Wild Internet Rumors

Rumor: The 'Downton Abbey' Movie Starts Filming This Fall

The "Downton Abbey" Season 6 Key Art (Photo: (Photo: (Photo: Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television for MASTERPIECE))

Prepare yourselves, everybody. It looks like the Downton Abbey movie is actually happening.

If the British tabloid press is to be believed, at any rate.

Yes, according to reports, the mega-hit costume drama will officially return in feature film form. The show, which ran on PBS in the U.S. from 2011-2016, followed the story of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants at a beautiful English estate. Romances, marriages, births, deaths, and betrayals abounded, and the show was the highest-rated in Masterpiece history

Rumor Has It: ‘Downton Abbey’s’ Upcoming Sixth Season is Reportedly Its Last

Every since Downton Abbey Season 5 wrapped here in the US a few weeks ago, speculation about the show’s future has been rampant, pretty much everywhere. The start of filming on Season 6 has done little to tamp down on this topic, with another new speculative piece popping up every day.

What’s going on is this: Downton had already been renewed for a sixth season, which will likely screen in the UK this September and in America beginning in early January 2016. However, many of the cast’s contracts are ending following Season 6, and internet scuttlebutt says that many of them are ready to move on to other projects.

Popular entertainment site TV Line is now reporting that “multiple sources” have confirmed to them that Season 6 will, officially, be the show’s swan song.

But is this even true? Let's talk about it.

Rumor Has It: Is Jenna Coleman Set to Leave ‘Doctor Who’?

Just as iconic sci-fi series Doctor Who is set to begin a new era with the arrival of Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor, rumor has it that more change may soon be in store for the megahit show: We might be in for a new companion by the end of the year.

The internet is buzzing with reports that current companion Jenna Coleman has decided to officially exit the TARDIS by the end of the year.

Rumor Has It: Will Doctor Who Fans Get a Regeneration for Christmas?

Another new series (well, half-series) of Doctor Who is almost upon us, so it seems about time for another rumor about star Matt Smith leaving the show to crop up. This isn’t anything new – it certainly feels like we’ve had at least three or four separate trips through this particular rumor mill since Smith took over the TARDIS – but it seems worth chatting about a bit, if only because everyone’s answers on the subject seem extra vague this time.

For this particular trip round the rumor track, the Sun has reported that Smith is set to depart his Doctor Who role this Christmas, As with just about everything that originates The Sun, let’s take this with approximately a boulder of salt. (They’re not exactly as bad as the Daily Mail, rumors-wise, but they aren’t that far off either.) But, let’s be honest, if there were a perfect time for a regeneration, it probably would be either right around the 50th anniversary or just after, wouldn’t it? Let's discuss.

Rumor Has It: Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Speculation Runs Wild

We all know that the second half of Doctor Who Series 7 will premiere on March 30 on both BBC One and BBC America, let’s be real Whovians, what we really want to know is what exactly is going on with plans for the series’ landmark 50th anniversary this year?

As expected, this is an extremely popular topic among fans of the show, and while plenty of people seem to have loads of opinions about how they think everything out to be handled down, but there’s not much official information out there, as (unsurprisingly) this everything’s being kept under incredibly tight wraps by the folks at the BBC. If you can dream it as a possible anniversary scenario, though; there’s probably been a rumor that that’s what’s going to happen this year. The basic situation is – no one really knows anything for certain and since the internet abhors a vacuum, everyone has a theory about everything.

But what do we know?

Rumor Has It: Dame Judi Dench as Mrs. Hudson in Another Sherlock Holmes Adaptation?

Is there room in the world for yet another Sherlock Holmes adaptation on television, with both the brilliant BBC Sherlock and not-quite-as-brilliant-but-mostly-serviceable-I-suppose CBS Elementary already on the air? Even if your gut response is to say no, this rumor might just change your mind. Because it’s that awesome.

It’s being reported that none other than Dame Judi Dench is under consideration to play Mrs. Hudson in a new TV adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classics. (Yeah, just let that sink in a minute. Judi Dench! Oscar winner and all around amazing actress!) Of course, there is no real confirmation for this story anywhere, other than a bunch of sources linking to Daily Mail piece that’s since been pulled from their website, but the rumor is so fantastic it’s hard to not to want to believe it. Want details? Read on.

The Downton Abbey Rumor Mill: Whither, Dan Stevens?

It’s been kind of a rough couple weeks for British television lovers everywhere. First Merlin gets cancelled, then Sherlock Series 3 filming gets pushed back and now there’s a very unsettling rumor going around (again) about everyone’s favorite costume drama Downton Abbey.

Americans everywhere are eagerly awaiting the premiere of Series 3 in the States in just about a month and the news that Series 4 has already been commissioned by ITV has been greeted with widespread excitement worldwide. Therefore, it’s extra hard to contemplate this particular rumor, which is a bit on the upsetting side. Take this with a gigantic grain of salt considering the source, but the Sunday Express has reported that Downton leading man Dan Stevens will not be returning for Series 4. (Warning: there are major Series 3 spoilers in that Express article, so tread carefully if you want to read more over there.)

The charismatic actor, who plays Matthew Crawley, is extremely popular with fans and one-half of the show’s central romantic relationship, opposite Michelle Dockery’s Lady Mary. The Express quotes a source as saying, "Dan Stevens isn’t returning to the series. He will probably do the first episode of the fourth series, but that will be it."

Um. What?

Well, first of all fellow Downton obsessives, let’s take a deep breath. There’s every reason to hope that this story isn’t actually something that will come to pass. I’ve gone on at some length before about the fact that the Express is not the most trustworthy of sources given their extreme reliance on citing seemingly random and unnamed “production sources,” so there’s every possibility that this story isn’t true. (Yes, this rumor has basically run everywhere, in every kind of entertainment publication over the past week. But those stories all track back to the Express as the initial source.) ITV has yet to issue any sort of statement or confirm or deny this report. All we have to go on are these “unnamed sources” who could realistically be anyone at all.

But…what if it is true? Can Downton Abbey survive without one of its biggest leading men? And, more importantly, would people still tune in? There are a lot of possibilities/issues to address on this topic, so bear with me and let’s hash it out.

Rumor Has It: Julian Fellows Planning a Downton Abbey Prequel?

A particularly exciting rumor surfaced last week – first reported by the Daily Mail, but subsequently picked up by BBC News, so I feel less like this story’s pulling my leg – we may have more Downton Abbey to look forward to! Well, sort of.

Downton writer/creator Julian Fellowes told a BAFTA Screenwriters Lecture that he’s been thinking about writing a prequel to the popular costume drama, which would focus on the courtship and early relationship of the Earl of Grantham and Lady Cora.

"I do actually have an idea of doing a prequel of the courtship of Robert and Cora, when all those American heiresses were arriving in London,” Fellowes said. "They had a slightly troubled courtship, because she was in love with him before they married, as we know, and he married her entirely for her money."

The series would cast a pair of younger actors in the roles made famous by Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern, and Fellowes insist that any prequel will have to wait until after Downton Abbey itself concludes. But just the possibility of this is intriguing! Click through and let’s chat about it – is the idea of a prequel interesting to you? Who would you cast as the leads?

Everyone Panicking About the Possibility of Sherlock Ending After Series 3 Needs to Calm Down

All week long I’ve been seeing news pieces about Sherlock pop up in my Google reader, with some variation on “OMG, Series 3 Will Be The Last For The Show!” or “No More Sherlock, Say It Isn’t So?!!” attached. I swear, I have seen some version of this article at least 36 times in the past three days, and that's not counting the emails I’ve received on the same topic. Everyone seems to be suddenly and absolutely convinced that Series 3 will be the show’s grand finale, and is freaking out accordingly.

My thoughts on this boil down to: Everyone, please chill out.

Since I am not best friends forever with either Steven Moffat or Mark Gatiss, I certainly don’t have any insider information that proves we’ll get a Series 4. But, I think Sherlock himself would berate the (many, many) authors of these articles for seeing without observing and/or not doing their research. Could Sherlock end next year? It’s certainly possible. But I think it’s unlikely, and I certainly think there’s no reason to panic at this juncture, particularly when the third series doesn’t even exist yet.

Excuse me while I put my earhat, John deerstalker on. (Translation: Click through for lots of thoughts on this apparently very hot topic.)