Grantchester premieres on Sunday, July 14 with a special, two-hour, all-new episode. Don’t miss James Norton’s final episodes as Sidney Chambers, and Tom Brittney’s debut as Will Davenport! You may never be ready for Sidney’s departure, but at least we can get you ready for the new season. Find out where we left off, where we pick up, and all about the changes at the vicarage, including the exit of one #hotpriest and the introduction of another!
Where We Left Off
It’s been nearly two years since MASTERPIECE last visited Grantchester, so let’s take a stroll back to 1955, when Sidney Chambers wrote his letter of resignation and broke Mrs. Maguire’s heart in order to follow his own. He’d intended to give up his vicar-and-sleuth duties, marry Amanda, and raise baby Grace together in London. But he never did submit that letter, and it was Amanda’s and Sidney’s hearts that broke; Sidney ultimately couldn’t desert his calling, his congregation, and his makeshift family. For that family, the season ended on an up note: Mrs. Maguire married and became Mrs. Chapman, Geordie and Kathy made up, and Leonard embraced honesty…and Daniel!
Where We Pick Up
It’s 1956, and Elvis Presley has Geordie grumbling about the decline of decency, while mold in the vestry has Mrs. Chapman grumbling about baking soda vs. vinegar. But it’s action, not grousing, that Sidney craves, and when an African American reverend arrives to speak about religion’s role in the civil rights movement, Sidney finds inspiration…and perhaps something more!
Farewell, Sidney Chambers, farewell, James Norton!
Season 4 marks James Norton’s final episodes as Sidney Chambers. As the in-demand British actor who’s helmed not just Grantchester, but McMafia and War and Peace departs the series, so too must Grantchester‘s jazz-loving, crime-fighting vicar. Norton cites the tying up of the Amanda storyline and the natural conclusion that came with Sidney’s choosing the church as a good point for departure. Telling Radio Times that “…there are other vicars, other conflicted souls to explore”, he cites the opportunity for a “fresh injection of energy” into the series. Perhaps MASTERPIECE’s Executive Producer, Rebecca Eaton, says it best: “It’s a bittersweet time for Grantchester fans, who will be cheering the return of the series but crushed to say goodbye to James. We want to assure them that the series they love will continue—with brilliant new episodes and a captivating new vicar.”
Hello, Will Davenport, hello Tom Brittney!
…Which brings us to said captivating new vicar, Will Davenport. As chaplain at Cambridge’s Corpus Christi, he’s considered, like Sidney, a “boat-rocker” and a “liability” by the Dean. But unlike Sidney, Will wears his rebellion on the outside as well, arriving in Granchester clad in leather, on a motorcycle. A fan of rock-n-roll, Will is younger than Sidney, meaning that he never fought in the war and is free of the kind of post-war demons that torment Sidney. That’s not to say that Will doesn’t have a dark past of his own…
Playing Will Davenport is Tom Brittney, whom American audiences may recognize from his role as villain Roger Lockwood on UnReal and Lieutenant Jeremy Foster in Outlander. Stepping into James Norton’s shoes as vicar, Brittney told MASTERPIECE and PBS, was “a fun and exciting, but also daunting experience,” one made easier by virtue of Grantchester being “the happiest set. It’s got a reputation in Britain of being just a wonderful set for every actor to step on to.” As for working with Robson Green, Grantchester‘s Geordie, Brittney describes it as “a dream—it was a dream come true. I’ve never worked with someone quite so wonderful as him. And I miss every day that I don’t get to work with him. He’s become a best friend of mine and made going to work—if I can call it that—a joy, every day.” But fans of a bromance, beware: Will and Geordie’s relationship doesn’t start off as smoothly as Tom Brittney and Robson Green’s! Solving crimes just isn’t on Will’s radar when he first dismounts his motorcycle in Grantchester…
How & When to Watch
Grantchester Season 4 premieres Sunday, July 14 at 9/8c on MASTERPIECE on PBS. Don’t miss Sidney Chambers’ final episodes and Will Davenport’s first ones! Watch the Season 4 trailer now, and share it with a friend who loves a good mystery (or a #hotpriest).