downton abbey season 3 premiere mary matthew wedding 'Downton Abbey' Season 4 'will see Mary ... attempting to move on without the man she loved'Fans were shocked and saddened by “Downton Abbey’s” Season 3 finale, when Matthew Crawley was killed in an automobile accident just after the birth of his baby son. But don’t be mad at the show, fans. There was only so much they could do when actor Dan Stevens decided not to return.

“After three successful series of ‘Downton Abbey,’ Dan Stevens decided not to renew his contract beyond the initial three years he had been contracted,” says creator Julian Fellowes. “We wish him every success for the future. Michelle Dockery will be returning to her role as Lady Mary in series four which begins production in February, 2013.

Over the last three years, audiences across the world have been captivated by the ups and downs of Mary and Matthew’s relationship, culminating in their wedding. Fans have enjoyed what has become a solid and loving marriage.

It is for this reason that the Producers decided Matthew and Mary could not simply be estranged or parted, resulting in his untimely and tragic death at the end of the series’ finale.

In the next series, alongside all the usual drama, comedy and romance involving the much-loved cast of characters, viewers will see Mary adjusting to her life and attempting to move on without the man she loved.”

So there you have it. It’s a real shame, though we understand about Stevens wanting to pursue other projects. We hope it’s not too painful to watch Lady Mary moving on without her Matthew.

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."