By Erin Strecker
Updated September 28, 2012 at 05:02 PM EDT
Nick Briggs/PBS

Downton Abbey: The Early Years?

Abbey-holics may be in for such a treat, based on comments Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes told the U.K.’s Daily Mail. It sounds like Fellowes is taking a page from Fanfiction and may be expanding the universe.

“I do have an idea of doing a prequel of the courtship between Robert and Cora,” he said. “It is a fascinating time when the Buccaneers were coming to England and marrying [aristocrats]. Cora was in love with him before they married but as we know he only fell in love with her about a year after they married. He married her purely for the money. I think that is something he came to feel quite guilty about.”

We’ve seen Robert do guilt on the show before (Ugh, I’m still upset about his silly plotline with the maid), but the option of a one-off movie-length special, in the vein of the Christmas episode, has got me quite intrigued. Fellowes said he originally envisioned it as an accompanying novel, but a TV movie seems like the way to go. I think it would be rather interesting to see a love story that happens after marriage. There’s potential for a great character arc in Robert, because it’s an evil — or at least disappointing — beginning to what turns out to be quite a sweet end. I’d want to know how exactly their original meeting was arranged, and if she knew from the beginning he was after her money. I wonder how I’ll feel about him on the current show if I know he deceived her in the past. What exactly did she do that made him eventually fall in love with her? OMG would we eventually see baby Mary?

The other big question: Would Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern play the younger versions of themselves? Or would other actors step up (Michelle Dockery and Dan Stevens)? I think I’d like to see different actors, preferably totally unknowns. Except, of course, for recent Emmy-winner Maggie Smith, who better feature heavily in any and all versions from the Downton universe. No one else could pull off, “What is a week-end?”

What would you all love to see? Is there another Downton Abbey story you’d want to watch instead (paging the Dowager Countess circa 1860!) And, as always, is it January yet?

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