In 2009, period drama was dead – or so it appeared until Downton Abbey was commissioned by ITV and subsequently aired to acclaim the following year. Going on to run for six seasons, Downton eventually culminated in a feature film that was released last year.
The drama followed the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family upstairs and their servants downstairs between 1912 and 1926, with an ensemble cast including Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Jessica Brown Findlay, Jim Carter, Phyllis Logan, Lesley Nichol and Sophie McShera.
In this DQTV interview, creator and writer Julian Fellowes and executive producer Gareth Neame revisit the origins of the series, revealing the faith ITV put in the series at a time when period dramas were out of fashion.
They also recall how the series was developed and discuss Fellowes’ approach to writing for his actors, their opposing thoughts on making a movie and why Downton has fascinated audiences around the world.
Downton Abbey was produced by Carnival Films for ITV and Masterpiece on PBS, and distributed by NBCUniversal International Distribution.