Yes, "Downton Abbey" has finally come to an end. But in the spirit of engineering further happy endings and relentlessly tying up any possible loose ends, series creator Julian Fellowes has apparently left behind a blueprint for years worth of sequels, and our intrepid reporting crew has dug it up. A preview:
Proud new parents Bates and Anna return from a joyous holiday weekend only to be confronted by a police constable, who sadly informs them their infant son has been implicated in a Yorkshire spree killing.
Newlywed Lady Edith comes to the rescue of Bates and Anna by confessing that she committed the deed following a heated editorial dispute. Her snobby mother-in-law threatens to disown Edith's husband, Bertie, but she is so disarmed by Edith's candor that she instead offers her blessing. The constable, saying it has all been "a terrible misunderstanding," agrees.
Lord Grantham's ill-advised investments take Downton to the brink of financial ruin after the crash of 1929, but the family is saved when son-in-law Branson reveals he had secretly re-invested estate funds in the suddenly booming Krupp Armaments firm of Germany. A beaming Lord Grantham proclaims "solvency in our time."
Continuing to mend fences, the Dowager Countess Grantham urges daughter-in-law Cora to turn the operation of the local hospital over to an American HMO. Angry locals are placated only when butler Thomas Barrow intervenes, soothing all parties with his infectious charm and kindness.
Estate staffers Daisy and Andrew marry, and they move to Mr. Mason's pig farm, where they are soon joined by cook Mrs. Patmore. Daisy declares their independence from the "feudalistic estate system" by establishing a commune. Lord Grantham, initially scandalized, relents after a frank exchange with Cora, and invites Daisy to help him divest Downton's investment portfolio of "unseemly corporate concerns."
Molesly continues to rise in the ranks of teaching. His students begin calling him "Mr. Chips," and he spends weekends motorcycling in tandem with lady's maid Baxter and their new friend, T. E. Lawrence.
Thomas Barrow is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Mrs. Patmore's nephew, long believed to have been executed for cowardice during the First World War, returns unscathed from a military hospital after a long bout of amnesia. He falls in love with Thomas. Lord Grantham is initially scandalized, but after a candid talk with Cora he offers the couple his own bedroom.
The young Sybil and George — the only single residents of Downton left — grow up, find their soul mates and plan a double wedding, only to have tragedy intervene when their betrothed are slain in an unsolved spree killing during a getaway weekend with Bates and Anna. Happiness prevails when Dr. Clarkson reveals they actually share a rare genetic condition meaning they are not biologically cousins, allowing them to marry on the spot.
Bates, implicated yet again, beats the rap when Lady Edith, who by now owns a chain of lurid tabloids edited by former butler Spratt, engineers coverage pinning the blame on the Dowager Countess Grantham's maid, Denker.
The curmudgeonly Mr. Carson, in deep decline, finally visits a doctor after nearly choking to death on Mrs. Hughes' kippers and learns that his palsy is an easily treatable muscle spasm. A remarkable rejuvenation leads to a second career culminating with his leadership of a bomb dismantling squad during the London Blitz.
The late Matthew Crawley, believed to have been killed in a head-on collision shortly after the birth of his son, returns unexpectedly, explaining that it was all a result of a hospital mix-up and yet another bout of amnesia. Lady Mary's husband, Henry Talbot, graciously announces he will return to auto racing, and is killed when his car runs off the road during a motoring weekend with Bates and Anna.
Thomas organizes the Berlin Airlift, and is awarded a second Nobel Peace Prize.
Dan Fesperman is a former Sun correspondent. His tenth novel, "The Letter Writer," will be published in April. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.