“If he [Stevens] had been prepared to come back for maybe two or three episodes in a series, that would be different. Then we could have had a foreign posting or invented a career that would have made it possible for him to be away.

“Otherwise we would have had to make this tremendously successful love affair between Mary and Matthew unhappy, which I didn’t feel would be believable.

“For them to then separate and Matthew never set eyes on his son again would not be believable either.

“So we didn’t really have any option. By him dying, their love can remain in tact.”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/t...s-Matthew.html
If the series were going to run on an on, I would have prefered that they replace Matthew, but I suspect others are right that it will only go through 4 or maybe 5.....but you never know....How many James Bonds were there? Phantoms?
Quote Originally Posted by louisa05 View Post
I think the fact that the show has spanned somewhere around ten years ( it began in 1912) makes it all more plausible. We have seen all this death and heartache in three seasons and it seems like too much. But in a ten year span, in an era with less advanced medicine, shorter life expectancies, and a world war in the mix, it is not so strange.

I also read that Julian Fellowes (writer and creator) felt like he was in a corner with Matthew. He couldn't write him out by having him leave and keep it plausible at all without writing Mary out. He said he would rather lose a "downstairs" actor than one playing a family member as servants can move on in one way or another but the family would not just disappear. And both Dan Stevens and Jessica Brown Findlay (Sybil) chose to leave the show.