Credit: Lifetime / ITV

Now that Matthew Crawley’s (Dan Stevens) is sadly very out of the picture, we’re itching for a good Downton Abbey romance. So could show creator Julian Fellowes have a particularly scandalous love affair in the works for Season 4?

Photos snapped on set while the series filmed in the United Kingdom showed new character Jack Ross (Gary Carr) rowing Rose MacClare (Lily James) down a scenic waterway. Is that the latest romance in the works? The two don’t look particularly chummy in the photos, but it wouldn’t be unlike the free-spirited Lady Rose to play coy. Plus, Jack — the first black character on the BBC show — sure does look dashing in his suit and tie.

If the pair do strike up a romance, it would be sure to raise eyebrows at the Abbey. A relationship between a black man and a white woman in 1920s England was a very serious social taboo. The stakes would be even higher if the pair ever returned to Jack’s home in the United States, where interracial relationships wouldn’t be legal in all 50 states for another 40 years.

Personally, we think Rose’s great aunt, the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith), will take more issue with Jack being a Yankee than with his skin color. Who could forget her zingers about Cora Crawley’s (Elizabeth McGovern) American mother? Add in the fact that Jack makes a living as a jazz singer (how modern!) and we can only imagine what the woman who was afraid of electricity might have to say.

We sure hope these concerns won’t stop Rose from following her heart if Jack really is the one. (Jack and Rose — that sure sounds like a familiar pairing of star-crossed lovers on a boat...)

No matter what’s to come, icebergs or otherwise, we’ll be rooting for these two! We need a good romance after last season’s grisly demise to the Mary-Matthew lovefest.

Judge the photos for yourself here and if you really want to know what’s ahead for Jack and Rose, we’ve got all the details from Season 4. How? Just a little something called watching the season live in the U.K.

Source: The Daily Mail

Elisabeth Kramer is an Assistant Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident Downton Abbey expert. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!