ITV today confirmed that filming is about to commence on the third series of Grantchester, produced by Kudos. The 6 x 60’ series is due to transmit in 2017. A 90 minute Christmas Special will also be filmed for broadcast later this year.
James Norton and Robson Green will return as the unlikely 1950s crime fighting duo, Vicar Sidney Chambers and Police Inspector Geordie Keating, in Grantchester, based on The Grantchester Mysteries by James Runcie.
Tessa Peake-Jones is back as Sidney’s sharp tongued housekeeper Mrs Maguire who keeps the vicar in check; Morven Christie reprises her role as Sidney’s forbidden lover Amanda; Al Weaver returns as the timid curate Leonard Finch; Kacey Ainsworth is back as Geordie’s long suffering wife Cathy and Lorne MacFadyen puts his police helmet back on to play DC Phil Wilkinson. And of course it wouldn’t be Grantchester without the return of the gorgeous black Labrador Dickens.
The first ever Christmas Special of Grantchester will see pregnant Amanda adjusting to life having left her husband, Guy (Tom Austen). The love between Sidney and Amanda is palpable, but can a vicar in the 1950s really be romantically involved with a married, pregnant woman? Viewers can expect a festive, snow-filled Christmas episode full of emotion and drama.
In the third series of Grantchester new Archdeacon Gabriel Atubo reminds Sidney that as clergyman he must put duty above his own needs and lead by example. Given the strength of his feelings for Amanda, is this something that Sidney can do?
On the face of it, Geordie is still happily married to Cathy. But there continues to be an undeniable spark between himself and feisty police secretary Margaret (Seline Hizli).
Leonard was left heartbroken after Daniel (Oliver Dimsdale) left him for another man, but in this series he appears to put this behind him and find romantic happiness with someone else. But will those around him allow him this happiness?
Mrs Maguire’s friendship with dashing Jack (Nick Brimble) develops, but can anyone ever replace her late husband Ronnie?
The heart of the show remains the friendship between Sidney and Geordie. As they solve crimes in Grantchester, Cambridge and beyond, they each deal with personal crises at home, once again their unique and unlikely friendship is put to the test.
Peter Davison will guest star in the series as Geoff Towler, the village solicitor, captain of the cricket team and a man who rules his family with a rod of iron.
Grantchester achieved strong ratings for its second series, averaging 6.4 million viewers across the series/ a 25% share of viewing, with the peak episode attracting 7.1 million viewers/a 27% share of viewing.
The lead writer is Daisy Coulam (EastEnders, Death In Paradise), who was responsible for adapting the first and second series of Grantchester. John Jackson (Being Human, Grantchester), Oliver Frampton (Life of Crime, Fleming) and Jess Williams (Inspector George Gently, Call The Midwife) will also write for the third series.
Grantchester is produced by Kudos, and will be executive produced by Kudos’ chief executive Diederick Santer (Cutting It, EastEnders) and series produced by Emma Kingsman-Lloyd (DCI Banks, Lip Service), both of whom were responsible for both series one and two of Grantchester. Daisy Coulam will be executive producer and James Runcie associate producer. Rebecca Eaton will executive produce on behalf of PBS/MASTERPIECE.
The directors will be Tim Fywell (Happy Valley, Masters of Sex), Rebecca Gatward (EastEnders, Casualty), Rob Evans (Mr Selfridge, New Tricks) and Ed Bennett (Death in Paradise, Musketeers).
Diederick said: “Grantchester continues to be a delight to make and I hope will continue to delight the viewer. To be bringing to the audience a third series AND a very special Christmas episode is a particular thrill, and we can’t wait to be pouring snow onto the East Anglian Fens.”
ITV’s Controller of Drama Victoria Fea commissioned the third series of Grantchester.
“Viewers have really taken Grantchester to their hearts,” said Victoria. “We’re really excited to commission not only a third series, but also a Christmas special. The village of Grantchester is always beautiful, but to add a festive touch will be absolutely wonderful!”
The six new episodes and Christmas Special will be filmed in Grantchester, Cambridge and London.
Grantchester is a Kudos and MASTERPIECE co-production for ITV and Endemol Shine International hold the international distribution rights.