issue). Perhaps US viewers are a little more hardened to things like that?

 

Imo, I think the issue for a lot people, whether there was a warning or not, was the nature of the episode's content. Yes, Sybil's death was graphic. I usually skip over that episode when rewatching because it's just so awful. I wouldn't consider Matthew's death graphic, necessarily. We saw him right before the crash and we saw the body right after the crash, but we didn't actually see the crash. But not only was Anna's rape graphic (as graphic as something like that could be on television), it was violent, and I think that's the issue people had. Watching someone die of eclampsia can be traumatic, especially if you've had a similar real-life experience, but Sybil was a victim of her own body (and medical malpractice). Anna was the intended victim of another human being, and that can be where a lot of people draw the line. Watching another woman be attacked could be a trigger for a real-life rape victim, possibly setting her back in terms of recovery.

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But the fact is there was a warning, which should have put people on alert.  The show has depicted graphic scenes of physical trauma and death (regardless of the cause), and done so with no warnings.  When it is now taking the step of telling viewers that something bad is coming? They should brace themselves for something upsetting and traumatic. Maybe something worse than what they've already seen.

 

Watching Sybil die of eclampsia was in fact a trigger for real-life victims of the disease and their family members.  An eclampsia center/hot line got a lot of calls from distraught viewers who didn't know it was coming.  They might have guessed but the fact is nothing that graphic and had ever happened on the show before. No death had been depicted in that way.  So they really had no way of knowing what to expect.  

 

I understand the rape was upsetting to people and that they might have disapproved of the show's choice to go there.  But since the show did give an explicit warning before the episode aired, there was really no sound basis for official complaints (of which they got a lot).  Criticism yes, but not accusations.  Viewers were duly warned and they made an informed choice.  Even if they hadn't shown a rape before (and they didn't even show it, actually), given the show's history of traumatic scenes?  The show did all it was obligated to do.  It didn't blindside anybody.  

 

As for what Americans expect when they watch TV, it depends on the show.  If I turn on CSI or Law&Order I might expect such scenes.  If I am watching Modern Family, I don't.  One issue with Sybil's death scene was that it was unprecedented on the show.  No one expected that on Downton.  But once it had been done?  And then again, to a lesser degree?  Then viewers were in new territory and they should have known it.  Especially since it was clearly signposted for them:  Danger Ahead.

Edited by ZulaMay

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Then he said that DS hadn't said he wanted to leave until the beginning of S3. From what I've heard about Fellowes's writing process, he only writes final drafts for the first five episodes of a season before filming starts, then writes the rest as filming continues (presumably to leave room in case something doesn't work, newly-paired actors don't click, etc.) So let's say that if DS told him about leaving at the beginning of S3, he'd already written the first five episodes, and presumably had an outline for how he wanted the rest of the season to go. Finding out one of your male leads will be leaving throws a huge monkey wrench into the plans for a season (not to mention the rest of the show's run).

 

Jessica Findlay said she was offered the option to resign at the end of season two and didn't. I don't know why Dan Stevens wouldn't have been offered the option at the same time and if he hesitated - and he obviously did - then regardless of Fellowes's writing process, Stevens gave them a reasonable amount of time and notice to handle the character's departure.  I mean, how much notice is reasonable?

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Oh, I'm sure DS gave what many would consider reasonable notice. As has been said, it wasn't like they were wrapping up the CS and he was all, "Oh, by the way..." There's probably a lot more to the story but Fellowes comment about the difference between JBF's and DS's notice just kind of stuck with me. What I got out of it was, "I had time to write out a full, involved plot for Sybil's death, but couldn't do the same for Matthew's." Whether or not that's accurate or fair, I couldn't say.

 

And ZulaMay, I agree with you re: people accusing the show/network/Ofcom/whoever of not giving fair warning about the rape. I mean, it's not like they could have stated explicitly before the episode aired that there would be a rape, since everyone would have guessed who the perpetrator/victim were about two minutes into the episode when Green started getting up in Anna's business. I just think the reactions are an interesting thing to discuss. I didn't know that about the eclampsia storyline, though I wasn't watching in real time so I missed whatever buzz/outrage there was over Sybil's death. But from talking with people IRL who watch the show (mostly friends of my mom's, who definitely aren't discussing it on internet forums), people seemed more upset about what happened to Anna than what happened to Sybil. They all say they can't believe the show went there, that just crossed a line, etc. But yet Sybil's death, which we actually saw, just seems to be accepted. They'll acknowledge it was hard to watch, yes, but there's no anger about it, for lack of a better word. None of them called the FCC or PBS or anything but the rape really upset people, even with the warning, and I think it was because of the violent element.

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http://www.forbes.com/sites/neilmidgley/2014/08/14/downton-abbey-seaso%20%20%20n-5-episode-1-the-first-review/

 

 

First review of 5.01.  Sounds like it's eventful.  Glad to see a reviewer say Bunting is a vulgar pain in the arse.

 

As for anger over Sybil's death? I think it depends who you ask.  I know a lot of people who were angry and upset about it.  There was an outpouring of rage on social media when it happened and Hugh Bonneville got some very nasty tweets.  A couple of reviewers even said it was a "betrayal" and "almost unforgivable."

 

You might have missed it since you didn't watch in real time, and perhaps the viewers you know just weren't particular fans of her character?  IDK.  But yes, there was anger and grief.  Including from me.  I looked at statistics regarding eclampsia and C-sections in 1920 and even though it is true that her chances of survival were small (maybe 1 in 10), I still will never forgive her father. Robert will always be on my s**t list because of that.  I cannot stand him now.

 

Also, the manner of her death did not do justice to her character arc IMO.  She was the feminist, progressive, outspoken sister as well as a nurse.  Then she dies in childbirth, doesn't speak up or ask questions about her medical care/condition (and she was lucid for part of her labor), and a bunch of old men argue over and decide her course of action.  It wasn't true to who she was as a person.  And yes, those things can happen, but he didn't have to write it that way.  It almost felt like he chose to ignore her history in order to wring the situation for drama.

Edited by ZulaMay
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Lololol, I love it. The best are the pictures/videos where the cast are using their phones, iPads, etc. in between takes while still in their period costumes. I remember one video where they were complaining that the service at Highclere was awful.

 

Also, Edith continues to win in the wardrobe department. May this never change.

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I don't know. Unless an actor has an actual identical twin, recasts are always so hokey and soapy. I know that Downton IS a soap, but I couldn't take the show seriously if they did that.

 

If could be done with another actor if they moved the timeline ahead 10 or 15 years. Everyone would need to age that amount as well and some characters might have to be killed off.

 

RE: Promo Photo

 

I have a great explanation for that one: DA and Dr. Who are in the same tv universe. The doctor has to save 2014 Earth, but needs to go to the 1920s for something. They retrieve it from the Abbey, but---oh no!----the new companion he's breaking in accidentally leaves a water bottle behind!

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What's wrong with the photo?

 

I think the water bottle is meant to distract us from noticing that Lord Grantham is standing next to Lady Edith, his least beloved daughter; the daughter whom he constantly derides and to whom he has done everything he can to ruin her life.  As if Lord Grantham would be caught dead taking a photo standing next to Edith.

 

At least when he's forced time to spend time in her presence at breakfast, he can shit all over ideas for her columns.  But in the photo, the most he can do is look constipated.

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That's Daisy Lewis.  She plays that pushy annoying schoolteacher who's after Tom.  Those are all the actors who attended the press launch, and the picture was taken there.  She's in the first episode so she'll be listed as main cast.  That's how it works, for some reason.  The actress who played Edna was listed as main cast last year and so was the Nanny.

Edited by ZulaMay

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Well on the show she has always been wearing a hat.  A series of unfortunate hats, one might say.  I think they intentionally made her look frumpy and very period-appropriate.  And the hat kind of obscures her face a bit too.

Edited by ZulaMay

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I have a great explanation for that one: DA and Dr. Who are in the same tv universe. The doctor has to save 2014 Earth, but needs to go to the 1920s for something. They retrieve it from the Abbey, but---oh no!----the new companion he's breaking in accidentally leaves a water bottle behind!

Heehee. I like it. But wouldn't it make more sense if he's saving 1920s Earth? ;)

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Heee! I've actually written one where Matthew's death was staged by the Sycorax to get vengeance against Harriet Jones and the Doctor has to straighten it out despite the Dowager Countess disliking him for what went down at Torchwood Manor....

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Thank you everyone for moving on from the Dan Stevens talk. Rehashing all of it here in the media thread is unnecessary because it's history.

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A lot of the cast have been doing the ice bucket challenge:

 

Michelle Dockery:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaXRUa9w3xg

 

Lily James:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPuIbTsJmUo

 

Allen Leech:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yevQlS-PwME

 

Hugh Bonneville:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zq8g86cg9kg

 

Jo Froggatt and Jim Carter did theirs together:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVO3ryeUkI4

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Just for the record, what this hacker (or hackers) did to all of these women and JBF is sick.  You should see the sheer number of people on their "list."  They published a fraction of them. 

 

JBF is a very private, classy young woman who has no interest in the trapping of fame or being a celebrity.  She rarely attends events except when she has to, and now I am afraid she will turn away from the spotlight even more.  Because some jerk broadcast something she did in the privacy of her own home, in an intimate moment just joking around with her serious live-in boyfriend.

 

I hope these creeps get caught and go to jail.  

 

She has a movie coming out in three weeks.  Now I fear she won't even go to the premiere in the UK.  I hope all of her castmates and colleagues rally around her.  And anyone who wouldn't cast her because someone invaded HER privacy doesn't deserve her anyway.

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