national Arts Festival Banner

Saturday, March 9, 2019


(Tom Brittney, Robson Green & James Norton)

The popular detective series Grantchester returns to ITV Choice this month for a fourth series and its final with James Norton at the helm.

The drama follows charismatic, jazz-loving clergyman and former Scots Guards officer Sidney Chambers (Norton) and Detective Inspector Geordie Keating (Robson Green) who form a strange alliance in solving crimes. Viewers will be introduced to new cast member Tom Brittney who plays new vicar, Will Davenport.

In the first episode, which airs on ITV Choice (DStv 123) on Wednesday, March 13, at 20h00, Chambers attends a talk by the Reverend Nathaniel Todd, a key part of the Civil Rights movement in America. During the event, protestors disrupt Todd's speech and release fireworks, causing the audience to panic, leading to a crush as dozens of people try to escape through a locked door. In the chaos, a man is stabbed and killed by an unseen assailant. The murder sees racial tensions spike and Keating is called in.

Says Grantchester writer Daisy Coulam: “We’re always looking to push the boundaries - to explore new themes and untold stories - to open up the world beyond the bucolic chocolate-box setting. To be challenging. In that respect, we’ve taken our lead from James Runcie and his Grantchester Mystery novels. He wanted to do more than write straightforward whodunnits. He had a bigger ambition - to tell the story of post-war Britain; a study of morality through crime - to show how we changed fundamentally in those years.

“Series 4 finds us in 1956. Britain is no longer under the shadow of war - there’s no more rationing, no more austerity. It’s the year of Elvis and his pelvis. Teddy boys. Teenagers. Optimism. The world is changing and fast. In each series we look for a theme - the scars of the past, punishment and restitution, love versus duty. This series, change itself was our theme: the evolution of our country and, with it, our characters.

“This series was always going to be about change - in part, because we had to say a sad good-bye to James Norton. Change can be challenging but with it comes new possibilities. A chance to shake things up. And that’s exactly what Will Davenport, played so beautifully by Tom Brittney, does. He’s young, optimistic, he lived through the war but not the horrors of being a soldier. He embraces the possibilities and the hope that 1956 seems to herald. And along the way he makes a very good friend in Inspector Geordie Keating.”

Norton explains that it was emotional filming his last scene as Sidney: “The final scene I did with Robson was really very sad. It’s no secret that Robson and I are very good friends. I have so much love and respect for that man. The relationship Sidney and Geordie had was largely informed by that. And so when you have two very good friends having a version of a goodbye, both Robson and James and Geordie and Sidney were all in this big emotional self-indulgent mess. It was very sad, but very easy to act because it felt very true to the reality of the situation.”

Says Brittney: “Joining the cast was one of the most terrifying things I have ever done in my life. Not just because of the size of the role but because I was stepping into an already well-established, well-loved and critically acclaimed show. I was a big fan of James Norton and although I’m not taking the same role, it’s a completely different character. I knew what Sidney Chambers meant to people. So there was that pressure in hoping they like Will as much as they loved Sidney.”

Grantchester returns to ITV Choice (DStv 123) on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, at 20h00.