I think they should have entertained replacing the actor and retaining the character if possible.
Yeah, it wouldn't have been optimal, but better than this development. It looks pretty final, but without one single word after the incident, it could be some stretch of a plot twist would change what appears to be the outcome right now. Even though that would be a leap, I'd prefer such a leap than to take this character out of the story. I feel the chemistry between him and Mary, his bridgework between Branson and Lord Grantham, and his relationship with Lord Grantham are integral to the whole story line. It will be a struggle for DA to maintain a meaningful plot course absent his role in the whole thing, IMO.
ETA... found this LINK
that tells me no hoped for "leap" is going to happen. DA will go on, however different as it may be. Fans will have to deal with it. But I still believe Dan Stevens has made a major career mistake.
This post was edited on 2/18 at 7:42 am