Julian Fellowes Says Christmas Specials Are Always That Harsh

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Writer Julian Fellowes arrives at The Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences Writer Nominees' 64th Primetime Emmy Awards Reception at Academy of Television Arts & Sciences on September 20, 2012 in North Hollywood, California.
Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Yesterday, after the brutal ending to Downton Abbey season three (which aired as a Christmas special in the U.K.), Vulture wondered whether the show had it out for its cast. Today, in part two of his interview with the Times, Julian Fellowes pleads his innocence. "Most of the soap operas always use the Christmas special to kill huge quantities of their characters. So they have trams coming off their rails, or cars slamming into each other or burning buildings. It's a general clean-out." Well, if it's a tradition.