Christmas and Downton

All the best for a wonderful Christmas and new year!

For those in the UK, the Downton Abbey Christmas special will be broadcast tonight on ITV1 at 8.45pm ~ comments below VERY spoilery. Read with caution.

Comments

Give him a break!

C'mon people, give Dan a break, for god's sake. I am a big fan of Downton, yes, and I'll admit I got upset when Matthew died. BUT, this is Dan's choise, he wanted to seek luck elsewhere and he WANTED to leave Downton. What's wrong with wanting something more and try new things? Answer me that! He is a very, very talanted actor, after all. Despite my sadness over Matthews death, I ACCEPT Dans decision. As Dan Stevens fans, I think we should ACCEPT his decision to leave Downton, instead of being angry and sometimes rude. Let's boost his confidence instead of being angry, let's give him support and love, like real fans should!!

Agree!

More Dan support, less vindictiveness! I applaud anyone with the courage to cast out and explore, take vs. staying in the "safe harbour". Bravo, Dan, and all the best of luck to you!

Reality is in the air, without blind allegiance

Reality is in the air, without blind allegiance

I love Matthew Crawley BUT

Judging from the snippets from Season 3 (lool I don't live in the UK) the role Dan Stevens had to play was that of a sappy, love-blinded fellow who had more cheese in him than the moon in cartoons. It was a good selling point, and the audience bought it (admittedly, myself included). The chemistry between Matthew and Mary is unbelievable and played out extremely well that it worked out even for the "ever after" scenes. But as an actor would you be satisfied in being one-half of a love tandem that, despite its obvious success, is being milked for all its worth? I might be wrong as I've said, I haven't watched the Season 3 in its entirety but assuming that it's true I won't blame him for wanting to leave.

However, wanting to leave is different from leaving altogether, and his reasons are something we can only speculate. He has ambition and that's good, doors are opening up for him and it's good but there's still that unsettling feeling of "WHYYYYY??" he, in actuality, left the show and as consequence left his character no other choice but to die due to the lack of, I dunno, a corporeal form.

If only that shining desire to go elsewhere came at another point in time then perhaps we'd have all been happy.

I love Matthew Crawley BUT

Give Dan Stevens credit for the fact that he informed Julian Fellowes and co at the end of the Series 2 shoot in July 2011 that he wanted out... they had 12 months to do something about it apart from trying to persuade him to stay on after his original contract expired in 2012.

Dan Stevens wanted out and even the various suggestions put forward for a Season 4 involvement did not shake his resolve. It wasn't the money either. According to some press release the new contracts for Season 4 were very lucrative and Dan Stevens virtually could have written his own cheque. The character had lost its appeal for him- he had done everything he could with it.

Would the fans of Downton Abbey really have been receptive to their idol taking some other form of exit?

The Downton Abbey Drama Series should have finished with episode 8 of Series 3 -it seems as if that particular episode was planned as the Finale.... all the threads were very neatly tied up ..... and then unravelled big time when on holidays in Scotland!

On the threads unravelling

Not only was thread unraveled but it's as if the neatly tied ball of a story was sent to a shredding machine. Part of the lament is that the Christmas special seemed so out of place and superfluous, a dilly-dally day at the highlands.

Moreover, as someone pointed out before, I don't think such a noble character who survived a World War and the Spanish influenza among other atrocities, deserved to die through a soap opera cliché. I do think a different exit would have been preferable. Since he's going and nobody can do really anything about it might as well make the exit a glorious one -- or at least superbly written that allowed the character to shine for one last time. Definitely deserved more than two minutes or so.

I wondered why it was imperative that the death scene was shown on the Christmas special . If the joy of their first child would betray us in the end then Episode 1 of season 4 would have been an equally good time, at least in my book. At least it was sorrow delayed.

Agreed!

Agreed!

Agreed!

Agree.

The writers took the easy way out.

They had plenty of time to devise a Plan B instead of the well-used tired soap opera ending of a fatal crash in his favourite car.

Why all this furore about how

Why all this furore about how he died...the writers' decision is contained in your own words ' his favourite car', so if one wants to put a positive spin on it he died doing something he loved-driving in his beloved car! If he had been shot, mauled to death by wildlife, died in bed of some disease the same anger would be here on these boards. What the writers were faced with and the level of denial on this board is amazing is that Dan DID NOT WANT to come back even for 'guest' appearances, in other words he had to die. Fellowes has given his reasoning for this. Move on people, if you are true fans stop harking back and look for his next piece of work and support him in this.

I find it extraordinary that there are so many skilled writers on this board who have criticized the writing, plot line etc of Dan's death, talked about taking the easy way out etc and yet no one has put forward an alternative!

On the threads unravelling

Not only was thread unraveled but it's as if the neatly tied ball of a story was sent to a shredding machine. Part of the lament is that the Christmas special seemed so out of place and superfluous, a dilly-dally day at the highlands.

Moreover, as someone pointed out before, I don't think such a noble character who survived a World War and the Spanish influenza among other atrocities, deserved to die through a soap opera cliché. I do think a different exit would have been preferable. Since he's going and nobody can do really anything about it might as well make the exit a glorious one -- or at least superbly written that allowed the character to shine for one last time. Definitely deserved more than two minutes or so.

I wondered why it was imperative that the death scene was shown on the Christmas special . If the joy of their first child would betray us in the end then Episode 1 of season 4 would have been an equally good time, at least in my book. At least it was sorrow delayed.

Who can explain this to us ?

Two thoughts...

I'm just wondering if there are any psychologists who come on the forum who could explain why so many of us are quite so upset when we are all aware these are fictional characters?! For what it's worth, my own humble offering is that Matthew is a fictional character but we subconsciously relate fictional characters to people we know in real life. Maybe as human beings we have this innate need to believe that if you live a good life good things happen to you whereas deep down we know from life this is not always what happens and possibly Matthew's fate reminds us of this on some subconscious level and that is what is disturbing us so much.

My other thought is that the way Matthew died was devised by people who have lots of intelligence and talent but not necessarily the emotional intelligence to match it, if they didn't forsee how badly it would go down with lots of viewers. It wasn't that he died but it was the almost sadistic way it was all played out which I found quite offensive and which was a miscalculation in my opinion.

Oh well, time to move on now. I wish nothing but the very best to all involved in the future and loved the run while it lasted. Matthew Crawley's star certainly shone very brightly!

PS I wonder if Richard Armitage is available for even just a couple of episodes in series 4 - now that WOULD cheer me up!!

Unfortunately for the viewer,

Unfortunately for the viewer, actors when exiting a series they no longer want a part of or to return to, often prefer the character to be killed off. That is what JF and the producers did, they made it abundantly clear that Matthew was dead. The fact that it happened on Christmas night was not ideal but with an actor determined to leave, as was Jessica Brown-Phillips earlier in the series, producers were left with little choice. Recasting wouldn't work, as viewers would then spend the 8 episodes of S4 deliberating over the fact that the new Matthew didn't look like the old one and his mannerisms weren't the same. Interestingly both actors signed up to WME just before option for S4 were offered and that may have played apart all this.

Unfortunately for the viewer

"... Interestingly both actors signed up to WME before option for S4 were offered...." that is the purpose of these agencies to look after the best interests of their clients and not the interests of their fans. WME would have no respect for the fans of Downton Abbey... they just look after the contracts making sure that they get a very healthy percentage of the agreed salary.

Unfortunately for the viewer

That is the pupose of these agencies etc. Yes that is obvious, I didn't think there was really a need for me to spell it out.

Who can explain..

Sadistic and offensive? What on earth were you watching? The raping of a woman on a bus in India is sadistic and offensive...perspective please, would you have preferred him to die neatly in his bed at home. Dan Stevens has made it abundantly clear he never wants to return, his new car was his pride and joy as shown by the return from honeymoon, ergo a car crash. This as you rightly say is fiction, how do we deal with real life if we have not the 'emotional intelligence' to recognise this as a piece of writing. I presume you never watch East Enders or other 'soaps', people are just as heavily invested in those and the body count appears to be much higher!

Re "Who can...."

Well, I have to say that I have pondered upon the first question myself, and you could well be right. I also certainly agree that Matthew's demise was very offensive and could have been handled in a much better way.
Yes, time to move on and let me add my support and best wishes to all involved. I shall be ever thankful that we saw Matthew, played so well by Dan, for the entire series as originally intended.

" Who Can......"

Excellent.

Re: "Who Can..."

Amen...

I wish he wouldn't throw himself off the cliff

No matter how many well wishes are sent and excuses of exploring new advantures and self directed right of choices are made, at the end of the day, everybody feels that deep down in our conscious when some principles are crossed, the harm is not only made towards the individuals but also to all that were sharing a project even if not all were contributing to the down fall. I wish Dan Stevens wouldn't throw himself off the cliff by leaving Downton. I wish he could foresee by staying there, he would be transformed from a supporting actor to the main actor by being the growing half master of the house by bringing more business and an heir to the house who is going to be more than half master as time goes on. This would have been an opening for international nominations here and there. I wish he wouldn't made such hasty decision to leave, especially a decision that it's outcome is more destructive than constructive to what is already made within the past three years, not only the success of the TV series but also the perception that each actor and actress made in minds of fans, media, future employers, etc . I also wish that both sides would have not decided to be bitterly revengeful: Dan's side is to bring ruin by leaving the project. Jullian's side is to bring ruin and leave no return by killing! even though there is still some chance for revival of Matthew Crawley if Dan decides to change his mind and accept the contract. So at least some room for damage control is left by the writer!
Of course, when there is any disagreement, it's a two way street and both sides would be at fault but for god's sake why Dan did not see that the elder one has more in social establishment with stronger foundations and connections along with a longer life experience to give him these capabilities to explain the excuses in a more politically correct way and still has left some room for Dan's return than Dan himself who is just at the begining of his career!

What part of Dan's interview

What part of Dan's interview where he says he feels a sense of liberation from the monopolizing schedule of Downton do you people not understand! He does NOT want to come back on any terms!! He is an actor, this is not real life.

right?! lol

I swear it's like a comedy show on here with all the denial.

Can't they work it out somehow?!

Surely it's not too late for ITV and DS to come to some agreement to keep him in DA, even in a limited way!

The sadness people feel at the loss of a fictional character is quite unprecedented and must mean that Julian Fellowes and Dan Stevens between them created something VERY special, an amazingly drawn character who touched people's hearts with his kindness, sense of honour, decency and humility. I can't remember any other actor creating an impact by his leaving in this way before. Dan shouldn't compare himself to his peers like Benedict Cumberbatch etc. He has his own unique qualities and I don't think any other actor could have found his way into people's hearts in the way Dan has evidently done in this role.

Please everyone concerned think some more in the days ahead and reconsider. It's not too late ! I want Matthew to have a happy ending because he represents all that is good in humanity. Just think of the amazing publicity and the kudos of having created a character people are so fond of that they don't want to say goodbye to him. It's just too sad to have things end as they did.

Re "Can't they work it out...."

Oh I wish they could, and I agree about the character of Matthew, so well portrayed by Dan & created by JF, with, of course, the on-screen chemistry between Matthew & Mary, excellently played by Michelle Dockery.

But I think that now the 'point of no return' has indeed passed, tragic as that is. It would have been better to have adhered to the original plan of a 3 season production, with a happy ending. Perhaps it could have been revisited in a year or so, which would have allowed the cast some time to follow other paths, and for Julian to take stock and formulate some wonderful new, fresh themes and storylines for DA, rather than trying to keep up with the surrounding outside influences.

I would like to add my thanks to all who helped make Downton Abbey such a spectacularly successful drama over the past years.

Me too

I agree.... The producers should have stuck to the original 3 year plan for Downton Abbey. The whole series could have concluded with the Cricket Match in Episode 8... happy ending...future possibilities for resumption down the track.

I Agree

You expressed so well my thoughts exactly!

Hope for a solution to save DS and DA both!!!

I hope Dan Stevens changes his mind and raises above any possible egos of either himself or Julian by returning to DA, then instead of remaining as a so so star that shined in DA but faded later, he will become an iconic star with even more respect and value. Julian can also consider changing the seen of that horrific accident to a temporary loss of consciousness and bring MC back to life. I guess in the same way that the project has a historian to make sure that upstairs and downstairs people will behave in a way that would be within the code of conduct at that time of history, they also need to bring an expert/psychiatrist to solve the challenges every cast member may face if there is any disagreement among them or even any confusion with their feelings especially when they are so drawn into their characters (this is how they enable themselves to act so genuinely) that they may think the emotions evolving in the character they play may become the same as their own real individual's. maybe when they are so busy working, they do not have the time to think clearly and separate these two from each other (the character's feelings that is different from the real life actor's feeling) which may cause some tension and anxiety in them especially if they are both having very good natures that do not approve the outcome of this confusion which leads to some damage to either party. I hope the time off from August to February has given them enough time to clear their minds and spirits to make a better decision to replace a rushed decision made at the time of emotional upheavals (anger, disagreement, fear, anxiety or what so ever that they know better themselves). This way the trio of Lord Grantham (who fulfills the man who knows principles along with the worth of services and characters of his employees), Matthew ( who knows how to run the business as a business attorney) and Tom ( who knows what are the very basics of a successful farming) will not be disrupted and left in the air. Besides the son who is currently born to M& M would be in his early 20s at the time of WWll and maybe called to war and get killed, so why not to have M& M have more children to secure all the aspects of the original storyline and watch how M&M will bring up their son in a way he would be a good fit in for the modern life at the same time that he picks only that parts of supposedly 'English virtue" that make him a dignified man with values. I guess all the fans loved the character of Matthew Crawley because he was just the man Lord Grantham wished for his eldest daughter as a husband: " a good man, a brave man, somebody who can shake us up a little bit" and I am sure that there are numerous fans: young couples/parents/grandparents who would like to watch how this is possible in this era with hugely diversified metropolitan areas with unlimited possibilities for their kids to grow into.
I am also sure that if Julian would have asked for the fan's vote, about which one would you choose to continue your support for DA if there is no other option left, either killing off MC or re casting MC? the latter choice would have won. Especially that JF could have not closed DA by the end of 3rd season because it is a source of employment for the rest of the cast and crew, why should they put a stop to their success and income in a hit show just for one member's decision to leave? not everybody is obliged to follow!
Another fan has Said:
"I was very fond of the M/M storyline and I think it is a shame that Dan decided not to return. It was entirely HIS decision and although I think the scene could have been shown at the beginning of the next series, I feel that Dan has let his fans down not to mention the fantastic cast of actors. I hope this show proves that it is bigger than just an actor. It is certainly not Julian Fellowes fault."
Therefore, somehow, it unfortunately sound very self centered of Dan Stevens not considering the rest. Above all, every individual is surrounded by the rest and somehow their survival depends on how they interact with the rest!

Denial is a river in Egypt

Sorry, I had not read this

Sorry, I had not read this article when I wrote the comment. It seems Mr. Fellowes does not want to open any chances for return, otherwise if a young one does a mistake, even almighty god is merciful why couldn't Mr. Fellowes be merciful either? and if he agrees to do so the next UK daily telegraph can make another announcement that despite all said before the two parties decided that it's to the best interest of both parties and the TV series to reconsider their decisions and so forth...

Matthew Crawley could have

Matthew Crawley could have become Elvis but DS is not even anywhere close to him!

And thank the Lord for that,as Elvis was a self-confessed racist

A fact conveniently overlooked by so many of his fans. Will take Dan Stevens over him any day-way more talented, not to mention politically and socially progressive.

Probably this is why Elvis

Probably this is why Elvis has a song about ghetto to prove otherwise!

Margaret Thatcher also claimed not to be a snob

And David Cameron claims to be just like everyone else so I guess you are right. If they say so, it MUST be true. #naivete

what have you done!!!!!!!

I loved you!!! I love downton but then this christmas episode came and I was crying with happiness that Mary had a baby boy but then stopped crying cause I was sooooo ANGREY that you died!!!
You made downton abby something now my two fav people are dead in it!!! You should off stayed on!! I wrote on ur wall saying PLEASE STAY IN DOWNTON!!! BUT THEN UR SUDDENLY DEAD!!!
U have broken my heart Matthew!!!
Downton should of just ended it then cause everything was GREAT =!!!!!!!
i think you should of made a better decision on what you did with downtown and how your fans will take it!! Cause I'm telling you i think tat they will still love you but hate downton for it !!!

Now that i have got my angryness out i want to say;
YOU HAVE RUINED DOWNTON ABBEY!!!!
FOREVER

Sorry for saying whats on my mind i have to get my stress out of my mind!! i will NEVER stop loving you but i have now gone off you i bit!

Look what i trying to say is that i love you soo much you are sooo FIT but you made the worst mistake EVER!!!

Downton

Dan - How could you? The Drama WAS the relationship between Mary and yourself. Now it will be nothing.
Wonder how the other actors feel about your decision to leave the best Dama we have seen for years. You have disappointed numerous fans.
Very sad

Wow, what a polarised thread!

Wow, what a polarised thread! As a fan of Downton Abbey the actors in the series earn my respect and loyalty for the interpretation of their character and acting abilities. It is not a blind loyalty so that I am prepared to say that all their work is amazing all of the time, and I do not demand that actors play parts simply to suit my whims. But, if you wish to have a loyal fan base who appreciate your work rather than the way you look then they too deserve to be recognised, they watch your work, they buy the tickets and create the popularity which hopefully leads to more good work. Dan Stevens can do any work he chooses, just as I can choose not to watch, read or buy whatever it is he is selling. We do not 'owe' each other anything, we can choose to recognise or simply disregard each other
I do not know the man, so his family life, personal happiness etc are no business of mine, he is a good looking actor making his own decisions not the personal property of fans.

He recognized his fans by providing them with

3 full and complete seasons and an interview to give them the "closure" that the fans apparently needed. Now it's the fans' turn to recognize that Dan, as a person and a working actor (not "just a handsome face") has a right to move on and build his career however he pleases. As you pointed out fans can watch or opt not to watch his next film/play/show, or follow or not follow his career, that's their prerogative but this outpouring of entitlement hysteria is quite ludicrous. It's a fictional character! Played by a very human man with a life of his own to lead. Oi vey.

Well said

Well said

Have just read Dan's

Have just read Dan's interview in the Telegraph...he does not ' feel he must play this role or take this much at the box office' for his personal happiness. Unfortunately Dan there are many actors who do feel that about a role, and investors in Theatre productions who will despair at such comments, for they will need to cover their investment by having an actor who is totally committed to the success of the production! Your personal happiness may increase but either you are downplaying your ambition to be an actor/writer of standing or still enjoying your own personal journey of self discovery at the expense of others, and rather unintelligently saying so in print!

Have just read Dan's

Have just read Dan's interview in the Telegraph...he does not ' feel he must play this role or take this much at the box office' for his personal happiness. Unfortunately Dan there are many actors who do feel that about a role, and investors in Theatre productions who will despair at such comments, for they will need to cover their investment by having an actor who is totally committed to the success of the production! Your personal happiness may increase but either you are downplaying your ambition to be an actor/writer of standing or still enjoying your own personal journey of self discovery at the expense of others, and rather unintelligently saying so in print!

"Your personal happiness may increase, but..." Seriously??

So basically, what you're saying is "Dan, you have no right to want to be 'personally happy', what is more important is kissing the collective asses of the showbiz powers that be". That's a very, very sad perspective to take not to mention an idiotic and foolhardy "life lesson" to be dispensing..."in print" or otherwise.

I do not think the poster was

I do not think the poster was saying Dan should have to give up his personal happiness, but certainly I would having paid a large amount for a seat in the theatre wish to see an actor who really wanted to play the role, otherwise perhaps he could work in amateur dramatics. Does he do photoshoots in glossy magazines for his personal happiness or to kiss collective asses by raising his profile. He is in the kiss ass industry, rounds of tv, magazine and press interviews to promote The Heiress which will be followed by the same for his next piece of work. If his 'personal happiness' does not rely on success why bother with the rest of the circus? Oh yes he needs the money like the rest of us, so will be kissing collective asses for as long as he wants a career.

So wait, you saw The Heiress and thought

Your money was wasted because Dan didn't look like "he really wanted to play the role"? Am confused. Saw the play and I thought it was worth the money and that his performance was FAR from "half-arsed". Photo shoots, magazine covers, those are just details. The real point is basically that Mr. Stevens wants to do something else and is going about doing it and "fans" don't like it because they think he "owes" it to them to stay on a dying show, so basically yes, the comment is indeed implying that Dan's happiness should not matter, which is just bunk.

If you actually read my post

If you actually read my post I did not say I saw the Heiress, I simply stated that I would want to see an actor who really wanted to play the role and whilst in the middle of performing the Heiress Dan has stated there is no role he really wants to play. What I was saying which you seem to have difficulty understanding is that any actor needs to keep both his employer and his fans happy if he is going to have a successful career. The photograph shoots etc are not sidelines, they are designed by his PR team to maintain and promote his profile in the US and hopefully bring in work. I am not a blinkered individual who thinks Dan can do no wrong, I enjoy his work, The Line of Beauty was wonderful but his recent press interviews have been dreadful.

I read your post

And despite the semantics, it all boils down to the same inane point- that Dan has somehow failed his fans by leaving. Though now, the complaint that "Dan also gives bad interviews" has been thrown into the mix. Poor bloke, just can't seem to win with you, can he?

Your suggestion that a smart actor should aim to "keep both his employer and fans happy" a) assumes that Dan has not tried to do this but also b) fails to consider or rank as equally important the person's own personal desires among these other "pressing goals".

The bottom line is, Dan did what he could to "keep his employer (Fellowes and apparently, his legions pf fans) happy by giving Fellowes ample notice- long before season 3 was filmed, which was the period for whoh he had contracted- that he would not be returning. I'm sure he would have wanted to tell his other employers (aka fans) this news too, in a much more timely fashion, were he at liberty to. But in the absence of that freedom, he gave an interview to explain to us, the fans (though he didn't owe it us). What more should he have done? Sign on for a season 4 just to keep you happy (sorry, his "employers and fans")?

If your point is that his PR team does not seem to be doing him any favors, that's one wholly seperate thing, but let's not forget or lose sight of the original poster's point or implication, which was essentially, "How very dare Mr. Stevens' leave our show to go pursue a more varied career elsewhere!"

Which is (still) bunk.

I do not think in my post I

I do not think in my post I mentioned anything about him leaving, or failing his fans or made any assumptions and once again you seem desperate to not actually read and digest what I've said. Pointless writing anything really, same diatribe from you.

Then you should read your own post again

With all respect, tis you not I who is loathe to read and/or properly digesting what you yourself wrote. Not trying to offend, just calling out something I think is unfair.

I am a fan of Downton Abbey

I am a fan of Downton Abbey and believe it was a great series,it has of late though had to deal with major members of the cast departing for 'better opportunities'. The deaths in the series are obviously signals that the actor did not want to return and to make that clear to the viewers. To say that Dan Stevens was the best actor in the series is to fly in the face of reality, yes at times he was excellent at others simply wooden. He has been nominated for awards in the best ensemble categories with the rest of the cast but never for single performance unlike Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith etc. Even as a fan of Dan I do not just wish to see him pictured wearing fine clothes in up market magazines but rather plying his craft be that acting or writing. Rather like a previous poster I believe his interview with the Telegraph smacks of youthful self indulgence, ideas better expressed perhaps when his career has more weight behind it in terms of excellence and longevity.

Please return to Downton

Mr. Stevens,

I wholeheartedly understand your desire to pursue other projects, to not have your career dictated by the demands of one show, and to plan your and your family's life as you see fit. That being said, I oh-so-humbly request that you please reconsider your decision not to return to Downton. I will admit that I was heartbroken when Lady Sybil died and that I felt that there would be a gaping hole in the show without her. I believe that the show is not the same, but it still survives only somewhat worse for the wear. However, I honestly do not see how the show can survive without you -- your character's relationship with Lady Mary defines the show.

I know that it is not anyone's place to ask you to put the good of the show above your own desires, but I'm not sure you quite realize what a truly magnificent show this is to be able to leave so early in its lifespan. I can truthfully say that it is the best show I have seen in recent or not-so-recent memory. While I can respect your decision to plan your career and live your life as you wish, I implore you to please reconsider your decision and consider allowing the show to continue to triumph and please wait until a more "right" ending is found. Expiring at the middle of your story only denies you the chance further to develop a wonderful character. You bring this character to life in a way that few actors could, and for many of us, you ARE the show.

Thank you for being the heart of this show for 3 seasons, but please consider returning.

This IS the End

Surely, J Fellows could have found a more creative departure than this last episode. Downton Abbey brought me through some tough times because it brought such entertainment and joy...but this is so disheartning. Now, it is time for me to move on! I was so passionate about the actors and their roles; the story was so exciting and I looked forward to Sunday nights. The cast was all so amazing and so was the story line...now it has become just another soap opera and Dan'sleaving...I haven't made up my mind what I think about him anymore!

Dan Stevens - edited for spoilers

Heartbroken. Will never watch the series again- He, Michelle Dockery, Alan Leech and Maggie Smith are the best actors in the show. Matthew is one of the few intelligent characters -other than the Housekeeper, and Anna and Bates.- (ANd, Grandma Levinson!) Lady Grantham is an idiot (still listens to and believes the monstrous maid O'Brien who killed her baby!), and Lord Grantham is even dumber. (After loosing everyone's money and endangering the tenants and servants who depended on him, he suggested he use Matthew's inheritence to invest in a "Ponzey" scheme!) Carson is a tyrant who lives in another century and Thomas is unspeakaby stupid. Even the Doctors are criminally irresponsible! May or may not be a mistake for Dan's career. But he IS an actor- as well as an intellectual- and he has a right to direct the progress of his career. I have seen him twice in The Heiress, and will see his performance again before the play closes. Also, Summer in February will be shown in the UK next year- finally. Hope we will see it soon in the US. I will say this- (no matter what he does professionally from now on)- that he was the best actor I have seen in a UK produced TV series, since the first production of the Forsyth Saga, many years ago. I hope he will come back to the US soon- to perform in another play. Meanwhile, I will cherish the fashion layouts he has graced us with- including the new one in the January issue of Town and Country!

Dan Stevens

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