Dan Stevens reveals what lies ahead for his Downton Abbey character, Matthew Crawley

by Lynn Connolly

Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens has revealed to What’s On TV magazine what lies ahead for his character Matthew Crawley when the show returns to our screens this coming weekend for a second series.

He first explained that the new episodes are set in 1916, and that Matthew is an officer who’s on the front line at the Somme.

He said, “It’s an eventful war for Matthew, both at home and at the front, and a much more exciting, dynamic and dramatic storyline for me than in the first series.”

And when asked, “What was it like filming in the trenches?” Dan replied, “It was fantastic. It was very cold and muddy, but it was action-packed and the maddest thing I’d ever shot…

£Especially compared to the first series where the most exhilarating thing Matthew did was ride a bicycle!

“This time I’m carrying wounded soldiers with bombs going off all around me! I’m wearing a tin helmet and firing a revolver at the Germans!

“This is now action-hero Matthew and I love it!

“These were real trenches we filmed in, built to authentic specifications. They’re owned by a man in Suffolk!

“And the Suffolk landscape isn’t dissimilar to that of the Somme in northern France.

“Luckily the weather was pretty rubbish too, which helped with the mud and squalor of it all.”

Dan then revealed that Matthew will come back to Downton Abbey with his new fiancé Lavinia on his arm.

He said, “He comes back to Downton during his leave period, with a new fiancé, Lavinia, which ruffles a few feathers among the Crawley family at Downton, especially Lady Mary who he’d rejected at the end of the last series.

“The war does accelerate the relationship somewhat! Guys would be on the front, meet a girl on leave, visit her again, then propose!

“Confronting the possibility of death makes things happen much faster. No one dilly-dallied about!”

Downton Abbey series two premieres on ITV1 on Sunday, September 18 at 9pm.

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.