Press Archive 2015

Extracts from Reviews of Matthew’s first appearance in Downton Abbey –  [US airing in March 2015]


Let’s pay homage to the things in this episode, in addition to the Carson/Hughes engagement and a buzzed Lord Grantham, that are pretty darn delightful. […]

3. Henry Talbot. The role of the next Matthew in Mary’s life has previously been reduced to an either/or proposition: will it be either a. Tony Gillingham or b. Charles Blake? It turns out the right answer is c. none of the above, because: Henry Talbot.

As soon as Henry, as played by Matthew Goode, shows up semi-uninvited at Brancaster to shoot at all those poor birdies, the electricity between he and Mary crackles with such a staticky charge that Tony and Charles immediately cement their places in the archive of Mary Crawley almost-husbands. We know next to nothing about Henry at this point, other than the fact that he’s handsome, observant, has fine taste in motor vehicles, and seems perfectly equipped to take Mary’s shit. But Goode – who you may recognize from The Imitation Game, The Good Wife, as well as many other films and TV shows – has such presence that it’s obvious he’s the one for our Lady C. The moment that really seals the deal: when Henry leaps into his “snappy chariot,” his trenchcoat billowing triumphantly in the wind, and then speeds off so that, presumably, he can get back to his day job: helping Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, and Batman fight crime. As Mary watches him leave, her knees seemingly go weak and you can tell from the look on her face exactly what she’s thinking: “Oh my God. I need to find that diaphragm.”

NY Times: In the Finale, Mary Meets Mr. Handsome, With a Who Could-Care-Less Attitude

But no one is more moved by the sight of men and their gauges than Lady Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery), who finds herself unaccountably aroused by the marksmanship of a handsome stranger named Henry Talbot.

Now I don’t mean to crow, but as soon as I heard Matthew Goode was signed up for the final episode, I immediately discerned that his plot function would be roughly the same as it was in “The Good Wife”: to melt the froideur of a stern, ashen, erotically complicated brunette. Sure enough, he shows up on the Northumberland moors without even an establishing close-up but with enough swagger to remind us that Mary needs a chap who looks as good as Tony G but treats her as roughly as Inspector Vyner.

“Heavens,” exclaims Mary, watching Talbot climb into his car. “What a snappy chariot.” Now I would’ve thought she’d be a little skittish of automobiles, given how her late husband met his end, but she seems to be all over Henry T and his Bentley.

Amazing to think, Abbots, that after two seasons of arid flirtation and Liverpool lovefests, Our Miss Flint has found someone to spark off. And the secret to his allure? He doesn’t give a damn if she likes him or not. Look for Talbot to stick around.

AV Club:

This episode shows Mary and Rose are alike in keen intelligence, and different in how they use it. Rose acts with self-effacing kindness and good will, even for a man who reviles her. Mary uses her smarts for business and to satisfy her sense of justice, whether it’s championing the imprisoned Anna, checking a butler’s class snobbery, or twitting a guest who butts into a crowded house part, she feels she’s the one to set it right.

Mary’s equally impressed by perception in others. When Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode) spots their charade to cover Lord Sinderby’s indiscretion, he piques her interest. She’s not going to answer any of his (startlingly apposite) questions, but she’s jolly well impressed he thought to ask them… and she’s sure he’ll take that as a compliment.

Mary’s acerbic, high-handed, and willful. It’s easy to see where she gets her piercing badinage and unshakeable self-regard: She learned it at Violet’s knee, or as close to the Dowager’s knee as that grand lady allowed a grandchild to get.

TV Line:

MARY’S MATCH | With Tony Gillingham and Charles Blake now merely distant, handsome memories, Lady Mary set her sights on a new side of beef wellington this week: Henry Talbot, played by Matthew Goode (aka The Good Wife’s Finn Polmar, who you were already totally into and now he’s got his British accent so forget about it). I’m not sure what the future holds for these two, and I know we’ve only seen them interact for this one episode, but I’m ready to label this a perfect match. Double wedding with Carson and Mrs. Hughes!

The Atlantic:

Kilkenny: The Sinderbys’ hunting party introduced several new love interests who will no doubt return next season—the cheery land agent Mr. Pelham, who faces stiff competition in Marigold for Edith’s affections, and aristocrat Henry Talbot. I’m torn about the casting of Matthew Goode in this role: On one hand, yay! With Goode you never know what kind of dashing heartthrob you’re going to get—the cookie-cutter romantic lead (Leap Year), the snotty English boor (Match Point), or the serial-killing kind (Stoker)?—and his smoldering eyes already promise a major improvement on Gillingham. And yet—who hired this man’s agent? Being Mary’s Love Interest is a full-time job, and not usually a very complex one. But who knows? His conversation with Mary heavily foreshadowed an internal struggle with PTSD—Dan Stevens didn’t get to play that to its darkest extreme until The Guest. […]

Gilbert: Katie, you’re an emotional sap. I am, too, because I may have wept a little when Mrs. Hughes said, “Of course I’ll marry you, you old booby,” which will now go down in history as the greatest way to ever accept a proposal. […]  Will Mary finally find long-term happiness with the dashing car nut Henry Talbot? (Her face as she watched him leap into his “snappy chariot” was a priceless combination of admiration and thinly veiled lust). […]

Reid: Add me to the ranks of the incredibly sentimental, because this episode was just a lovely capper to a season that, while far from free of annoyances, won me over in a way the previous few had not. […] Speaking of Thomas, I’m so with you, Katie, on the idea that Mary and Thomas are the upstairs/downstairs enforcers, and watching them team up without ever so much as speaking to one another was a stroke of surreal brilliance. I can’t wait to see them take on the Nazis next season! As for Matthew Goode … more like Matthew Great. Sorry, I’m obligated to say that every time I see him. If we’re talking about potential mates who would actually stack up to Mary, though, he may just be our best hope yet. I think we can all join in on a celebratory Christmas carol for Carson and Mrs. Hughes, though. What a sweet, lovely note to end the season on.

Entertainment Weekly:

The finale of Downton Abbey’s fifth season—presented as a Christmas special in the U.K.—tied up several of the loose ends from throughout the year, including the investigation into Mr. Green’s murder, Isobel’s engagement, and the missing Princess Kuragin, but what left me reeling were the threads that the series could pick up next season if Julian Fellowes so chooses.

Let’s make like the debonair Henry Talbot entering his car and jump right in! […]

This episode had a grand total of three couples that just need to admit they’re in love already, and two of these pairs we’re introduced during the second day of shooting. First, there’s Mary and Henry Talbot, a friend of Atticus’ friend who tags along and takes the newlywed’s spot. The imposition peeves Mary at first, but let’s face it, the guy is really cool. He makes Charles Blake look like Tony Gillingham. And being the cool guy that he is, Talbot uses the classic “Is your husband shooting?” line to check if Mary’s single. (Smooth, dude.) […]

The incident didn’t go completely unnoticed, however, as Henry Talbot pretty much figures the whole thing out, impressing Mary in the process. “Naturally, I’m not going to answer any of your questions, but I’m impressed you should ask them,” she says. “Well done.” That would have been a pretty suave note to end their first meeting on, but Henry took the “jump into my sweet ride and drive away” route instead, to great effect. With any luck, we’ll be seeing more of Henry and the criminally underrated Matthew Goode next year. There hasn’t been an announcement about him joining the cast, but I really hope he does. Watching back the shooting scene again, it’s obvious how perfect he and Mary are, but I wonder if his enthusiasm for cars sent up any red flags. We know what happened last time.

Vanity Fair:

Lady Mary Essentially Informs a Stranger How Much He Has Unknowingly Inconvenienced Her Extended Family (Believability: 9)

Well what else should she do during the course of the episode? Break Anna out of prison? Mother her child? Forge a relationship with her last living sister? Ha! No, Mary played etiquette police on tonight’s episode, informing Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode) that he had rudely (if unknowingly) crashed their hunting party. Of course, Mary can segue any awkward introduction with a handsome man into a flirtation, and manages to do just that, showing us that she has better chemistry with him and his fancy car than she had with either Blake or Gillingham.


Does Mr Talbot want to show Lady Mary more than his car?

“Heavens,” said Lady Mary at the sight of Mr Talbot’s car at Brancaster, “what a snappy chariot!”

I can’t help wondering if Mr Talbot will end up as a rather closer acquaintance of Lady Mary’s.

After all Matthew Goode, who plays him, is a star actor in the UK, and unlikely to have joined Downton Abbey for a tin-pot little role.

A romance between the two would be the kind of delicious plot resolution that Julian Fellowes rather likes.

To wit: after Lady Mary’s dithering between Gillingham (Tom Cullen) and Blake (Julian Ovenden), she could end up instead getting swept off her feet by the dashing Mr Talbot.

And indulge me in a little flight of fancy: if Hugh Bonneville did leave the series, and if Lady Mary and Talbot did get married, wouldn’t Goode make a rather spiffing master of Downton itself?

Even thinking of that proposal scene between Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes makes my eyes well with tears. It was simply perfect.

But wait, that’s not all…

With all of Lady Mary’s wishy-washy suitors from last season either driven off (Lord Gillingham) or rejected and shuffled off to Poland (Charles Blake), the series needed a dashing leading man, and one who is strong enough to balance our ice princess. Enter Henry Talbot. He’s smart, confident and not at all blinded by Mary’s beauty. He’s got a fancy car, so presumably there is money. But who cares? The chemistry between Lady Mary and Talbot is fiery from the start.

Oh, and did I mention that he’s played by actor Matthew Goode (The Imitation Game, The Good Wife)? Genna can have Atticus, I’ve got dibs on Matthew Goode’s characters (No, not the actor. He’s got a partner. That’s creepy. I have boundaries!). First with Alicia Florrick of The Good Wife, and now Lady Mary, his characters are going after not one, but two cool, intelligent brunettes.

Everyone needs to write a letter—using a fountain pen on proper letterhead paper—to Julian Fellowes that he makes Talbot a regular. Now! After all, he figures out the “Let’s get Stowell” players in record time.

TV Guide:

Downton Abbey’s Finale Has Recaptured the Magic! But Is It Primed to End Next Season?

Lady Mary: It really was quite tiresome how Mary yanked her two suitors around, but we always felt they were rather boring anyway, since they worshipped her too much and weren’t a match for her like Matthew was. Enter the dashing Matthew Goode as Henry Talbot, who not only calls her out on scowling at him, but truly awakens her interest in him as a person, not just a boy toy. He’s mature, he’s sympathetic to her young widowhood (which the other two suitors never really acknowledged to our satisfaction) and he has admirable taste in cars. (And yes, we let out a bit of a squeal when he leaped into that driver’s seat.) We haven’t heard any word of Goode returning for Season 6 yet, but he’s the first thing about Mary’s story (besides her snazzy bob) that’s we’ve been excited about in a while.


“Of course I’ll marry you, you old booby. I thought you’d never ask.” So basically, our hearts grew several sizes tonight. Elsewhere in the episode, Lady Mary made eyes with Mr. Talbot (Matthew Goode), and he’s so charming and so much less boring than anyone else she’s been with that we would like to keep him for at least a while please, even if it was weird to introduce a whole new person at the very end of the season.


With Tony Gillingham finally off her hands and Charles Blake off in Poland until 1926, Season Six could see Mary chasing after a new suitor: The brash, aloof, fast-car-driving Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode), who joined the shooting party at Brancaster midway through and might just prove himself up to the challenge of landing Lady Mary Crawley – a woman who is no longer interested in keeping her sexual desires hidden. Let’s just say the last time Mary looked that hot and bothered over a man, the Great War was still a year away.


It was also delightful to see the return of the more complex woman Mary originally was — loving but self-centered, often insensitive, but funny and sharp. Part of what made her romance with Matthew compelling in the beginning was her prickly resistance and its unlikely collision with his weaponized pleasantness. But as they became the show’s central romance, she became sweeter, softer, more of a big hug in well-dressed human form. As much as Dan Stevens is missed, it was nice to see mean old Mary back again, playing pretty thoughtlessly with the feelings of two men for a good chunk of the season, winding up with neither of them, and not really caring that much. (And, of course, torturing Edith, sometimes without realizing it.) The arrival of Matthew Goode — how was he not already on this show? — as Henry Talbot seemed to perk her up; we’ll see how that goes.

The Daily Beast:

Lady Mary ended the season as she had progressed through it: being thrown a man by Fellowes and then toying with him as a cat does with a ball of yarn. At least in this case, Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode) met her archness with archness—and when he fired his gun so skillfully, Ms. “Fifty Shades of Crawley” smiled even more lasciviously. We’ll see him again next year.

Tom & Lorenzo:

And we can’t really complain about the men being lined up for the Crawley daughters. Matthew Goode as Mr. Talbot is so deliciously well matched to Mary that he’s essentially a male version of her. Normally we’d consider that a bad match, but Mary’s definitely someone who’d get a huge charge out of marrying herself. And they looked amazing dancing together. […]

It wasn’t the best season of the show by any stretch, but it wasn’t the worst either. It was a season of a show quite comfortable with itself and its position. A season of a show that knows it’s going to have to end the party soon, but wants to put on one more gown and do one more dance before that point comes.

Fug Girls:

I laughed, I cried, I yelled, “JUST KISS HER ALREADY” at the TV (more than once), I applauded the long-awaited and much-desired appearance of Matthew Goode (who was born to wear tweeds in period pieces and perhaps also in my apartment while handing me cocktails), I cooed over some of the best locations at which this show has EVER shot, I covered my face with frustration over the non-resolution of the one plot I most wanted resolved and put away forever, I threatened one character with death. In short: We have so much to discuss.  TO THE BALLROOM!

PS: As ever, this season, I used the British version from iTunes to recap this, so the if the US version had a scene where, say, Matthew Goode chopped wood whilst shirtless or something…please let me know.

AT LAST: HE HAS ARRIVED. HELLO LOVER. Matthew Goode, AKA Henry Talbot, is quite nice to Mary, but not obsequious and he’s very deliciously dry, and in return, Mary goes and tells him that Atticus has had to give up shooting for the day to make a space for him, and then she actually gets a decent look at this person and feels very guilty about even saying anything about it, because, HELLO, why are you being antagonistic to MATTHEW GOODE? So then they have a flirty conversation about how Mary HAS NO HUSBAND and ergo can be flirted with without fear of dueling. (She does not mention that her vagina currently has a 67% mortality rate.)

MORE MATTHEW GOOD, ALL MATTHEW GOODE: Especially because, elsewhere, THERE IS ESCANDELO AT TEA! And it is NOT that Tom and Henry are wearing nearly the same tweeds. (This screengrab looks to me like Allen Leech is thinking, “yeah, I know. Matthew Goode wore it better.”)

MATTHEW GOODE: In which Henry proves himself to be very sharp indeed. I suppose he IS a prosecuting attorney in another life. He calls Mary out for being snobbish, and then asks her a series of questions about the events of that afternoon which prove that he is extremely observant and quite smart. Mary is, rightly, impressed. MAKE OUT WITH HIM, MARY!

MATTHEW GOOOODE: And, indeed, Mary (awkwardly) flirts her skirts off, actually running after Henry to say goodbye – not that I blame her, he IS Matthew Goode – and wondering if she’ll ever see him again. (He says he has an aunt in her neighborhood, so…maybe. He’s definitely not falling all over her. And also he’s got this lawyer in Chicago that he’s kind of thinking about getting it on with, although that situation is…complicated.) Mary practically bursts into girlish giggles when she finds out that he loves cars and the spiffy roadster in British racing green parked in the drive belongs to him. You’d never guess from her reaction when he leaps into the driver’s seat and speeds off that her beloved first husband DIED IN A TERRIBLE CAR WRECK.

That said, please come back, Henry Talbot. You are a dreamboat and you wear tweed very well, and if Tom’s off to Boston and Atticus is truly going to New York, then we are in a SEVERE DREAMBOAT CRISIS AT DOWNTON. Rest assured, you are welcome any time. I have never been more serious about anything in my life.

Thank you to clairiere on tumblr for putting together these extracts on their blog!


7 Reasons ‘Downton’ Needs Matthew Goode – Bustle – 1st march 2015

By Allyson Koerner
Anyone else scream with delight every time British actor Matthew Goode pops up on your TV? Just me? Well, that’s exactly what happened when Goode appeared on Downton Abbey‘s Season 5 Christmas special as Henry Talbot. I totally forgot that he was guest starring, so it was a nice surprise to see Goode’s face. Downton Abbey Season 5 ended with many open-ended questions, including, will Matthew Goode return for Season 6?

All of that contract business still remains unknown, so let’s just keep our fingers crossed that Goode can return to both Downton Abbey and The Good Wife. Until then, here are seven reasons why he’d make Season 6 of the hit period drama even better.

He’d Add Even More Excitement

He Has Chemistry With Mary

As soon as Goode appeared as Henry I think all fans knew that he and Mary would have some type of chemistry. Not only did the two share quite the glances, but they also had some witty banter that is right up Mary’s alley. You could see the spark in Mary’s eyes, which is something she and fans have been waiting for ever since Matthew (ugh, my heart still hurts) died. Who needs Tony and Blake when you have Henry Talbot?

No, I’m not referring to Henry’s dancing skills, which, yes, were swell. As soon as Rose intercepted Sinderby’s former lover and mother of his lovechild, Henry was no idiot. He knew exaclty what was going on. You need to be clever and smart to be a part of this show. Henry demonstrates both of those qualities.

He Has A Background In Period Dramas

Downton Abbey is perfect for Goode, especially since he has experience acting in period dramas. For example, he starred as George Wickham in BBC’s Death Comes to Pemberley. Goode can bring all of his period drama acting abilities to Downton, which will make the series that much better.

He Might Get Benedict To Guest Star

Anyone want to see Benedict Cumberbatch on Downton Abbey? *Raises hand.* Well, seeing as Goode starred with the Oscar nominee in The Imitation Game maybe he can get his friend to guest alongside him? *Fingers crossed.*

He Might Convince Tom To Stay

Henry’s a car enthusiast. Tom Branson was the former chauffeur. Maybe Henry can lure Tom to stay in England with his cars? I highly doubt that will happen, but, hey you never know. Not to mention Goode and Allen Leech, aka Tom, starred together in The Imitation Game, so I’d love to see these act together again.

He’s Matthew Freaking Goode

Who doesn’t want to see Matthew Goode on Downton Abbey? It’s a win-win situation.

Images: Nick Briggs/Carnival Films 2014 for MASTERPIECE (2); Robert Viglasky/Origin Pictures 2013 for MASTERPIECE;


 ‘The Good Wife’ Doesn’t Deserve Matthew Goode – Bustle – 1st March 2015 

By Angelica Bastién
March 1, 2015

Matthew Goode isn’t only a disarmingly attractive man, he’s a damn good actor. On the show, Goode definitely has chemistry with leading actress Julianna Margulies and some charm, but that’s it. The writers behind The Good Wife are wasting his talents! Goode’s character on The Good Wife, Finn Polmar, is a non-entity. Why hire such an amazing actor and position him as very important only to do absolutely nothing with him? It has also felt like he’s slowly being phased off of the show since he has appeared as much in Season 6 as you would expect after becoming a series regular on The Good Wife. Part of his smaller role on the CBS drama is because of Goode appearing on Downton Abbey as a new love interest for Lady Mary Crawley. Does this mean Matthew Goode is leaving The Goode Wife? There’s a great risk he will and he probably should.

In an interview with TVLine The Good Wife showrunner Robert King addressed what else we can expect from Matthew Goode on the show:

Julianna Margulies and Matthew Goode are amazing with that kind of tension. We lost Matthew for one or two episodes because of obligations, I think for Downton Abbey, but he’s in the rest of the season, and he’s fantastic.

Goode seems to enjoy playing Finn Polmar, saying to The New York Times that “you can’t replace Will — you can’t replace a character who’s that influential and that loved. But what they have tried to do with Finn was make him be one of the few people so far on the series who doesn’t have hidden agendas, who is sort of morally unambiguous.”

Goode will be appearing in the next season of Downton Abbey, which means he will be moving his family again this time to England, which is especially trying considering he has two very young daughters and a third child on the way. When asked if he would appear on The Good Wife next season Matthew Goode says to The Wall Street Journal:

I don’t know yet. We haven’t had the discussion. I might, but I’m all about the family, really. You can’t keep uprooting your children all the time.”

He may not be saying it explicitly but I think it’s pretty clear that Goode will not appear on The Good Wife Season 7. Of course, I have had a suspicion that the final season of The Good Wife is already upon us. As much as I love Goode as an actor and The Good Wife I think it’s best the two go their separate ways. Hopefully, Goode gets better writing on Downton Abbey.

Images: David Giesbrecht/CBS;


Wall Street Journal – 26th February 2015




Thanks to @bookmoviesandnonsense on tumblr for providing access to this subscription only article.


Top 20 Sexiest Male Celebrities 2015 – February 22nd 2015 – Flecking Records

3. Matthew Goode

In at three we’ve got another newcomer: Matthew Goode. When our favourite male member of The Good Wife left the show, we didn’t know what we were going to do. We were as devastated as we can admit to being without freaking you out considering we’re talking about a fictional show, and just when we thought there was no bouncing back… they introduced Finn Polmar. The 36-year-old actor has given us a character possibly even more perfect than his predecessor, and for that we are thankful… Although now we live in fear of him being killed off.

Top 20 Sexiest Male Celebrities 2015