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First Look At 'Downton Abbey's' First Black Cast Member Played By Gary Carr (Teaser Trailer)

Television
by Sergio
August 31, 2013 3:43 PM
24 Comments
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As you may recall last year, Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes announced that he intended to introduce a black character to the show's cast for its fourth season. And what better way to attract more diverse  viewers?

And it was later announced that the character will be played by Gary Carr, who many of you will know from his role as the young ambitious cop Fidel Best on the BBC series Death in Paradise.

In the upcoming season 4, Carr will play a singer at an exclusive night club. The character he plays has been described as “a charming and charismatic young man.

One of the producers of the series said that Carr's addition to the cast "will bring interesting twists to the drama which we can’t wait for viewers to see in series four.


Hmmmmmmmmmm... What could that mean? I think I have a guess.

Here's the first trailer for season 4, which premieres in the U.S. on PBS in January 2014:

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24 Comments

  • Mike | July 13, 2014 8:09 PMReply

    My first time hearing about "Downton Abbey" was when Sean "Diddy" Combs said he would be guessing starring on it. The second time I heard about it was when one of it's actors was up for the lead in "Star Wars Episode 7." Now neither one of those hearings were confirmed. I don't know much about British history in the 1920's other than reading my history about James Baldwin, Richard Wright, and Langston Hughes. I do know that all three of those gentlemen travelled overseas. If African-American writers were traveling to Europe, who's to say African-American musicians and singers weren't traveling to Europe? I am more than sure there were African-American Jazz Singers performing in the night clubs during the 1920's in Europe.

    I have to agree with ACCIDENTAL VISITOR. I feel like some Black women, not all, but some are only concerned about Black women being featured and represented in television and film. That kind of mentality doesn't help the African-American community as a whole!

  • oldbiker1 | February 10, 2014 1:34 AMReply

    A black band-leader./singer at Downton Abbey in 1922? I don't think so -- Julian just HAD to introduce a black character, historically accurate or not. There may have been some black jazz singers in England in the early 20s, but they probably wouldn't have shown up at the doorstep of a remote abbey out in the country somewhere. Not realistic at all -- very disappointing.

  • George Sanjuan | February 3, 2014 3:18 PMReply

    I just found out about the inclusion of a black character in Downton Abbey. I felt as if someone push me into the waters of a frozen lake. A black man on a place like Downton Abbey is as accurate as putting a black man playing The NORSE God Heimdall in the Marvel Universe. At the end all comes down to political correctness and I am sick of it. And, By the way, John1411, Cleopatra WAS WHITE and blonde. Historic fact.

  • John1071 | January 31, 2014 11:08 PMReply

    Leslie "Hutch" Hutchinson

    The 1920s cabaret star who inspired Downton's royal gigolo and his affair with a countess that scandalised London society

  • John1971 | January 31, 2014 10:55 PMReply

    @John1411, though I can understand why you think and feel the way you do, you need to dig a tad deeper my friend. Believe it or not, the writer is on a bit of factual history with introducing this character. There was a bi-sexual nightclub singer in the twenties who had his time with not only Mountbatten's wife, but there are rumors that he also was with Princess Margaret. Don't believe me, not only read Mountbatten's Bio, but also look up the references to the movie; "the Bank Job" I believe it's called. And you will see that the writer isn't far off with introducing this character. Cheers!

  • John1411 | January 10, 2014 8:37 PMReply

    Come on. Really. I'm all for social justice and equal rights, but having this black character on Downton Abbey, set in 1920s upper class Britain, and convorting with a 'rich' white girl, is every bit as unrealsitic and ridiculous as casting a white woman to play Cleopatra, or a white man to play the Emporer of Japan. The shows realistic quality was a big part of its success. Now it seems hokey and overly concerned with politcal correctness.

  • Amari | September 2, 2013 11:20 AMReply

    I quite love Downton Abbey and am glad they are injecting some life into the show. Honestly, after the Christmas episode, I was thinking it is going to be a season of nothing but depression, but the character Mr. Carr is playing seemingly will liven things up. I wonder how far they may go when it comes to mentioning his racial background though.

  • Accidental Visitor | September 1, 2013 9:17 PMReply

    "Maybe having a black male would have been more historically accurate? I can't imagine that a lot of single black females would have been emigrating to England during that time period. "

    Don't try logic. That makes too much sense.

    That being said even if it was JUST as likley for a black female to be in that place during that time it shouldn't make a difference. We should be pleased, even those of us who don't watch, that TPTB of the show, any show, thought about being inclusive by adding a black character regardless of sex. Yet instead we have people here who only care when it is a black female character that is created/added to a series or a film. This is just like the whole "Girls" debate on this site. Ladies on this board were complaining about the lack of black characters, but when the showrunner added that Glover due for a guest role some of those same women were even more unhappy. And that's because while they were campaigning all along for a "black character" what they really meant was a "black female character". Anything other than that was unacceptable.

  • LL2 | September 2, 2013 11:31 AM

    @Amari

    If I'm not mistaken, Copper is set in the United States which has a totally different history from the UK in terms of racial minorities. My comment was that having a black male on Downton Abbey was likely to be more historically accurate.

  • Amari | September 2, 2013 11:17 AM

    Well, you must understand when tokenism is used that more often than not they go for a male than female. Much more, often it seems that Black females are probably the ones we least see on historic dramas like this. Though in Copper, there are a few Black females, but I think that show only got one mention on S&A.

  • Rose | September 1, 2013 4:10 PMReply

    I like the man in the iron mask too. I tried to watch this high end soap opera. The Black people attracted to this serial are a particular type if not peculiar. I'm Black and I watch plenty of all white programming. But it's usual exceptional. That touches our mutual humanity. This is fluff and stuff. And an Era where humanity was expendable. It's a grand display of white girl/women privilege. This latest character is for their pleasure(literally) and fantasy. The humanity factor would have played out had the Black new character been female. Sisterhood! Not! And so that does it for me.

  • Accidental Visitor | September 1, 2013 9:03 PM

    Grand display of white girl/white woman privilege? More like a grand display of white PEOPLE privilege. Or, if I'm less insulting, a display of a probably romanticized look at a bygone era in England. And what's wrong with that? Nothing. It may not be my cup of tea which is why I don't watch. But from all I've read it is considered to be a quality show (although one that looks too much like a soap). I don't begrudge white people in England making a show about white people in England.

    And again the key words are "white people". How did it suddenly become a show about strictly white women to you? Do your eyes roll out of your skull when you see all the white men appearing on the screen as well beside all those white women or do you save your scorn only for one half of the white race? Hey, it wouldn't matter because you already just owned up that if a black woman had been added to the series instead of a black guy you'd be all over this "fluff and stuff". You know....sisterhood and all. I'm beginning to think some of you feel black people (specifically black women) are entitled to be in every production that comes down the pipe.

  • LL2 | September 1, 2013 7:22 PM

    Maybe having a black male would have been more historically accurate? I can't imagine that a lot of single black females would have been emigrating to England during that time period.

  • TNBFC | September 1, 2013 4:07 PMReply

    it is a gap in our British history which i am glad is being addressed. People need to be reminded that there were Black people in this country before the Windrush. I agree that Julian is an independent thinker and would have approached this as being historically accurate without trying to be too 'tokenistic'.

  • Accidental Visitor | September 1, 2013 12:41 AMReply

    Wait....Sergio actually watches this show? Wonders will never cease. :)

    Seems too much like a soap opera for my tastes.

  • Alex | August 31, 2013 8:12 PMReply

    I love this show, it's such ridiculously Sunday eve fun. No way in hell is this going to make a difference after 4 seasons, it doesn't really have to either. The show is so popular here in the UK the same people who tune into Downton for frivolity are probably the same audience who watch the even more farcical Death In Paradise. Thus his audience is already cemented and loyal. Honestly, the same way people i know didn't watch Downton then, sure are not interested to watch it now. It just doesn't appeal to everyone regardless and in all honesty, the producers and writers here really don't care as much, unless there is a specific call for it in the story. If you see the sole writer and creator of the show he could honestly not give a rats arse and he never would have ITV telling him what to do.

  • Josh | August 31, 2013 6:46 PMReply

    So he's with the cousin? Thought he would get the ugly daughter.

  • sergio | August 31, 2013 7:00 PM

    No, it was pretty obvious that they were setting her up to be the one since last season. Remember how the family was all outraged when they found out she would sneak out nights to dance at a jazz club with black musicians, don't bend to their rules and she smokes as well. You see shs's "shocking" "unconventional" and a "free spirit" which means she's going to hit it with the brother

  • Haq | August 31, 2013 4:23 PMReply

    A show full of white people with one black character added? Hmmmmm, let me guess. He's going to play and Egyptian King who just sings songs for fun, who when they find out about his royalty is put into an iron mask in which he will escape using his comatose twin brother. Then get his revenge after spending 30 years in the chateau deef by using his fortune to get back at the whites and destroy them all except the mixed son he had with a white women on the night of his incarceration.

  • JMac | August 31, 2013 9:08 PM

    I watch it but maybe I'm in the minority of the minority. It's funny as hell without really meaning to be as funny as I find it. I'd rather they not have any black characters to drag down into all that house's mess but whatever. Sometimes you just get tired of watching Family Guy on Sundays.

  • scripttease | August 31, 2013 4:57 PM

    LOL.... Is this to draw in a Black Audience, or do very many Black folks watch the show? Never heard of it.

  • sergio | August 31, 2013 4:55 PM

    Going on that Alexandre Dumas tip? I'll go with that

  • Wanika | August 31, 2013 3:48 PMReply

    It's about time.

  • Harriet | August 31, 2013 10:22 PM

    Yes, there are many Black people who watch the show and I happen to be one. I truly enjoy it and look forward to the next season.

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