With a lot of shockers, romantic revelations and characters leaving and entering, season 5 of the Downton Abbey comes to a close and producer Gareth Neame discusses the course of the show.
While the season 5 has ended in the UK and just starting in the US; there is always a gap that has to be closed across oceans. The US fans are definitely in for spoiler alerts as the producers discuss the course of how season 5 has unraveled. Producer Gareth Neame sat down with THR and The Wrap to discuss how season 5 had been planned and how each and every character has progressed and set for their stories in the seasons ahead.
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So it was led by romantic relationships on the show. Neame admitted that while the era that is depicted in the show is more of suitor-oriented fashion rather than sexed up rage, it is really down to the story line to create enough intrigue.
The characters have to generate enough aura of attraction without being sexual. Downton Abbey specializes in that art as such as we rarely see any sexually explicit content on the show. So when one of the main characters who also happens to be a widow, Lady Mary Crawley show keen interest in the handsome Henry Talbot with underlying sexual implications as per the demand of showcasing the advancement of romance as the time moves on, the old must yank at its feet. Who must one think is the patron of the old?
It’s the same as it always have been; THE Dowager Countess Lady Violet. She has been rather fond of Mary over the years and we have seen both of them sharing their virtues of preservation of Downton. Lady Violet is definitely not endorsing the course of romantic affiliation Mary seems to be pursuing with Talbot. Matthew Goode, Gareth Neame admitted was a favorite shoo-in to join the cast.
He is a strong character, Neame said and Talbot is a strong character and to introduce such a character who raises Mary’s utmost interest in him was definitely an asset to the story. Lady Violet’s protestations were however slighted by the revelation of an affair she had herself that almost cost her marriage. Shockers! That the uptight Lady Violet was once a young swooning woman who almost lost her life of title for a love affair.
Neame said that it was absolutely brilliant how Fellowes had introduced a love angle for the older character. The viewers of the show mostly comprise of older people and it is well to say that even they deserve a romantic angle that they can relate to. At the time when such a plot was revealed, what better than to reveal the strength of a relationship that has seen hostility over the previous seasons. Lady Isobel Crawley is the secret keeper of Lady Violet’s secret. The unspoken friendship and the necessity they both require each other was a sweet touch for the older ladies at a point when they support each other is admirable.
Anna and Bates seem to be on the rocky hills of misfortune once more as Anna recovers from her rape. Neame said that it had to be a proper story rather than just a shocking event. Anna and Bates have become that couple that people root for to get through and they always do. Another couple who seemed to have pulled through after all this time is Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes. They have been operating much like a married couple since season one but it was high time when Mr. Carson finally asked her to marry him.
Season six will mostly start with the anticipation of their marriage. Whether the marriage will happen or not remains to be seen. One thing that has definitely come to light is Tom Branson leaving Downton. He had always been a misfit even when he was a part of the serving staff and the son-in-law at Downton. Branson’s character has always had the air of not belonging in the set up of Downton and his future might be set in America as many of the Irish like him did. It is undetermined whether Branson would be gone for good or will he return once more to Downton?
Someone is leaving Downton. Dame Maggie Smith has announced that she will leave the show after season six. By now her character has reached an impossible age on the show which is becoming more unfathomable for the viewers. It would be better to leave on an acceptable note rather than a ridiculed one. The 80 years old actress will not be retiring from acting though. Neame still had no comments about her leaving. He said that we do not know whether season six will be the end of the show.
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The show goes season by season and it can only be decided by the end of season six whether a seventh one will be made. However season five had a few pre-meditated ideas at the beginning with the rest of the story just developing as it commenced. Neame said that even though the British viewership had declined in the past season, the worldwide fandom grows and they are comfortable with how that show is advancing.