Few "Downton Abbey" fans enjoyed watching Matthew (Dan Stevens) die shortly after the birth of his son, but one fan had a very interesting idea about how Stevens should have been written off.
In The Hollywood Reporter's Emmy roundtable with the "Downton Abbey" cast, series creator Julian Fellowes opened up about a letter he received from a very ... imaginative viewer.
"I had this very long letter from this guy and he said, 'I've got some recommendations on how to save the show.' And what we had to do was remount the death at the beginning of the fourth episode," Fellowes explained in the interview above at the 6:22 mark above. "And then a milk float came along and jolted, and the milk fell all over Dan and then it sort of did something to his face and he woke up as a different actor."
Luckily, by the end of his note, the fan had reconsidered his plan entirely. "At the very end of the letter he said, 'I have re-read the letter, and I'm not so sure about the milk.'"
As sad as the entire "Downton" cast was to see Matthew go, Fellowes recently said he was pleased with the way his death played out.
"Originally I thought we would kill Matthew at the beginning of the new series [Season 4], but the way things worked out, we didn’t have that option,” he told xfinityTV. “Actually, I am quite glad of it now because being away from it for six months, we don’t have to do funerals and all that. She has had six months to go through the first mourning period."
But UK viewers weren't quite as satisfied, especially because Matthew's death was broadcasted on Christmas day.
"I am sorry about that! I think what emerged is that it's an unwritten rule that you're not supposed to die on British television on Christmas Day, and that, specifically, was not my doing," Stevens told The Independent earlier this month. "We didn't see that script until the very last minute, so we didn't know exactly how they were going to do it," he added.
Click through our slideshow below for a few other ideas about how Matthew could have made a more graceful exit.
Season 4 of "Downton Abbey" premieres in January 2014.