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Downton Abbey: Fellowes expresses concern over Matthew/Mary engagement

Downton Abbey, Christmas special

Story by Jack Foley

JULIAN Fellowes has confessed to having concerns over the decision to bring series favourites Mary (Michelle Dockery) and Matthew (Dan Stevens) together.

The Christmas special of the show concluded with Mary accepting Matthew’s marriage proposal and offered a heart-warming finale to the two-hour festive special.

But Fellowes is concerned that there could be a potential lack of tension between them – although he also admits that shows that leave people guessing in a will they/won’t they kind of manner also can become tiring.

In an interview with The New York Times he adds: “There is a moment when the audience just thinks, ‘Oh, for [goodness’] sake’. You somehow have to pre-empt that.”

That said, he still has the characters of Bates (played by Brendan Coyle) and Anna (Joanne Froggatt) to play around with given the ongoing trials and tribulations surrounding their relationship.

The Christmas special also saw Bates narrowly escaping the hangman’s noose, although he now faces a lengthy wait in prison for evidence to help clear his name.

Describing Bates as one of his favourite characters, and the storyline between him and Anna as offering limitless possibilities, Fellowes added: “These are two people who have not been given all that much in life, but what they have been given is a real love.

“I wouldn’t ever want to undermine that. But they’ve got to suffer a little. Nothing [is] harder to dramatise than happiness.”

In other Downton Abbey news, War Horse actor Matt Milne has joined the show’s cast as a footman called Alfred (the nephew of O’Brien, played by Siobhan Finneran).

Read the full NY Times interview

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