At a first glance, Downton Abbey and Julian Fellowe's new series, The Gilded Age, may seem very similar. A period drama looking at the lives of the wealthy, the only key difference appears to be that the new series in set in the US, while Downton is set in the UK. However, the show's executive producer, Gareth Neame, has opened up about how they are different – and it's a little bit heartbreaking for Downton fans!
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Speaking to Sky about the show, which finally airs on Tuesday, he said: "The Gilded Age is an American story and it needed to have an American perspective. Downton was always about the dying of the light, the end of an era. That’s why it started with the sinking of the Titanic.
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"But in The Gilded Age we’re seeing the beginning of the American Dream, the industrialisation of America, and seeing how that created enormous fortunes… This is a genre that Americans think of as typical British fare. I think it will be an eye-opener for some viewers that this world existed at all. It was such a fascinating place and time, when America was overtaking Britain as a global superpower."
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Of course, an end of an era isn't all that bad, as Downton Abbey's upcoming sequel, Downton Abbey: A New Era, will reveal! Speaking about the film, Julian told People: "It's really a new era. The further the '20s went along, the more the world was changing in so many ways. Everything from entertainment to transport was really different by the end of the '20s. That's what we're referring to in that.
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"As we know from the last film, Mary may not be the titular head of the household, but she is effectively running the show. We take that further. We're trying to mark the change — the fact that Crawleys of Downton are nearly in the 1930s, which is merely the beginning of the modern world."
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