Casting Scoop: Downton Abbey

Monday, February 18, 2013

Update: In a Zap 2 It article just from today (February 21st), this was reported:
Tom Ellis 'Downton Abbey' Season 4 rumors squashed by 'Gothica' casting

The rumors that British actor Tom Ellis may be joining "Downton Abbey" as a love interest for newly widowed Lady Mary can officially be put to rest now that Ellis has landed a role in the ABC horror pilot "Gothica."
Ellis -- whose credits include "The Fades" and "Merlin" -- will play Victor Frankenstein in the contemporary series that weaves together the legends of horror icons Dracula, Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein and Dorian Gray.
Hmm... So I guess the search for a new beau is still on...

Good evening, readers! The lovely Ruth (thanks, friend!) reminded me about this fabulous (well for those of us who are actually excited *wink*) news for the fourth series of Downton Abbey. If you haven't watched the season three finale or don't want to know about any series four spoilers, then I must advise you to stop reading.

Don't say I didn't warn you. *grin*

When the opening credits begin for Downton's fourth season, some beloved monikers will be suspiciously missing from the credit lists. According to Julian Fellowes, Mary will be the center of this next season along with a new beau for her. Apparently British actor Tom Ellis is set to be cast as her new love interest following six months after the events of the series three finale. Here is what he Daily Mail article reported:
When viewers saw Dan Stevens' Matthew Crawley pass away at the end of Downton Abbey's third series, heartfelt concern went out to his widow.

However, Lady Mary, played by Michelle Dockery, is going to have a smile brought back to her face thanks to a new love interest.

The distressed single mother will be courted by a new man in the form of Miranda heartthrob Tom Ellis.
The 34-year-old actor, who is married to Tamzin Outhwaite, had to audition for a role on the show but left producers very impressed with his portrayal of the new love interest.

According to the Daily Mirror, a source at ITV said that Tom's legion of female admirers twinned with his acting ability is what won him the part.

The source said: 'He really showed his versatility, and he's also incredibly popular with the female viewers.'
So if the actor (now reported to be Tom Ellis) "gels" with the cast, he will become a fixture at Downton. If not, then he'll be a guest star while focus is lent to Mary ("rebuilding" her character) and later on down the road a different male character would, at some point be introduced. Those of you still with this post, let's chat. What do you think of this news? Are you curious? Mad? Or have you given up on this show altogether? Share your thoughts - looking forward to your thoughts!


  1. Well we've already talked...ha! I think Ellis is adorable so I'm looking forward to it.

    1. Yay! Someone else curious about series four. :) If done right, it could be wonderful and I think Fellowes knows he has a lot to make up for. Hence the reason he has been quoted saying there will be NO deaths in S4. Um, there better not be!

  2. Ok, this is getting seriously soap opera-ish... I just feel like they took so much stinking time getting Mary a guy only to kill him off almost immediately after they get together... And now they are going to spend the next few seasons trying to find her another guy??? Really??? I, of course, will always be a loyal Downton fan, but they could have done this a bit better...

    1. Oh, it's been a bit (soap opera) so from its start, Tory. That's why we love it so. :)

      From the very beginning Mary and Matthew were meant for each other so in actuality, the guy for her was there at the beginning, it just took that long to see them married! It will be surprising if 'Downton' lasts much beyond S4 but I can hope for more and am going to be interested in how all of this will play out. :)

  3. I've heard about this a couple of days ago and wasn't thrilled with the news. It's like Matthew isn't even cold in his grave and they're already setting Mary up with someone else. Where's the grieving period for Mary and for the fan base?

    I think about the original Upstairs, Downstairs (which if you haven't seen, I apologize for the spoilers) when I think about Matthew's death/the new guy: in Upstairs, Downstairs, when the mother of the Bellamy family died at the start of Series 3 (the actress hated her character and wanted to be written off), it took the father quite a while before he actually got serious about a new wife again; he ended up getting remarried at the end of Series 4/start of Series 5, so it was at least a good year and a half before he got married again which allowed enough time for the audience to recover and accept his new wife. I think that's what they should do with Downton Abbey: they shouldn't rush Mary's grief and should hold off for a while for her to grieve (and for the fan base to finish grieving... if ever), otherwise the fan base may not accept her new beau.

    While I'm not thrilled about this news, I haven't given up on Downton yet (I think I'll stick with it 'till the end), but like I've been saying I'd be surprised if it survives past Series 4.

    1. Of course, I don't know how this will play out, Elizabeth but here are my "two cents": I do know that six months will have passed at the beginning of E1 in the next season and I doubt Mary will be remarried until the finale if even then. Do you think she'll marry quickly?

      You make an excellent point (never worry about spoilers when commenting here - I like them! ;D) about accepting the new beau. I feel funny saying I am "excited" when everyone else just found out about Matthew's death but had known about this over a month prior to watching it myself (which I did a couple of weeks ago) so it lessened the blow since I'd already ranted and raged about the death with friends and my mom. From a dramatic POV, it was bold and quite "brave." Like you, I am totally skeptical about a potential S5 - though a girl can wish. :)

  4. Well, I just watched the finale this evening with friends. I wasn't too shocked as I had read some spoilers, but still. :( Sniff sniff sniff. One of the gals said that Dan Stevens reportedly wanted to be written out as he has different plans for his future? If that's true, then that makes me feel a little better (that it was his decision and not Mr. Fellowes just creating needless drama). But I'll definitely miss Matthew, he was one of my favorite characters! :( And I also feel that 6 months isn't very long for Mary to grieve. The way her and Matthew's story was written, they were pretty much soulmates, so I think she definitely should be given time to grieve. But I'm also aware this is a soap opera, so such things probably won't happen.

    On a happy note, I've seen some bits on youtube with Tom Ellis and I like him! So once I'm over missing Matthew, I think I could get behind him and Mary. Plus he's awfully cute. ;) (Yes I am that shallow, I totally admit to it.)

    1. Oh, yes! It was horribly sad, no question, Kara but, like you, knowing seemed to lessen the emotional impact. Personally, I'd already had my rant with my mother (we *have* to know the spoilers) and friends who'd seen the U.K. version so it was "easier."

      Yes, your friend is right: Dan requested to leave and even said at the beginning he didn't want anything beyond three seasons. This was the second reason fans can accept this twist - or we should be able to. Sometimes it's not so easy! :) Sybil is on Fellowes. Matthew is one Dan. ;)

      Matthew's absence will be felt in S4 as will Sybil's (who was a doll!). However Seeing what will happen with this new love interest is a curiosity. Should be good - after all, Fellowes owes us. BIG time. ;)

      Ellis is cute, isn't he!? A friend reported that he was in Merlin though I don't remember his character - or maybe I've not gotten to that introduction yet. Either way, happy to read you approve of the actor being cast! Hopefully by the time this fall rolls around, we'll be past our initial shock and will get caught up in the beauty of a new season. :)

  5. I'm not sure whether I like this development or not. *sigh* Love Mary, honest, but I guess I was expecting her to stubbornly remain single. lol

    1. After I learned of Matthew's death, I'd mentioned that it wouldn't be shocking if Fellowes gave Mary a new beau. He seems determined to make Edith out to be the bitter spinster. :/

      What do you think about when Mary would re-marry? It doesn't seem unreasonable if a respectable amount of time has passed and I don't see it happening in the mere six months that will have passed in the S3 finale to the start of S4...

    2. Or someone's mistress... *shudder*

      I also think it needs to be a respectable time and I would think a year or so would do that. Who knows... this is Fellowes we're talking about.

    3. Oh, yes, Rosie! If Edith continues to pursue her editor, that could very well happen! It's too bad, writer's don't give her time to shine and mature by introducing a nice man and then, there will be the signature romance at Downton.

      In more reading, I learned two things: One Mary wouldn't re-marry anytime soon and now Masterpiece's publicist says Tom Ellis has NOT been cast. Hmm... wonder if that's true or if they are trying to keep things under wraps!? ;)

  6. Matthew and Mary's back and forth drama got on my nerves a wee it wasn't TOO much of a ohmywordI', if they'd have killed Bates or Anna...yeah. ;)

    I love Tom Ellis and I'm interested in seeing what a new guy's perspective will do to change Mary's...very interesting. I really don't think Downton ought to go past S4,'s kinda running out of stuff, IMO.

    1. Know what you mean, Alexandra. That was a dilemma at times much as there were legions of fans who adored them together: They were PERFECT together and good together. (Part of my acceptance may have something to do with my disbelief that there is only one person in the world for *you*.)

      Your comment about Anna and Bates? Yes! Couldn't agree more - are they cute or what!? That scene in the Christmas special of their impromptu picnic was precious!

      Happy to know you approve of Tom - being unfamiliar with his work makes me curious to know if he's "right" for a 'Downton' role. :) Mary could be changed by a new love interest and if nothing else, it'll be interesting to see their interaction. :)

  7. All I have to say is:


  8. Thanks for the newsy update, Rissi :) Hmmmmm......................................... Im trying to see it, but I just cant. I agree with Ms. E Bennet's response above, Julian went on about how this was the only way Matthew could be written off because the two of them were SO MUCH in love that anything else would have seemed implausible (like if he was stationed abroad or something) so given that...hello??? why are they introducing a new man at the start of the new series a mere 6 MONTHS later??!! Oh Julian. Badly done. hahaha

    We'll see though...I will of course have to watch because i just have to but I'm not too thrilled...

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jeanine - always enjoy your perspective. :)

      Do you think Mary will marry at the beginning of the season? I see it being longer than six months before she'd say "I Do" again... The time between S3 finale and S4 is said to be six months but heavens knows how long the entire season will span. Fellowes likes to pace out, quite literally, years in one series. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

      Yeah, I'll be tuning in also - and will be looking forward to chatting about it with you after the premiere!!!

  9. Apparently, Season 4 resumes about 6 months after Mathhew's death. The season finale took place a year after Sybil's death and Tom was still unattached and seemingly still mourning Sybil despite Edna's advances on him. 6 months is way too soon to introduce a new love interest for Mary. I'm not familiar with Tom Ellis so I can't judge him one way or the other. I personally don't think he has the right "look" for a period drama. Whatever happens, I'll be tuning in but I just hope that the series isn't "jumping the shark". Thanks for letting me opine!! Carroll

    1. Sure, no problem, Carroll. Thanks for sharing! :)

      My only thought is that just because someone is being introduced in six months doesn't mean Mary will be saying "I Do" again anytime soon. I'd guess that it will drag itself out (if the new actor/character works for the show) to be a will-they-or-won't-they scenario.

      Oh! So will I! Despite everything, S4 is off to a curious start. :)

  10. Meh. In the word's of Shania Twain, "...that don't impress me much." Things could change though because I really didn't like Dan much at the beginning of season 1 but he grew on me. It WILL take me a while to warm up to this guy if I EVER do.

    I enjoyed our Twitter chat this past Sunday. :-)

    Renee C.

    1. Ha-ha! Love how you put that, Renee. Gotta' love Shania Twain. :)

      Well, there is the possibility then... who knows! My mother was somewhat like you although she liked Dan/Matthew from the beginning, she was most impressed with his character in the third series. Then when we discovered how it ended, we were sad. Knowing over a month in advance "helped" personally. Not everyone likes spoilers so it can be hard to hold it in when you just assume everyone will want to know. :)

      Now, Masterpiece's publicist is saying, this news is "not true." Huh... wonder if they are just trying to keep things quiet...

      Oh, so did I. It was fun - thanks! Always entertaining to be a part of some good Twitter convo. :)



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