Entertainment·Audio

Downton Abbey's Hugh Bonneville on drama's appeal, plot shockers

Downton Abbey stands in defiance of those who declared that the age of the British costume drama is dead, actor Hugh Bonneville tells CBC's Q.

Drama's anticipated fourth season debuts Sunday

Hugh Bonneville stars as Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, in the hit British TV drama Downton Abbey. (Josh Barratt/PBS/Associated Press)

Downton Abbey stands in defiance of those who declared that the age of the British costume drama is dead, says actor Hugh Bonneville, among the stars of the hit British TV drama.

The veteran actor, who plays Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, says that the must-see television drama intrigued him from the moment he first read the pilot episode's script, which was full of vivid, fascinating characters.

The appeal of the show is also tied to the mix of elements inspired by some of creator Julian Fellowes' own favourite TV programs, such as long-running ensemble drama Coronation Street and fast-paced U.S. political saga The West Wing, Bonneville told CBC's Q.

With Downton Abbey, "there's the element of soap, there's the multi-stranded storylines, a great pace to it and characters that even if you get bored of one, there's another one along in about 32 seconds," he said.

In the attached audio, Bonneville talks to Q guest host Kevin Sylvester about Downton's meticulous details, class tensions and upcoming plot shockers.

"There's one particular big shock coming up which really pulls the rug out from the idea that this is just a cute, cozy show about people losing cufflinks occasionally," he says.

The fourth season of Downton Abbey debuts in North America on Sunday, on PBS and Vision.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now