The creator of Downton Abbey has revealed that gay underbutler Thomas Barrow will seek a ‘cure’ for his sexuality in the fifth season of the hit show.
Julian Fellowes said in an interview with ITV, ‘He falls for the quackery that this can be cured, that he can get rid of this dumbbell he is dragging around with him. His fortitude takes him through a period of incredible physical discomfort.’
‘The result he seeks is impossible – it’s not to be obtained by any medical treatment, it was just quackery.’
Rob James-Collier, the actor who plays Barrow, said, ‘He wants to be able to love, so he embarks on quite a dark and serious journey rooted in his sexuality to try and change how he is.
‘I really wanted to get down to why Thomas was how he is. For me, I made the choice it was his sexuality.
‘You wake up every morning and your religion is telling you you’re condemned.
‘I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of men like Thomas did do this, because what was the alternative? There wasn’t one.’
Alastair Bruce, historical advisor for the show, added, ‘If he had been caught he would have gone to prison and faced hard labour.’
Gay sex was illegal in the 1920s.
Watch the trailer for the new season below: