Downton Abbey is over! Finito! Done and dusted. It's burned its bridges and used the ashes to grow mushrooms! Alas, this is the internet, and nothing is really over. Even when it comes to feel-good soapy period dramas that have all the trappings of prestige television, we're still clamoring for things to carry on in a Downton Abbey expanded universe. God I can't believe I just mentioned that!
How might Downton Abbey be able to carry on after season 6? Well, we don't quite know yet, as the only hints of the property continuing in the future are from show runner Julian Fellowes dropping some key hints at a recent BAFTA ceremony.
It wouldn't surprise me if it had some afterlife because it's been such a strong force. - Julian Fellowes
So what does Fellowes exactly mean by "afterlife"? Well, I don't think he knows either. The term is so vague, and is only really an assessment of the clout and momentum the show has garnered since its inception back in 2009! One thing Fellowes is certain of is that the show is definitely gone on television. In that case, let's celebrate the end of an era by looking at some of the ways Downton Abbey could live on after Season 6!
A Downton Abbey Movie
Here's the obvious suggestion for how to continue Downton. I'm not gonna suggest Downton Abbey on the big screen wouldn't do well financially. It would likely be received well by fans worldwide, but would it work as a story? TV shows transitioning into movies have a rocky track record, with many of them feeling like awkward attempts to stand up to the big boys. At worst, the audience could pay for a ticket, sit down in the theater, and wonder why they're not just watching all this at home.
A Downton Abbey Prequel
Oh prequels oh prequels! Is there any production tactic that can elongate before stopping dead franchise viability better than you? Who care's if there's none of the original intent in this new project. If the characters have pasts, do a prequel! A Downton Abbey prequel would likely have to focus on the life of a young Violet Crawley at the height of the Victorian era. The only issue here would be the challenge of finding an actress who could match the stark look and mannerisms of the great, and thankfully not late, Maggie Smith!
A Downton Abbey Spin-off
Oh Spin-off! The ever-present, only slightly less cynical cousin of the prequel. Just what form a spin-off from Downton Abbey would take is mostly down to which elements viewers like most. Personally, I would enjoy seeing Downton Abbey as it appears years after the show ends. Perhaps a World War II storyline, or perhaps the 60s, or maybe just a story about the tour guides who work there in the modern day.
I'm sure fans would like to see the stories of some characters carried on more than others. Perhaps Matthew Goode's Henry Talbot could play a more prominent role, and Tom Branson's inevitable adventures in America could be a show in and of itself! Either way, you have to feel a little sorry for Julian Fellowes. He makes one comment on how he's confident with his creation, and it gets interpreted as a second wind after Season 6. I guess the fandom will be here waiting... and waiting... and waiting.
For more on Downton Abbey, click right here! What are you hoping for in Downton Abbey Season 6? Share your thoughts on the show with a post here on MoviePilot, by voting in our poll, or by leaving a comment below!