Much to the distress of Downton Abbey fans, the hit ITV period drama is coming to an end later this year. It’s an upsetting prospect for the drama’s dedicated followers and there are bound to be tears (ours included) this Christmas Day.
But if saying farewell is going to be tough for viewers, ensuring that the send-off is just right is also a big responsibility for the cast and crew.
Elizabeth McGovern, who has played Lady Cora since the show’s first episode back in 2010, says the final season has been a “daunting challenge… when you think about all the people that have been investing energy and becoming attached to the characters, finding a way to end it to the satisfaction of people that have been loyal to the show.”
“When I was looking forward to getting the first script I was thinking, ‘How is Julian [Fellowes, the drama’s writer] going to do this?'”
But fans will be pleased to hear that, according to McGovern, Fellowes has pulled it off.
“He’s managed to give every character a chance to say goodbye to their fans,” she told RadioTimes.com. “People will be able to have a moment with their favourite character and see a little bit about where they’re headed.”
McGovern admits that filming her own final scene was both a sad and a happy occasion, “because of course we’ve got the advent of new and exciting possibilities for the future, whatever that’s going to be, but it is very sad to say goodbye to people you’ve been working so closely with for so long.”
“I feel really really proud of the fact that there is a level of respect and bonding that has increased rather than decreased over the passage of time and the success of the show,” McGovern added.
“It doesn’t always happen that way. Sometimes [when] a show is successful it causes great fractures among the cast and crew, but it hasn’t in this instance. We’ve all worked together with an increasing amount of respect and trust.”
Downton Abbey returns to ITV on Sunday 20th September