Is A Downton Abbey Prequel In The Works?

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Why is watching backward-thinking British people in lavish outfits waltz around in gigantic castles while the struggling masses of the Industrial Revolution and various wars perish mere miles away so gosh darn interesting? Don't know, but we just can't help ourselves when it comes to Downton Abbey. And since this addiction isn't going anywhere (especially while we wait for the show to be available to U.S. viewers in, sigh, January), we'll jump at the slightest tidbit of news about our favorite show from across the pond. And this is more than a slight tidbit: The show's producers are apparently considering a prequel focused on Lord and Lady Grantham's infamous courtship and marriage of convenience!

As you can probably guess, turn-of-the-century Brits weren't particularly fond of Americans. First, we throw off their tyrannical rule, and then we have the gall to make more money than them — how rude! Just kidding, we've put all that behind us (although the Daily Mail apparently hasn't, as they repeatedly refer to wealthy American girls whom married into the British aristocracy as "brash marauders swarming" the island). But we're still captivated by the few stories we've heard about Cora's Earl-y days (har har).

Like many intercontinental marriages in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Cora and the Earl of Grantham got married because they each had something the other's family desperately wanted. He, a title and an estate (but no cash), and her, boatloads of freshly minted money. Industry was booming in all sectors in that time in American history, so the Molly Browns of the world were — deservedly — looking for a way into respectable society. Still, money was not enough for the old-money elites, even in the U.S. A title was the old-timey equivalent of street cred, and it could be bought, since many British aristocrats were in dire straits.

The prequel would, of course, use younger actors to portray the characters currently played by Elizabeth McGovern and Hugh Bonneville. It might even shoot on American soil! We really, really hope this isn't some kind of cruel joke. If this prequel doesn't happen (and soon!), we'll be more upset than the Dowager Countess when she heard about Sybil and Branson. (The Daily Mail)

Photo: Courtesy of ITV.