‘Downton’ writer admits he considered pairing Lady Mary with Tom

The creator of Downton Abbey has revealed that he “toyed with the idea” of Lady Mary having a romantic relationship with Tom.

Chauffeur Tom Branson lost his wife Sybil in Season 3, while Lady Mary lost her husband Matthew in the same year’s Christmas special.

Taking part in a webchat with The Guardian, writer Julian Fellowes was asked: “Did you ever consider pairing the widowed Lady Mary with her brother-in-law Tom in Downton Abbey? I spent three seasons confidently predicting that they would end up together.”

Fellowes replied: “The short answer is no. As the series went on, I toyed with the idea but I didn’t feel it was right. Fans did write in and suggest it. But I thought Mary was too much of a snob.”

He explained: “Sybil could marry Tom on equal terms, the difference in their background didn’t interest either of them.

“The other thing was that I felt what those three girls had never had was a brother. What Tom gave Mary – and to a degree Edith – was that kind of relationship.

“The English upper classes must never show that things are going badly within their families. They always keep a good front on – they think they’re letting the show down if they don’t. It’s a bit like the Americans. When an American confides in you that something is going badly, you should consider yourself a real friend.

“Also, I wanted a full [season] of Mary basically fooling around!”

Production is set to begin on the much-anticipated Downton Abbey movie early next year, so perhaps fans of Mary and Tom could still get their wish!