The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) announced on March 30 that it would be postponing its production of Downton Abbey. Because of the new renovations in Baldwin, where the crew planned to film, season four will not air until Spring 2014.
“We halted plans for production because of the construction going on in lower Baldwin,” said Julian Fellowes, series creator. “We’re anticipating a new, modern atmosphere to film peasants serving the Crawley family.”
PBS cut funds for Downton Abbey, meaning the show needed to move locations from Highclere Castle in the UK to Albion College.
“Filming with the Brits at Albion College allows us to maintain our connection with British culture, even though we’re producing the series in a college cafeteria,” said Jim Carter, an actor playing the butler Charles Carson.
The cast took interest in how students are eating during the renovation. Bon Appétit explained that the students could dine at the Eat Shop, except on the weekends.
“What is a weekend?” asked Maggie Smith, an actress playing Lady Grantham.
Bon Appétit also introduced the cast and crew to the new plans for the renovation.
“You are quite wonderful the way you see room for improvement wherever you look,” Smith said. “I never knew such reforming zeal.”
Even students are voicing their opinions at the production’s delay.
“How ratchet that PBS can’t film until after the Baldwin renovation,” said Nicole Iraola, Ann Arbor sophomore.
While touring the set at Albion, some believe Smith sounded more and more like her character. She commented on the other cast member’s excitement to be in the U.S.
“It always happens when you give these little people power,” Smiths said. “It goes to their heads like strong drink.”
The college proposed the idea of having them film at Bellemont Manor instead of Baldwin.
“I forbid it,” Smith said. “To have strange men prodding and prying around the house? To say nothing of pocketing the spoons? It’s out of the question.”
Photo courtesy of Richard Munckton, Wikimedia Commons