Executive producer Gareth Neame says that “Downton Abbey” will end after its upcoming sixth season — but there has been discussion of continuing the story of these charismatic aristocrats as a feature film.
“It is something we are contemplating. It would be a wonderful extension of the TV show,” Neame said on a conference call Thursday. “It would take a lot of time and planning. [Series creator] Julian [Fellowes] and I would be very interested in doing it.”
“If Julian wanted out of the show, I would not be inclined to keep it alive without him. He’s written every episode and created all the characters,” Neame said. “It’s good to quit while you’re ahead. We feel the show’s incredibly good shape. The new scripts are fantastic. The danger is to let the show go on forever, for seven, eight years. It’s more important to make a perfectly formed show and not outstay our welcome.”
Production is well under way on Season 6, which will place the family in 1925, and closer to the 1929 crash that brought the aristocratic way of life in Britain to a shuddering end as families were forced to sell their grand estates to stay afloat.
“We have been about the end of a way of life, the end of a particular history,” Neame said. “The aristocracy and the wonderful lives they lived, it is coming to an end. We will now start to see how that way of life comes to an end. In developing these episodes, we’ve been very much an eye to where the characters will end up.”