downton abbey castI'm embarrassed that I hadn't put these two important details together yet, but the blog UnrealityPrimetime just pointed out something disturbing. Remember a few months ago when we posted photos from the set of Downton, which all appear to take place at a cemetery? We even see dearly departed Matthew's gravestone. Well, Julian Fellowes has said that season 4 picks up six months after Matthew's death. And supposedly these photos are not scenes from Matthew's funeral. So ... whose devastating Downton funeral is this?!?

Julian! You SAID no more untimely deaths on the show! By process of elimination, we know it's not the Dowager Countess (thank God), nor is it Bates, Cousin Rose, Isobel, or Doctor Clarkson. We know it's not going to be Lady Mary or Lady Edith or Tom Branson. And it's not going to be Thomas. We know Mrs. O'Brien is leaving, but Fellowes said she'd be finding a new position elsewhere. Could it be Isis, the pet dog? I don't know -- I'm not sure the house servants would feel compelled to attend the funeral of the family dog.

Who knows that this is even a funeral, though. All we know is that it's a scene that takes place in a graveyard, and some of the characters are wearing black. It could just be a gathering to mark the anniversary of Matthew's death or Lady Sybil's death. I can imagine the staff and family marking both.

Meanwhile, I'm sorry to report the tragic news of a real-life death in the Downton family. The wife of actor David Robb, who plays Dr. Clarkson, died over the weekend. Briony McRoberts was hit by a train. She took her own life at the age of 56. Robb was reportedly deeply shocked at his wife's suicide. A friend says, "He is beside himself with grief. He has lost the love of his life." Honestly, I would rather hear of a hundred Downton character deaths than a real-life death like this one. There's no word yet on how this will affect Robb's work on Downton, but clearly he will need time to mourn his wife.

What do you think that cemetery scene is about?

 

Image via Masterpiece