TV dramas don’t always turn out quite as their writers intended them to and for fans of Downton Abbey’s Matthew and Mary Crawley, that’s probably a very good thing.
You see, as the show’s own Tom Branson (Allen Leech) has revealed, if Fellowes had his way – at least according to his first draft Downton ‘bible’ – the Crawley girls would have ended up marrying very different men.
It turns out Sybil – who ultimately ran off with the Irish chauffeur – was originally destined to end up with Matthew (Dan Stevens). Can you imagine that?
“Matthew Crawley was supposed to end up with Sybil,” Leech revealed at Deadline’s Emmys event, where he also reminded the audience that his own character, Tom, was only originally scheduled to appear in three episodes.
He ended up playing a pretty big role as the series progressed, with some fans even thinking he’d end up married to Lady Mary herself.
“I think it was always just a friendship,” Leech commented, “and people saw it as more. Branson would want to cast the net a little further than the next sister. If something happens to her, [would it be] Edith, how you doing?”
And what of that Downton movie we’re always hearing questions about? The cast are as unsure as we are of its future, it seems.
“The last I heard there were possible negotiations with Julian”, said Leech. “What I heard from Phyllis Logan (Mrs. Hughes) was that maybe he was possibly writing a script”, added Lesley Nicol, “which is what we need to happen to go on with the conversation.”