TV preview: Mad Men

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You’d think the cast of Mad Men would have plenty to say about their roles in the seventh and final series of the glossy drama, but they’re all being rather quiet.

Could it be that they’re afraid of facing the wrath of Matthew Weiner, the creator and writer of the award-winning show, set in the hubbub of the advertising world of Sixties New York?

“The hardest part is keeping the guest cast [quiet],” Weiner says, laughing. “They want to tell everyone they’re on the show so we have to say, ‘Wait, and we’ll help you when the show comes out’.

“I [threaten] them not with violence, but with the only leverage I have, which is being replaced,” he adds teasingly.

Clearly at this late stage, the regulars and guest cast will be doing everything in their power to ensure he doesn’t come good on his promise to sack anyone who blabs.

Of what they can say – and several, frustratingly, trot out a vague “all good things must come to an end” – it’s evident that neat conclusions are not expected for their characters.

Mind you, the Sky Atlantic HD series isn’t known for its obvious storylines.

“I don’t know that Matt [Weiner] would ever write any character a, quote unquote, happy ending,” says January Jones, 36, who plays buttoned-up Betty Draper Francis.

“I think we’re just going to end it at one moment in time. I don’t think Matt’s going to wrap anyone’s story up in a neat little bow.”

The new series will be split over two years, with seven episodes shown this year and seven in 2015.

So far, not a dicky bird has been said about the future of any of the characters, with the only hint being that Weiner wants “to take advantage of this chance to have a more elaborate story told in two parts, which can resonate a little bit longer in the minds of our audience”.

The last series saw Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, the advertising company at the heart of the series, merge with rival agency Cutler, Gleason and Chaough.

On the home front, enigmatic leading man Don (Jon Hamm) cheated on his young wife Megan (Jessica Pare) with their neighbour – and had the misfortune of his teenage daughter Sally (Kiernan Shipka) walking in on them during a romantic clinch – and then had a change of heart about moving to LA.

Then during the series six finale, an erratic and unusually revelatory Don was ordered to take an extended leave of absence, after revealing in a pitch to a client that he was raised in a brothel.

With plots like this, it’s unlikely that series seven will begin by tying up loose ends. But while a neat conclusion might not be in the pipeline, one cast member is hankering for at least a splash of happiness for her character.

“I want Peggy to be working and I want her to be successful at her work,” says Elisabeth Moss, who’s played advertising whizz Peggy Olson since the show started back in 2007.

And the California-born actress has compelling reasons for her wish: “I identify with her and I want what she wants, and I hope she gets that.”

At 31, Moss, also known for her role in haunting BBC Two drama Top Of The Lake, spent the best part of her twenties in Mad Men.

“I think Peggy’s gone through all the changes that anyone goes through between 23 to 31, which is my age,” she says of her character, who has been involved in several romances, bought her first home and has had to prove herself at work.

“You go through a lot of changes in that decade – personal, professional and style changes – and it’s very real.”

Many of the changes Peggy’s gone through at work have been with Don, who first employed her as a secretary and then pushed her to use her talents to become a copywriter.

Like all of his colleagues, Hamm, 43, is sad at the thought of hanging up Don’s sharp suits for good. “I’ve been playing him for almost a decade of my life and I’ve gone through a lot with our guy.”

“It will be hard to say goodbye, but it’s important to say goodbye,” Hamm reflects. “Things come to an end, good things especially.”

Mad Men, Sky Atlantic, Wednesday 10pm

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