Egads: Maggie Smith may leave Downton Abbey

Maggie Smith

In the "noooooooooo" news item of the day, Maggie Smith has still not signed a new contract for Downton Abbey. Neither have key players Dan Stevens, Sibohan Finneran, or Jessica Brown Findlay. But more importantly, Maggie Smith. Meaning we could be subjected to a fourth season full of... Lord Grantham creeping on new hires? Bates and Anna yearning? Edith doing something? Dear lord, this is my nightmare.

A good chunk of the principal cast was confirmed for seasons four and five earlier this week, including Michelle Dockery (Mary), Elizabeth McGovern (Cora), Hugh Bonneville (Robert), Joanne Froggatt (Anna), and Brendan Coyle (Bates). But some important regulars have not inked a deal, meaning the fates of characters like Matthew (the dreamy factor), Sibyl (the feisty factor), and O'Brien (the bitch-supreme factor) hang in the balance. And, oh yeah, that of the Dowager Countess (the everything-in-this-world-I-hold-dear factor).

I'm trying to think of a way the show could survive without the great Maggie Smith, but I just keep coming back to her battle with a swivel chair and I realize that no, it really couldn't. Please don't leave us, Maggie! You beat even "sexy-time-induced deaths" in reasons I watch Downton Abbey.

Commentarium (3 Comments)

Mar 07 12 - 11:21am

Downton without the Dowager? No, I don't see myself in it for the long haul if that's the case. Let's hope it's just a negotiating tactic. Then again, Maggie Smith is 77; maybe she doesn't want to tie herself into corsets and costume padding for what might be the rest of her life. (I devoutly hope that's not the case, of course, but even Herself said [in an interview a couple of years ago] that she doesn't know now much is ahead of her.)

Matthew I can totally do without. Insipid git. O'Brien --a delightful bitch, to be sure, but one of the sad truths of life is that bitchiest ones are always replaceable. Get rid of one nasty, and another, male or female, soon comes along to take their place. So I could live with a New Bitch in town. Sybill? Meh. Don't care. I'm fine with just getting letters from her now and then.

But no Dowager? Then there's probably going to be no me tuning in.

Mar 18 12 - 8:19pm

I agree that they must keep Maggie, and I could do without Mathew and Mary, but for me, the series could develop a good aspiring future Britain plot around the talents of Sybill. She is the beauty on the program with a natural silky, sexy voice. Without her I would probably walk too.

Apr 15 12 - 10:53am
Panem et circenses

What? No, that's horrible!! Maggie is my main reason to watch Downton!

Well there would still be Mr. Carson to lighten up my mood but I can't imagine Downton without Maggie at the moment. I only started watching it because of her.

I don't think Downton will survive for long after Maggie has left.