Julian Fellowes says Belgravia is “very different” to Downton Abbey

Despite the lavish sets and period costumes, there's a "different energy" to the Downton Abbey creator's new ITV show Belgravia

Belgravia / Downton Abbey

Julian Fellowes has suggested that his upcoming ITV period drama Belgravia, set in the 19th century and starring Tamsin Greig and Philip Glenister, is “very different” from his global phenomenon Downton Abbey.

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Speaking to RadioTimes.com at the Belgravia launch, Fellowes said that one of the main contrasts between the two shows is that while Downton is about the “decline” of the traditional aristocracy and way of life during the early 20th century, “the 1840s were the opposite of that”.

“Compared to Downton – because obviously people will compare [Belgravia] to Downton – it has a very different energy” he said, “because Downton, to a degree, was about the decline of that particular way of life and how it [the estate] was going to have to adjust into the 20th century and these people were going to go and, as Mary says in the film, ‘We’ve already got too few people as it is’.”

He continued: “The 1840s were the opposite of that. They were the beginning of the boom of Victorianism and it would lead to 1900, when there were more people employed in domestic service than at any time before or since.

“Markets were growing, industry was growing, trade was growing, the Empire was growing, everything was growing, and I think that does create a different feeling to it. And [Belgravia character] Charles Pope is only part of that and indeed so is James Trenchard [played by Glenister], that in their different ways, they are part of this expansionism that’s happening wherever you look.”

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The six-part series Belgravia will begin on Sunday 15th March 2020 at 9pm on ITV, and will air weekly.