I’m afraid we have a logical explanation now for the tantalizing picture of Anthony Hopkins in suspiciously Downtonesque atire, with a beaming Mrs. Patmore outside Lesley Nicol’s dressing room. And it doesn’t lead where all Hopkins and Downton fans hoped.

Ian McKellen recently tweeted a still from The Dresser, and said they were filming next door to Downton Abbey. Most likely scenario: A–Anthony Hopkins was visiting the Downton set, in his The Dresser costume + B–It would be beyond wonderful if he were to guest star on everyone’s favorite period drama = media conclusion jumping + fan frenzy = widespread disappointment.

Ah, well. It was a lovely what if while it lasted. Now I just really want to see The Dresser….