Thumbnail image for mary-matthew-downton-abbey-season-3-dan-stevens-michelle-dockery.jpg“Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes recently spoke with Digital Spy about the fourth season of the popular British drama, which begins filming in a few weeks. But be warned, U.S. fans — don’t keep reading if you don’t want to be spoiled on some Season 3 plotlines.

Season 3 ended with a tragedy for the Crawley family. Immediately following the birth of his son, Matthew was killed in a car accident. Actor Dan Stevens wanted to leave the show after three seasons and that was the resolution for the character.

Fellowes says he doesn’t blame Stevens.

“I’m not going to criticize him. It’s a very funny career to try to make any sense of as I only know too well,” says Fellowes. “And when you definitely feel like something is the right move you’ve got to do it. But I was very sad.”

Stevens’ departure has made the focus for Season 4 quite apparent, though, as he leaves behind an on-screen widow and baby in Lady Mary.

“Mary trying to rebuild her life” is going to be the dominant focus of Season 4, says Fellowes. He also hints at a possible return of Martha Levinson (Shirley MacLaine), Cora’s mother from the States.

And for those of you who have had enough of the characters dying, Fellowes says he doesn’t plan to continue that theme for Season 4 — “We don’t want it turning into ‘Midsomer Murders,‘ where they live in the same village and 450 people get murdered,” laughs Fellowes.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."