Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes was happy to have the show address life in England before, during and after WWI—but he’s glad it will end before the rumblings of WWII hit the British newspapers.
Fellowes, who has written every episode of the hit series and is preparing to wind down its sixth and final season, tells The Wrap that he never wanted to take the Crawley family into the 1930s. “I feel the ’30s have been very much explored dramatically,” he said, “and I didn’t really want to get into the whole business of the Nazis, which I think has been explored exhaustively. And I don’t know that there is anything else to be said about the Nazis.”
On another level, he explained, he prefers dramas “where you don’t know whose side you’re on, or maybe you change sides. You might initially think, Oh no, [Maggie Smith’s character] Violet is completely wrong in this, but as the argument goes on and as you hear more of her point of view, you understand where she’s coming from….But the Nazis don’t give you that. Nobody’s slightly on the side of the Nazis.”
Fellowes added that there have been “wonderful films” about the Nazis, but that he’s not “the right guy to write them.” He said he purposefully set his film Gosford Park in November 1932 because it was “the last time when you could do something about the British upper classes without the Nazis.”
The only downside in this decision is we will never hear a snide remark about Hitler from the Dowager Countess.