Heating up Downton at
Fiona Byrne and Darren Devlyn report on smash hit Downton Abbey and its shocking season finale
THE final two episodes of season two are scorchers. Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) is set to marry caddish Richard Carlisle (Iain Glen), but she remains desperately in love with Matthew (Dan Stevens), the heir to Downton.
Complicating matters is Matthew’s connection to Lavinia (Zoe Boyle). They too are headed for the altar, but will an outbreak of the dreaded Spanish flu ruin the plan?
The million-dollar question is if Matthew and Mary will ever solve the ‘‘ will they or won’t they’’ question that has puzzled fans of the show, who have taken to calling them the Ross and Rachel (from Friends) of period drama.
Dockery, a 29-year-old classically trained actor who is proud of her working-class upbringing in Essex, is still coming to terms with scoring a role in such a massively successful show.
She loves playing the occasionally prickly, often outspoken Mary and exploring the forbidden love storyline.
A devastating event in Sunday’s episode could change the complexion of the show completely.
‘‘ Dan and I have some people saying, ‘ When are you going to get together’; other people don’t want us to get together,’’ Dockery says.
‘‘ I think it is really mixed. Sometimes I’ll meet someone who says, ‘ Gosh, you are quite a bitch in Downton’. Other people have really warmed to the character. It is quite varied and I think that is a real credit (to the show’s creators) because the characters are so interesting because they are not one-dimensional.
‘‘ Mary is quite a complex character. Mary has certainly matured a lot more in series two. She seems to have a lot more sincerity and is less of a snob than she was.’’