Downton Abbey Season 4 Casting Scoop: [Spoiler]'s Getting a New Suitor!

Get More: Casting News, Exclusive

Downton Abbey Season 4Unless you want to risk doing a spit take with your afternoon tea, American fans of Downton Abbey may want to skip over this story. The rest of you, however, will be keenly interested to learn that, in Season 4, Lady Mary will be getting a new…

Last chance to look away!


As you may have heard — certainly if you’re overseas — Dan Stevens, aka Matthew, bowed out of the hit series at the end of the third season. And, since Lady Mary wouldn’t be Lady Mary without a gentleman by her side, the show is looking for a (naturally!) handsome thirtysomething actor to come courting as Lord Anthony Gillingham.

RELATED | It’s Official: [Spoiler]‘s Returning to Downton Abbey For Season 4!

From what we gather, her would-be suitor is not only a looker, he also has a winning personality. (So winning, in fact, that there’s already talk that he could return for Season 5!)

Abbey EP Gareth Neame told TVLine in a recent interview that Steven’s exit created a “dramatic opportunity” for Michelle Dockery’s alter ego, adding, “In any relationship drama, the will-they-or-won’t-they is always more interesting than married couples. So actually what we’ve been able to do is reset [Lady Mary]. She has to start again, and that will be much more interesting.”

What do you think? Could any chap ever replace Matthew? And if so, who? Since the show is likely to hire a Brit, Henry “Superman” Cavill comes to mind. And so does Orlando Bloom. But, given their movie-star status, they might be a bit pricey, even for the Crawleys. Sound off with your picks below!

Comments (349)

  • Jamie Davis is the perfect choice.

    Comment by Dednnis – January 23, 2013 08:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • John Barrowman though the age factor is slightly off.

    Comment by Sam – January 23, 2013 08:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Santiago Cabrera!

    Comment by AT – January 23, 2013 08:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • so I guess Christian Bale is well out of the price range?

    Comment by C – January 23, 2013 09:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Howmabout Bradley Cooper, comming as overly rich american looking a beautiful english woman with psition. I think Bradley and Michelle will look very good as a couple.

    Comment by tina – January 23, 2013 10:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • YUCK! He’s as overexposed as Matthew McConaughey.

      Comment by Tess – January 24, 2013 06:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I disagree completely. Watch Silver Linings Playbook. He generated so much heat and chemistry with Jennifer Lawrence, I actually believe they date in real life. He would also be very good for COLD and distant Mary.

        Comment by jjovana3 – January 24, 2013 10:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • John Hopkins!

    Comment by Midsomer – January 24, 2013 12:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yaaaaaay!!! My inner-thirteen-year-old with the giant crush on Orlando Bloom is rejoicing!! Wow, if they actually manage to get him in I’ll be forever grateful :) But perhaps he is too high-profile for DA like some people mentioned before. Although, Maggie Smith and Shirley Maclaine are also pretty high-profile, right? So maybe, just maybe…

    Comment by Cottage101 – January 24, 2013 02:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It’s not Dan Stevens that is irreplaceable per se. He is just an okay actor. It’s Matthew that is. He was perfect for Mary. Any other character will just be playing second fiddle.

    Comment by swivelchairpotato – January 24, 2013 04:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • @swivelchairpotato, I totally agree with you that Matthew was perfect for Mary and although I don’t want her to be alone forever, I hope that who she does eventually settle down with is as kind and caring as Matthew was. my big hope however is that he will accept/get on with Baby Crawley if not love him too. I don’t want him to the stereotypical step-father who doesn’t like him and wants to get rid of him. I hope Mary is like Michelle Dockery said she would be and protect her son no matter what and is a ‘lioness’. I also hope that she does have enough time to grieve Matthew first even if series 4 does start 6-8 months after the Xmas special.

    Comment by Stef – January 24, 2013 04:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’d be excited to see Adam Rayner (best known for UK’s Mistresses) or Christian Cook (Cemetary Junction). Both actors would be worthy suitors and have great presence on-screen. Rayner has a pitch perfect Yank accent too if they decide to go with an American.

    Comment by adlib19 – January 24, 2013 06:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The suitor ought to be the newspaper publisher Mary dumped last season for Matthew. He was the only one who could hold his own with Mary and not get wrapped around her little finger. He also was honest with her and smart and had rough edges. That would be a more interesting and dare I say more “real” relationship than she had with Matthew.

    Comment by David P. Graf – January 24, 2013 10:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • While I like the actor who played him (who is also on Game of Thrones), the character is not a good man. He thinks of a wife as a possession. Remember, he often threatened Mary.

      Comment by Snsetblaze – January 24, 2013 11:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Your misogyny is showing. Might want to wash that off …

      Comment by shanghaiedinlalaland – January 25, 2013 01:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jamie Bamber or Ioan Graffaud (not sure if I spelt that right).

    Comment by Snsetblaze – January 24, 2013 10:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

    I would literally DIE of happiness if either one of them is cast as Mary’s new suitor. Dan Stevens who? He will flop in Hollywood and regret abandoning Downton.

    Comment by jjovana3 – January 24, 2013 10:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Richard Armitage, Tom Hiddleston, or Matthew McFayden

    Comment by Kelly – January 24, 2013 01:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Those three along with Bradley James and David Tennant are my favourites. I would be thrilled if any of them got the part so naturally I’m pretty sure it won’t be any of them.

      Comment by Shannon – January 24, 2013 02:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think the perfect choice for Mary would be Rupert Penny-Jones!

    Comment by Georgia – January 24, 2013 01:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think Mary remaining single for a long time to mourn Matthew would actually be out of character. She’s a British aristocrat set in a time almost a century ago. They lived differently. Also, BRITISH. Stiff upper lip. She would have been encouraged to get another man for propriety’s sake. Additionally, she wouldn’t want to wait until the bloom was quite gone off the rose, as Violet put it once. She was already struggling to find someone to marry and wasn’t getting invitations into society. I think the rumors about her prior indiscretion would be moot at this point, but I also think she has a reputation for being difficult. At the same time, many of the marriages (probably most) at the time and among that set were for convenience. She doesn’t have to like the guy or even love him when they get married. She can still be pining for Matthew while making what everyone tells her to make the right decision. Do you think Violet or Rosamond or even Cora would encourage Mary to remain in mourning while there was an eligible, acceptable man sniffing around? Where would she be in old age if she put men off for so long that no one wanted her later? Living with spinster Edith? I think Mary would rather marry a handsome man than be left to that fate. She might consider that she was lucky to find one great love at all and would be willing to leave Matthew in that role even as she marries someone else.

    Comment by Kayla Finley (@KaylaFinley) – January 24, 2013 03:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • *Making what everyone tells her is the right decision. Sorry about the typo.

      Comment by Kayla Finley (@KaylaFinley) – January 24, 2013 03:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I don’t think you understand the period that well. Nor do I think you understand the difference between an on-the-shelf, near spinster and a wealthy widow raising the future Earl. Totally different expectations, totally different pressures, totally different priorities. … If anything, she *can* afford to be choosy now, her feelings aside. But the fact that she actually loved her husband (when many women in that era didn’t, it’s true) would make moving on even more difficult.

      Comment by shanghaiedinlalaland – January 25, 2013 01:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Love the Ioan idea…he was great on “Ringer!” Here’s a real wild card: Ed Westwick! Actually a “True Brit,” he’s already ably displayed his talents as a dandy dresser with a taste for the porcelain-pale posh-princess type….(ala Blair W….) A 1920′s version of “Chuck Bass” would really shake up the old “Abbey!”

    Comment by Shay – January 24, 2013 08:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • ANDREW BUCHAN – was born l979 – (33 about) perfect age for the role. Tall , good looking in a pleasant way. – good eyes that light up and a charming smile. Has that understated and real sex appeal. He Is married to Amy Nuttall.
    A really good actor, with a true reality and emotional life…

    The two shows I saw him in which impressed me greatly was as the Barrister William Garrow in BBC 18th century series Garrow’s Law. And in BBC two part TV film as the Lieutenant in the Luconia Incident…2nd WW.

    David Tenant was my favorite Dr. Who but think he is not quite right for this. Hope they don’t bring in an American….has to be Brit actor for Mary.

    I repeated most of this as I responded to someone else’s comments and figured it would get lost…. and I really do think Andrew Buchan would be perfect. He would have also been perfect for the role of Mathew in the Downton Abbey series.

    Comment by Annie Blue – January 24, 2013 10:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • IDK, I think “a cowboy from the Middle West” was such a memorable line … But not YET. Make S4 span 3 years and bring him in towards the end and maybe I could live with that. Not 8 mos-1 yr after Matthew dies. It’s a betrayal of his memory and the M/M story they spent 3 years creating (well, 9 years in Downton time).

      Comment by shanghaiedinlalaland – January 25, 2013 01:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ben Barnes!!!! He would be dashing for the role

    Comment by Emma – January 25, 2013 04:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Oh Matthew… :(

    I admit, I’m hoping for a Mary/Branson end result, but I’ll be okay with some bumps along the way. I just desperately don’t want her to marry again for quite a while.

    Comment by Jen – January 25, 2013 09:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I actually hope that doesn’t happen. I know it kind of makes sense with them being the grieving widow and widower in the house and both having young children to raise “alone.” I just think their characters are too different for a romantic relationship to work. But, who knows what JF will do.

      Comment by Amy – January 26, 2013 08:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • But they won’t really be alone. There is the family in the house and all the servants. Mary will have a role to play, and true to form she will play it. And marrying the former servant does not fit that role at all, even if he is family now and has risen somewhat on the social ladder.

        I think they might have UST or even a kiss or something but that’s all. More angst that way.

        IDK who I want for her new suitor but I hope he has more “edge” than Matthew did. And Tom needs someone more emotionally open and low-key than Mary.

        Comment by LeeAnn – January 26, 2013 12:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Hence why I put alone in quotations. I definitely agree with you that they wouldn’t be a good couple. I really don’t think either of them would ever actually consider it.

          Comment by Amy – January 27, 2013 02:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Mary has enough “edge” of her own. Unlike other men she’s known, who either just wanted a nice trophy or who wanted to conquer her (or both), Matthew showed kindness and respect but could still disagree with her and call her out on her BS. That’s what she responded to: his earnestness. It’s the ways they were different that made them so compelling as an onscreen OTP. That and great actor-to-actor chemistry which is going to be nearly impossible to duplicate (as they’re finding out — they’ve met/tested/auditioned a lot of actors so far and none of them are exactly blowing them away it seems). But that’s ok with me because as in real life, second love also is a … sadder but wiser love. It’s diminished to a degree. You just don’t love like that more than once (if it was the real deal the first time). The timing aside (I STILL don’t accept she would have an eye towards other men after barely a year), I think this second love (if that’s what it is) will wind up being to Mary what Lavinia was to Matthew: safe, comfortable, uncomplicated … nice. Happy enough, just not what she had with Matthew. :-( And though I know she will move on, I’m ambivalent about whether I think this kind of simple, second-best romance is really what’s best for her.

          Comment by shanghaiedinlalaland – February 1, 2013 06:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Hugh Laurie. Strong, sexy, Americans already love him.
    No, he is not too old.

    Comment by angie – January 25, 2013 09:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • why not – Edith fell in love with a man old enough to be HER father…..

      Comment by BuckeyeNV – January 27, 2013 06:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • David. Tennant.

    Comment by Michael Roux – January 25, 2013 04:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My personal pick would be Richard Armitage!

    Comment by Kristi Carlson – January 25, 2013 06:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Edward Norton, Brian Capron, Eric Bana, Dougray Scott or if you want a litlle comedy haha just for fun! Johnny Depp

    Comment by Teresa Hardegger – January 25, 2013 07:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • TOM HIDDLESTON!!! TOM HIDDLESTON!!! Google him and Michelle Dockery and the photoshout they did together for Time Magazine.

    Comment by Corey – January 26, 2013 04:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • ANYBODY BUT TOM!!! Please!….He’s overbearing, arrogant and totally out of his league with “Lady Mary!” Now with Edith, well, that would be another thing altogether…she is obviously set to become a radical feminist here very soon….the jilted ones so often do!!!…Hence, they would make a perfect political couple! Imagine all their airing of annoying grievances around the dinnertable…the Dowager Countess just might faint!!!!

    Comment by Shay – January 27, 2013 03:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That would be hilarious

      Comment by monica4185 – February 20, 2013 10:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I would accept recasting Matthew. They do it on soaps in the US all the time. M/M were too powerful of a couple to kill him off.

    Comment by tatterednworn – January 27, 2013 12:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Well, it’s already been done. So they will definitely not just be recasting him.

      Comment by Amy – January 27, 2013 02:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Rupert Friend certainly, and let Edith elope with Strallan and be happy!

    Comment by Edna – January 27, 2013 04:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ok – so here’s a thought – one day, while strolling the grounds of Downton Abbey, pushing her infant son in his stroller, suddenly a strange noise startles Mary – and she sees the Tardis materialize in front of her – out steps Matt Smith as the Doctor!

    Comment by BuckeyeNV – January 27, 2013 06:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Please, oh please, oh please, David Tennant. He’s lovely, he’s UK and those brown eyes of his cast sparks even Lady Mary couldn’t ignore.

    Comment by Les – January 27, 2013 07:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If I was a actor on the show, I would stay until the very end.

    Comment by Connecticut Sam – January 27, 2013 10:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Richard Armitage! He would be perfect for Lady Mary, maybe as a handsome rake that needs reforming.

    After The Hobbit he may be too busy, but he did express an interest in still doing UK television, and he’s overdue for another period piece.

    Comment by Faboamanto – January 28, 2013 05:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Richard Armitage, Clive Owen and then Rufus Sewell….all hunks and great actors and they could keep Lady Mary in check.

    Comment by M. Clendennen – January 28, 2013 01:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I love all these sexist comments. “Keeping her in check” = taking her down a notch. In other words, how dare she be a strong complicated woman … how dare she consider herself more than an orifice.

      Comment by shanghaiedinlalaland – February 5, 2013 06:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I feel exactly the same way. Lady Mary is strong, smart, complicated, assertive and confident. She is the perfect woman. She is loving and vulnerable with Matthew, which is why their love story is so beautiful, and she is gently open with Carson, which is tenderly endearing. Shere should be no man ever written into this story to “keep her in check”.

        Comment by angie – February 5, 2013 06:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m all for Eddy Redmayne. As both he and Michelle Dockery are fabulous singers and that could be used to the advantage of the show. Also, Eddy is a Brit.

    Comment by ndp – January 29, 2013 10:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Orlando Bloom! yes yes yes! well he gets my vote anyway…even if i am not a fan of Mary moving on so quickly…and certainly not a fan of Matthew being gone forever. :’(

    Comment by Julia – January 30, 2013 12:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No, not Redmayne…something about him is just, ick! However, a bit off-subject, but speaking of possible future couplings, wouldn’t O’Brien and Molesley make a real “opposites attract” pairing? After the last escapade by Thomas, I noticed a distinct thaw in her chilly attitude toward her former object of derision, and he even now seems somewhat less sheepish and intimidated around her. Could be an unexpected delight….

    Comment by Shay – January 30, 2013 12:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Since JF just said watching people be happy is boring, I certainly hope it’s not anyone we love and get attached to, because as soon as they have a moments’ happiness, JF will have to kill him. Or Lady Mary. Or the baby, so there is no heir again — that’s always fun. I’m so disgusted with Fellowes. What’s wrong with watching happy couples face the ups and downs of life together? We love seeing it in Robert and Cora. I can’t agree with those who “trust Fellowes to write his show.” He has great talent for conceiving a show and great characters, but he has absolutely no vision at all for what to do with them once the original story arc he conceived for them ends. They stay characters, and don’t evolve into people. So personally I am done caring about them. Have the new suitor accidentally sit on the baby, and have Mary throw herself off the tower in grief. Then have Murray discover that Thomas is the new heir. Then, since this would make Thomas happy, better kill him.

    Comment by Esmertina – January 30, 2013 05:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • LOL, I kind of feel your pain … And that “happiness” comment irked a lot of people (though I think Gareth Neame actually said it, not JF). But TBF, I think you could also read it as panic and desperation. It’s bravado, I think. They KNOW DA is in existential crisis and they’re trying to get in front of it. … IDK, I think the latest spec that this is another exit strategy actually makes a lot of sense. There’s been a lot of talk that MD will leave after S4, and if that’s the case, I think New Guy is JF’s way of writing her out (b/c he would *never* kill Mary IMO). Unfortunately, I think this means we’ll be treated to a rushed, contrived romance that few people will want to watch. (All the commenters on here who seem revved up … well first of all, they’re jaded media aficionados. I don’t think they represent the majority of viewers at home. Second, they haven’t seen this guy yet so it’s easy to have some too-good-to-be-true image of a perfect guy who sweeps Mary off her feet.) It’s going to be impossible to actually cast, film, write and recreate the kind of magic MD/DS had — or come anywhere close to it. Even if they could even find that chemistry again (good luck), there simply isn’t the narrative space for it. DA is now going into a long period of winding down. It will be a slow bleed, not a hemorrhage, but the best of its days are behind it. There simply won’t be the time, energy or effort necessary to write another epic love story (and JF himself has said that M/M had a “perfect love” so how could he write a better one?). It will probably be straightforward, uncomplicated, simple. Like Lavinia was to Matthew. In other words: boring. That’s my projection.

      Comment by shanghaiedinlalaland – January 31, 2013 01:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So Mr. Neame thinks a (relatively) happy couple is not interesting enough. He couldn’t be more wrong, and he will come to see that as viewership goes over the cliff. We watched Matthew and Mary for two years; we came to want and love them together. Life could bring them enough challenges to offer interesting plot lines, given skilled writers. Only with M&M as a couple, however, could this series survive. And now it won’t.

    Comment by angie – February 1, 2013 05:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • LOL, “over the cliff. ” Love it. ;-) … I think the show will survive, but it will fall out of the zetigeist during the hiatus between S3 and S4. But they had such large numbers at the start of S3 on PBS (I mean 8 million … wow). They have a huge cushion. Even if they lose half of their viewers (and they may), they’ll still be fine for PBS/MT numbers. … And I do feel for JF in particular. I mean he loved M/M more than anyone and would never have killed off Matthew if he felt there was any way around it. I don’t necessarily agree that other options weren’t available, but in his mind, he had to do this. But he didn’t *want* to do it. Still, it doesn’t change the fact that the show has become something completely different and he has to own up to the creative decisions he made. As I said above, can’t pretend it’s business as usual and try to go back to the Downton of old after all the carnage of S3. That’s why, for me, it would make more sense in the new, more cynical Downton, to see Mary go to that wretched, miserable, cold place of grief and to watch her fight for her son’s interests. For romance, they can focus on Edith, they can focus on Branson and whomever they bring in for him, they can focus on Rose, A/B, etc. They say it’s an ensemble piece and it’s bigger than any one character, so prove it: let us see the fallout of the sadness and heaviness of S3 and forget about “ooh, we don’t want to lose viewers who are turned off by the ending of S3 … better find Mary a new guy, yeah that will keep them hooked.” Then you really are in soap territory (and if they’re ready to concede that, they should have just recast).

      Comment by shanghaiedinlalaland – February 1, 2013 06:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Yes, it is an ensemble cast, but unlike other ensemble casts, this one did not (IMO) have characters/couples of equal strength and interest. Matthew and Mary were always THE couple, and their storyline was the heart and soul of the series. The only way to have a chance of salvaging DA would be to recast Matthew, and have it work. Bringing in another love interest for Mary is a turn-off. We, as fans, gave so much to the M/M pairing that we have nothing left to give.

        Comment by angie – February 2, 2013 07:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I don’t disagree that fans aren’t going to invest again. I’m just looking a the lesser of two evils. I would rather see an in-character Mary grieve and slowly move on that an out-of-character Mary barely grieve and quickly move on — or move on way before she’s ready and cause more unnecessary pain and heartache to her, the New Guy, her son, her family, etc.

          Comment by shanghaiedinlalaland – February 4, 2013 04:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I don’t want a “new guy”. I want Matthew to be recast, and the Mary/Matthew story to continue. The show can surely survive without Dan Stevens (a “great” talent in his own mind), but, IMO, it cannot survive without Matthew.

            Comment by angie – February 4, 2013 05:24 PM PDT  
        • While I would love to have Matthew and Mary continue, there are not enough episodes to allow a recast Matthew develop into a believable “Matthew”. I hate that he’s going, but I’m happier that they didn’t send him off because of a fake rogue net or something. They couldn’t really, he’s the heir. I really hope they don’t push Mary too fast, but I applaud their willingness to embrace death. When soul mates fall in love, usually only death can separate them, even in real life. And just like real life people move on. It’s not the same, it may not even be as intense, but sometimes people are so lucky they fall madly in love they said she’s getting a suitor, meaning one one wants her, not that she wants some one. She’s a wealthy heiress … Matthew’s money might not be completely part of the entail. Even if she didn’t want someone, she is now a “catch” and sharks with gather. I think this offers Mary a great opportunity to grow as a character. Once she had Matthew she had no more reasons to do anything other than kiss, raise babies, and go to dinner.

          Comment by Tamim – February 8, 2013 10:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I do not tune in to see characters deal with death, at least not the main, core characters. We have watched Mary and Matthew grow individually and finally towards this couple, and we are invested. I love and am drawn in by a stable, relatively happy couple. I find it most enjoyable to watch them kiss and have babies, as well as deal with the inevitable challenges that life will bring. So for me, it’s just too much to start again with Mary and someone else. Without a recast, I and many others will consider the series, as we know and love it, over.

            Comment by angie – February 8, 2013 11:16 AM PDT  
  • How about Richard Armitage? He would be great!!

    Comment by deb – February 1, 2013 07:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Richard Armitage would be my choice – the best choice. It would make the loss of Matthew (Dan Stevens) more palatable for certain. Although juggling that and The Hobbit pickup shoots might be a bit tricky. He seems to like a challenge though, so unless the charactor is multi-faceted, or he just really wants the part, probably not. But this series will need to so something soon (like something Armitage!) with all this “loss”. We can only take so much heart break.

    Comment by Crystal – February 1, 2013 10:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m all LOLOL at the number of commenters who actually think comparatively big names like Richard Armitage are going to be interested in joining the cast of DA as a regular. I could see a cameo or very brief guest spot. But if this guy is going to be sticking around for awhile on the show, or even permanently join the cast … no way. (I doubt they would shell out the bucks for it to start with.) Look at Shirley MacLaine: she was in two eps and that was it.

    Comment by shanghaiedinlalaland – February 2, 2013 11:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No, no, no! Lady Mary and Tom Branson have both lost their mate, and they both have children to be raised, and they should marry and raise them together, and keep the Abbey going until it will have to be closed anyway, around the time of the Second World War. Tom can never inherit of course, but he can become somewhat like Price Philip while Lady Mary reigns, and Robert and Cora and everyone else can live out their lives in peace and substance. It is by far the best solution. Julian Fellowes is very bright, and he can make this work out properly.

    Comment by Richard L. Harrell – February 4, 2013 03:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Anyone with any understanding of Mary’s characterization and Tom’s characterization can’t ship this pairing. I’m sorry, but … NO. Mary will fight for her son’s interests as the future Earl. This means she must fight for the aristocracy and its trappings (even if she sees its shortcomings). Tom is the antithesis of that … This is to say nothing about the fact that staying at Downton is NOT the life Tom wants for himself. … Also Mary and Tom loved the same people and have occupied the same house like siblings would; it’s almost incestuous. Are people aware than until the early 20th century, it was illegal for a brother-in-law and sister-in-law to marry? At this point (1921) it’s no longer illegal, but as a practice that was outlawed for centuries, I imagine it would still be looked askance at socially and culturally.

      Comment by shanghaiedinlalaland – February 4, 2013 04:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Okay. Here’s my 2 cents worth. I think that Season 4 will open with a 1 or 2 year lapse in time. During that interval, Mary will have turned from a grieving widow into a mother with a 2 year old son and a need to ensure his inheritance. She will have followed through on all of Matthews plans, and the first few episodes will be devoted to her activities running DA–during which she will meet the new love interest. Much like with Matthew, she will not want a new man coming into her life and re-arranging all of her plans. She will ocassionally need a romantic break, but immediately regret her haste in establishing a relationship. Then, she will realize that her son needs a father figure. I hope the Dr. helps Matthew’s mother through her troubled times, and that Edith gets an impressive career. We’re getting close to the Depression, so things will be getting thin. Oh, yes. Anna and John need to have a baby.

    Comment by Peggy O'Rourke – February 5, 2013 02:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Well your time frame is off for sure. Hugh Bonneville has stated to the press that the show opens 6-8 months after the end of the last episode (i.e. Matthew’s death). And based on the casting announcement — “posh and pretty” — it doesn’t sound like this guy will have anything to do with Downton (he’s titled and probably has his own estate to run), or indeed, anything to do at all. Potted plant IMO. Can’t speak to your other spec … anyone can take a stab at it I guess.

      Comment by shanghaiedinlalaland – February 5, 2013 06:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • i think Colin Firth would be excellent as Mary’s beau. He was so intense in Pride and Pred.
    I really wish Matthew did not have to go. I loved him as her other half

    Comment by fran helms – February 6, 2013 08:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Bradley James!!!!
    he has such a following from the Merlin series where he is considered of Royal blood and would add a depth to the show that no one else possibly could. He is also a commanding presence that can act and would have great chemistry with Mary.
    And Colin Morgan may even come over as his man servant to add an additional spark so they could continue thier special brotherly repationsip which is magical.

    Comment by Capt Phillip Martin – February 7, 2013 06:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I love the way your mind works. I mean, it’s not going to happen (especially the Colini part since he’ll soon be busy with The Tempest at The Globe). But I would LOVE to see Bradley and Colin on DA… :)

      Comment by Amy – February 7, 2013 07:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Anthony Stewart from “Merlin” some may see as perhaps to old but I do not agree he could serve as a good addition to the show in some capacity perhaps as a love intrest for Mary or Edith.

    Comment by Capt Phillip Martin – February 7, 2013 06:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No to ALL suitor suggestions! Matthew must be recast, not replaced. If JF does not understand this, he will destroy the series.

    Comment by angie – February 7, 2013 07:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • There is absolutely no way he can be recast. They made sure of that in the Christmas special. I don’t know what all JF has planned, there is zero chance of a recast now.

      Comment by Amy – February 8, 2013 07:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I know what happens in the season 3 Christmas episode, but nothing is ever irreversible. Perhaps the body was swapped, and Matthew actually recovered? Perhaps the car ride was a dream sequence? Who knows. All I know is that Mary/Matthew is the heart and soul of this series, more than Bates/Anna, more than Sybil.Branson, more than Robert/Cora. I (and I suspect many other viewers) will not be able to watch if JF does not recast Matthew.

        Comment by angie – February 8, 2013 08:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Actually the heart and soul of this show is Dowager Countess of Grantham,without her this show would be nothing.

          Comment by monica4185 – February 20, 2013 11:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • While I agree that without the Dowager, the show would be significantly diminished, I disagree that she is the heart and soul of the series. Mary and Matthew own that. From the moment they met, through their challenging struggles and heartwrenching events, until finally the moment when they made it back to each other to begin their life together, their story is the primary draw of DA. Of course, that is exactly why I believe, unless Matthew is recast, the series will ingloriously fizzle and die. Just my opinion.

            Comment by angie – February 20, 2013 11:31 AM PDT  
  • Hmm. Maybe an American? Mary visits Grandma as planned before she and Matthew worked things out, meets a rich American, like her father before her. I’m not a fan of the whole thing, honestly, I’m a fan of marriage and it seems DA is killing off the happy couples, or creating prison drama… Anyway, I’m glad Cora and Robert worked things out after Sibil’s death.

    Comment by Mia – February 8, 2013 07:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Richard Armitage would definitely make me forget Matthew in a nanosecond.

    Other possibilites: Jamie Dornan?

    Comment by belle – February 8, 2013 02:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Richard Armitage!!! Other options: Rupert Penry-Jones, JJ Feild, Jamie Bamber, Andrew Buchan, Damian Lewis, or Matthew Rhys (pretty much in that order :)

    Comment by Jenelle Clawson Howard – February 9, 2013 12:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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