It’s the beginning of the end for the Crowley family and their servants. “Maybe we’re leaving a little bit earlier, but, I think, on a really high note,” executive producer Gareth Neame says of the decision to conclude Downton Abbey after six seasons. The final eight episodes air through Feb. 21, with the Christmas special serving as the series finale on March 6.
“We didn’t want to leave,” says Michelle Dockery, who plays Lady Mary, after the cast wrapped shooting at Highclere Castle. “Laura [Carmichael] and I wandered around for the last time, and suddenly we didn’t want to go home. It was really funny.”
As for closure for her character, Dockery says, “I am content with the way the story ends for Mary, and I hope the audience will be. Of course, Mary and now [her son] George will grow up to be the heir, so it is very important what she does. It’s the future of Downton.”
The Downton Abbey Season 6 premiere on PBS Sunday, Jan. 3, at 9pm ET (check local listings) finds the Crawley family and their servants dealing with downsizing and extortion that threaten life as they know it at Downton.
Photo: © Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2015 for MASTERPIECE