01 March 2013

O’Brien to Leave ‘Downton Abbey’

Siobhan Finneran as the scheming Miss O’Brien.
Downton Abbey‘s mass exodus continues: It looks like O’Brien is leaving the show, too. Actress Siobhan Finneran says that she’s ‘not doing any more,’ according to the Press Association, though it’s not clear yet how exactly her villainous character will be written off.” -- From New York Magazine, today.

(With apologies to John Kenney and The New Yorker.)

The port of Bombay. SHRIMPY and LADY SUSAN are disembarking from a steamship. O’BRIEN follows at a discreet distance, carrying Susan’s reticule and glaring. She has not had a cigarette in three weeks.

SHRIMPY: Well, here we are in sunny India, ready to begin my important work as Sub-Sub-Vice-Wallah, or whatever it is they call me.

SUSAN: I’m not looking forward to this, truly. This beastly weather. These awful people.

Lady Susan (Phoebe Nicholls)
with the Dowager Countess (Georgina Spelvin).

[Suddenly, a rogue elephant charges the pier, catching O’BRIEN between its tusks and goring her before trampling her to death and charging off in the other direction.]

SUSAN: Oh, dear. And now an elephant has just trampled my lady’s maid. That was unexpected.

SHRIMPY: Yes, particularly since African elephants are most uncommon in this part of India.

SUSAN: And now who is going to do my hair? Oh, this is vexing. I hate your posting, Shrimpy, I hate India, and most of all, I hate you — so terribly, terribly much.

[Music up as SHRIMPY and SUSAN exchange tense, hostile looks. Fade out.]

Special Guest Star.


Exterior, Bombay Zoo. WILKINS, the lady’s maid dumped by Lady Susan when she hired O’Brien, steps out of the Elephant Keeper’s Hut, followed by the ELEPHANT KEEPER. Both are in some disarray and it is apparent that they have been frolicking, as Mrs. Patmore would say, though neither would seem to have enjoyed it much.

ELEPHANT KEEPER: I don’t know why I agreed to this plan of yours! Letting a mad elephant loose on the streets of Bombay! Supposing somebody gets hurt!

WILKINS: You’re the one who’ll get hurt, if you don’t keep your mouth shut.

ELEPHANT KEEPER: Do you think I’m going to tell anyone about this? I could lose my job!

[But WILKINS is no longer listening. Close-up as she glares into the middle distance.]

WILKINS (to herself): I told you you hadn’t heard the last of me, Sarah O’Brien! Nobody outsmarts Emmeline Wilkins! Nobody!

[Music up as a meteorite lands on WILKINS, killing her instantly.]

In happier times. Well, sort of.


Jean Brazil said...


Anonymous said...

OMG! How have I not read this before?! I follow this blog, I follow the MK bio page on FB?!

So funny!

You're my favorite person right now. You're writing MK's bio, you watch Downton Abbey. (I lurve Siobhan Finneran. You should find some clips of her on a show called Benidorm. She wears a bikini - range, I tell ya.)Please say you follow Broadchurch as well. :))

William V. Madison said...

Sic transit gloria mundi, Anonymous: no sooner do I earn your favor than I lose it. I've never even heard of Broadchurch! I'll look into it, though.