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In Response to Re: PAUL GIAMATTI joins Downton Abby as Lady Cora's brother:
The "Guardian" article sheds light on more new faces.
Posted by Prosecco62
Read the article. I think it's a little gimicky that they're planning these relatives to visit for end-of-season specials, rather than as ongoing characters who can be developed.
Posted by ASTRAEA
Well...I thought that at first, but I remember the "jazz singer" aspect from something I read during the last season (after the dust-up regarding who was going to replace Sybil & Matthew.) The idea was there but advancing the story line, many times, depends upon the proposed actor's other projects and contractual obligations. Last-minute substitutions can really foul up the continuity and turn the viewer off...especially if it happens more than once. The end of season specials, where all of the cast is usually present, is the perfect opportunity to present new members of the ensemble. If something goes awry, it can be "gently" explained when the new season begins and the writers and producers can have more time to plot new characters as the season goes along...or leave them out entirely if they've found another, more interesting way to advance the story.
Think of it like a giant tapestry. You just cannot proceed without a pattern or a plan...otherwise, how are you going to know when each thread or piece of yarn is going to be woven in and which specific place it is to occupy in order to make up the visually beautiful work when the project is completed? No pattern, no long-range plan = a mediocre attempt not worthy of a passing glance. That makes it seem hardly worth the effort to do it at all.