In the Christmas special of 'Downton Abbey', which in America served as the finale to Season 2, Lord Robert Grantham had a heart-to-heart talk with his oldest daughter, Lady Mary about the Kemal Pamook scandal. As a loving father (and as one who had his own brush with a near-miss affair), Lord Grantham not only forgave his daughter but gave her advice on how to proceed so that they all could weather the coming storm of scandal.
He told her to go to America to visit her grandmother, and since it looked at the time as though any chance for a reconciliation between Lady Mary and Robert's heir Matthew might be impossible, Lord Grantham had a suggestion for her love life as well:
“Find a cowboy in the Middle West and bring him back to shake us up a bit!”
As soon as he said it, my mind began racing - what TV Western cowboy could she meet and bring back with her who was still alive - and eligible - in 1920? Many of them were probably dead; most of the others would have been too old.
I'm sure the possibilities were being considered by many 'Downton Abbey' fanficcers out there as well......
The first option I could think of was Brisco County, Jr., whose adventures were set at the dawn of the new century. Based on Bruce Campbell of today, it's not inconceivable that Brisco would still be around by 1920 as 'The Adventures Of Brisco County, Jr.' took place one hundred years before the time of their broadcast (as was the case with 'Bonanza'.) Yes, he'd be an older suitor, but as we saw with Mary's sister, Lady Edith, who was chasing a courtship with the much older Sir Anthony Strallan, that wouldn't have been an O'Bstacle.
I also considered that it should be a brand-new character, but there would still be no impediment in making a connection to a classic TV Western. To that end, I considered one of the many illegitimate sons of Secret Service Agent James T. West, who had all been established as officially part of the Toobworld Dynamic in the first reunion TV movie for 'The Wild, Wild West'.
Even if this newly created TV cowboy were introduced with a different surname and with parents in tow, a splainin could be found to maintain the theory of "relateeveety" with Jim West.
But it was all moot by the end of the special, as Matthew Crawley finally came round to asking Mary for her hand in marriage and Lady Mary happily accepting.
Still, she may be going to America anyway during the hiatus before Season 3. We already know that Lady Mary's grandmother, Cora's mother Martha Levinson, will be arriving from America to visit her family (and played by Shirley MacLaine.) So why couldn't this "Middle West cowboy" tag along to England anyway? Perhaps Lady Mary might have met him on the ship during the return voyage, and she might think of him as being a possible suitor for Lady Edith.
Like I said, it was all moot - and then I read about a tweet from actor David Boreanaz ('Bones', 'Angel') after the episode aired......
I'd like to be that American cowboy who shakes things up at Downton Abbey. I'm open for a visit Mr Fellowes
That would be wonderful casting! And not only because he would perfectly epitomize that idealized vision of the American cowboy, but also because Boreanaz is part of a long-standing theory of relateeveety I've had - that somehow James Garner should be considered a relation to one of Boreanaz' characters (preferably as the other grandfather for his FBI agent Seeley Booth.)
So how about David Boreanaz playing one of the sons of legendary TV Western character Bret Maverick?
I say one of the sons, because the Toobworld Dynamic has accepted the film version of "Maverick" as part of the TV Universe. Mel Gibson was Bret Maverick Junior with James Garner as the original Bret Maverick (although throughout the movie we thought he was named Zane Cooper. As Bret Junior's father, he now took the same "title" as his own father - "Pappy".)
Of course, if 'Downton Abbey' were to follow through on this (and let's face it - this is all just ramblings by a madman in a box), and did make David Boreanaz a guest star as Bret Maverick Junior, then the movie "Maverick" would have to be sadly jettisoned back to the "Cineverse".
It would O'Bviously have to be just a guest appearance, as Boreanaz is tied up with his role as Booth in 'Bones'. But it would surely be a lot of fun! Think of his brash American ways clashing with the veddy proper style of the British. Maybe Lord Grantham and Matthew Crawley take him to a gentlemen's club in London where he could trounce Sir Richard Carlisle in a game of cards. Perhaps the butler Thomas could see this 'Young Maverick' as a mentor.
As to why he was in England? Perhaps he was coming to see his second cousin Beau Maverick, who might have returned to the land where he was once in exile for disgracing the family name of Maverick (by being a hero in the Civil War.)
And there could always be a chance, doomed though it would have to be, for a romance with Lady Edith.
Let's say Julian Fellowes did decide to take Boreanaz up on the offer and did create this cowboy character for him to play. Even if he was cut from whole cloth as being an original character with a name unassociated with any established TV cowboy, regular visitors to the Inner Toob blog know that wouldn't stop me from making some kind of connection for this character to Bret Maverick - or to James West, for that matter. (I've always said that the best actor to play a son of James West would have been Scott Reeves.)
It's likely not going to happen in any form, even without the participation of Boreanaz. I think Fellowes is going to have enough trouble dealing with the naysayers over the family background for Lady Cora's American kin. But it's fun to give in to a bit o' speculation.
If you stumble across any fanfic about an American cowboy shaking things up at 'Downton Abbey', or are thinking of writing some, let me know. I'd like the chance to read it....