Downton Abbey: A New Era caught up with the Crawley family on the cusp of the Roaring Twenties, with Maggie Smith's Violet inheriting a house in the French Riviera from a former paramour – much to her son Robert's dismay.


Actor Hugh Bonneville has been playing the caring if uptight Lord Grantham since the first season of the period drama premiered back in 2010. With six seasons and two movies under its belt, Downton has definitely cemented itself as a firm fan favourite. And though Bonneville exclusively told he doubted a third movie would happen, he did have some promising thoughts on a spin-off series.

He told us: "I don't know [if we’ll see more]. I know there's a whole world of fandom that creates all the fictions of what happened before, or after and sideways from our stories, but there's only really one story creator and that is Julian Fellowes, so I don't know where he would take his characters next or which aspect of these characters’ lives he'd like to explore."

He added: "That's up to him, if indeed there are any more iterations to come. But I can see that there’s a whole world of renewed interest in this era, certainly in the last 10 years there’s been a revived interest in historical drama. And so there are any number of avenues that could be explored."

In A New Era, the aristocrats are introduced to a whole new section of the family audiences didn't know before. "That was a really lovely new direction for the story to go," Bonneville said.

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Nathalie Baye as Mme Montmirail
Downton Abbey: A New Era. Ben Blackall / © 2022 Focus Features LLC

He continued: "And obviously it took us overseas, which was even more fun. Julian draws on so many different strands of his own experience and other stories, and weaves them all together into these tapestries that he does to give everyone a little moment in the sun. And for Robert to be able to question his own existence in a way was really interesting."

In terms of a spin-off, it sounds like fans would respond well to another entry to the Downton universe, whether it focuses on the Crawleys or other characters in another story.

Additional reporting by Abby Robinson.

Downton Abbey: A New Era is available now on digital, and Blu-ray and DVD. Looking for something else to watch? Plan your viewing with our TV Guide or visit our dedicated Movies hub for the latest news.


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