These new shots from the show’s upcoming fourth season put the ‘down’ in ‘Downton.’
The Downton Abbey cast is back to work, filming the British period drama’s fourth season — but it’s not exactly a cause for celebration. This new batch of on-set photos reveal the Crawley family and its associates gathering to mourn the loss of the fan-favorite character who died in the third season finale.
Unless you’re way behind on Downton Abbey — in which case, I don’t know why you’re reading this — Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) was killed on the show’s Feb. 17 season finale. After meeting his new baby with wife Mary (Michelle Dockery), the new dad was simply out and enjoying a drive through the English countryside, unaware of the fate that awaited him.
In these photos, we see Matthew’s mom Isobel (Penelope Wilton), the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith), Anna (Joanne Froggatt), Bates (Brendan Coyle), Dr. Clarkson (David Robb) and that drunken fool Molesley (Kevin Doyle).
We also see that no-good Rose (Lily James), who totally looks like she’s laughing. She so would.
Inside Matthew Crawley’s Tragic Death
Fans worldwide were crushed when Matthew died at the end of Downton Abbey‘s third season — though not as crushed as Matthew, since he was literally crushed by the weight of his own car. And as much as the show’s creative team would have loved to keep Matthew alive, that simply wasn’t an option.
“We weren’t really faced with an alternative storyline, because I think audiences would not have accepted Mary and Matthew becoming estranged,” executive producer Gareth Neame explained. “It was too big a journey that the audience had been on with this relationship. The idea that he would go off on the journey and she wouldn’t go with him, or the idea that he would leave her or she would leave him, I think that would have been so disappointing and unbelievable to an audience. The only course open to us was that the character had to die.”
HollywoodLifers, have you come to terms with Matthew’s death? Browse these new photos, then drop a comment with your thoughts on season four.
— Andy Swift
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