What to Expect in Grantchester Season 5
The countdown is on! Grantchester Season 5 is coming to MASTERPIECE on PBS on Sunday, June 14, 2020 at 9/8c. New relationships, deepening storylines, unexpected secrets and of course a slew of new cases…and we’ve got all the scoop. The cast explain what to expect from their characters this year, including a spunky new love interest for our favorite vicar, and why one star thinks this may be the “the darkest series yet” and “one of the funniest.” Mystery and intrigue await!
Where We Left Off
[Warning: Includes spoilers for Season 4!]
Last season, Grantchester bid fond farewell to Sidney Chambers (James Norton) and his Sidney Bechet albums when he packed up and left for America, and welcomed newest vicar Will Davenport (Tom Brittney)—and his motorbike and cappuccino machine. Mrs. C and Leonard finally made up after their heartbreaking falling out, when Mrs. C discovered the truth of Leonard’s sexuality. Cathy, with the help of Mrs. C, dispatched of her predatory boss, Mr. Hobbs, and found peace at her job—as well as peace with Geordie. After tragedy struck Will’s family at the end of the season, Will had to face the dilemma of being the man his family expected, or following his own calling.
Coming Up This Season
Fast forward: It’s 1957, and Will has finally settled into his role as the vicar of Grantchester, preaching to a packed and adoring congregation. His best friend, Detective Inspector Geordie Keating, has come to accept his wife Cathy’s commitment to her job – well, just about. Mrs C. happily (and deftly) juggles her roles as the vicarage housekeeper and as a well-to-do married woman. And after a trip to Marrakech, even Leonard has managed to carve out some happiness with Daniel, in secret.
“The main theme that goes through the season is this idea of ‘Eden’,” said Grantchester star Tom Brittney. “Harold Macmillan [British Prime Minister, 1957-1963] was saying at that time in the fifties that Britain had never had it so good. But in actual truth, underneath, there is always this dark side bubbling, and no more than in the village of Grantchester.”
From a student’s misadventure at one of the local colleges, a hit-and-run that leads them to a secret garden, a murder in a cinema, a death at a controversial drug trial and more, crime never truly stops in Grantchester. As the season goes on, Will’s faith and Geordie’s patience will be thoroughly tested as they are reminded once more that there’s always darkness lurking in their little corner of Cambridgeshire.
The Cast on Their Characters in Season 5
Tom Brittney (Will Davenport): “If you thought they put me through the mill last year, they’ve doubled it this year,” explained Grantchester star Brittney. “Everyone seems to be accepting [Will] as the vicar and he is still trying to hold onto this idea of being an eternal optimist. The more he gets involved in the crimes, the more he starts to be challenged and see more of the darker side of life and people and he finds it harder to hold onto that idea. Also, he is trying to deal with many different things. He is dealing with the loss of his father. He’s trying to keep his mother happy after what happened last series, and keep his friendship with Geordie going, and search for a father figure. He also deals with a new woman in his life who challenges his very tightly held vow of chastity.”
Robson Green (Geordie Keating): Geordie’s friendship with Will continues to develop this year — though, not without some bumps. “It feels as if Geordie is the father Will never had, and Will is the son Geordie never had,” Green explained. “There is also that lovely argumentative aspect of their relationship but done in a likable way. Will hasn’t gone through what Geordie has gone through, there has never been that shared experience. In a way, Will sometimes comes across as a petulant teenager, and Geordie to Will comes across as a grumpy old dad!”
As for Geordie’s marriage, Geordie has come around to accepting Cathy’s love for her new job — but it still poses new challenges for the family to deal with. “The whole series deals with the theme of secrets and lies. On the surface everything appears happy in their relationship, Geordie has accepted Cathy’s position and vice-versa. Everything appears good, and Geordie suggests they get help to improve what is really good and so they move the mother-in-law in and this brings up so many secrets and so many lies that Cathy has held deep inside for so many years.”
“I think this is the darkest series yet,” Green teased. “However, the light and shade still remains because this is one of the funniest series as well.”
Tessa Peake-Jones (Mrs. Chapman): “[Mrs. C] patched up things with Leonard so that’s good and at the beginning of this series she’s happily married to Jack Chapman [Nick Brimble]. She still wants to be a housekeeper, he’d be quite keen for her to stop work. But she wants to continue, she likes pottering around the vicarage and being involved with Will and Leonard and wouldn’t give that up I think. Things happen during the series that reveal stuff to her about her husband that she didn’t know and that throws her beliefs in life and morality into a bit of a spin so some of the series is watching her personal story.”
And as for Mrs. C’s relationship with Leonard, Peake-Jones said, “She adores Leonard like she does Will or Sidney. I think because she doesn’t have any children of her own, they’ve sort of become her substitute sons so she’s always been very fond of Leonard. But I think last series she had to overcome this shock of finding out about him being gay which I think for her, with her religion and her age and how she was brought up, meant that she was quite blinkered.”
Kacey Ainsworth (Cathy Keating): “Cathy’s clearly found something that she’s quite passionate about,” Ainsworth said about Cathy Keating and her new career. “That’s why she’s getting more and more involved with things that are extra to do with work such as joining the work union and representing her co-workers. …I think [Geordie] understands how much she loves it and I think he likes the fact that he’s not coming home to her talking about the laundry. They’re talking about other things and he can see that there’s a little spark in her and he quite likes that.”
Al Weaver (Leonard): “[Leonard’s] had a great time on holiday and is in the throes of love,” Weaver said. “He’s been swept off his feet and has had a bit of a sexual awakening, I would say. To be able to go out to Morocco and hold hands with a man on the street is a huge thing for him. It’s probably the most free he’s ever felt. So he comes back to this fishbowl again and is dealing with that and how he can share his life with Daniel, but at the same time keeping it a secret.”
But his secret relationship isn’t all that’s in store for Leonard. “There is a storyline with Mrs. C and her husband Jack where they have a big falling out over something. So, Leonard gets involved in reconciling them two which is quite fun. He’s learning to let go of things from the past, so he invites his Dad [Sean Gilder] down to stay at the vicarage. He’s confronting the past and how different they are and we get to see that relationship. There is some emotional stuff there.”
New Faces & Relationships
You will meet some new faces this season, as well as get to know some formerly introduced ones. Newcomer Lauren Carse joins the cast as ambitious journalist Ellie Harding, who may often infuriate Will and Geordie — but also intrigues the young vicar.
“She’s a journalist from a modern working-class background so she’s had to fight really hard to get where she is, coming from that background,” Carse said of her character. “Also being a woman in a predominantly male industry — she’s fiercely defensive of what she’s got and how she’s got there and really driven and ambitious, sharp, funny and quick-witted.”
She wants to be respected as a serious investigative journalist, and fights hard to gain that respect, said Carse. Hanging around the police station and racing to crime scenes to get the scoop is how she ends up forming bonds with both Geordie and Will — and it’s not long before sparks are flying between her and Will.
“It’s not your typical ‘boy meets girl’ love story, she doesn’t fall over him like a lot of the girls do,” Carse explained. “Ellie is quite straight talking and to the point and she likes him but she sees that he’s putting up this straight-laced facade and that there’s a fun side to him that she likes to tease out and that’s really great. …I think the way that she challenges him is what he likes about her, too.”
Meanwhile, Will is also forming a closer bond with another character — boxing club owner Vic. While Geordie and Will may have a special bond, Will also finds that fatherly bond with Vic. ”
“The one thing that Will really needs in life and what he is searching for is a father figure,” Brittney said. “He may have found it in Geordie, but there is something that he isn’t quite getting from Geordie that he finds in the character of Vic [Ross Boatman] who runs the boxing club. He seems to understand Will’s problems a lot more and Will starts to grow a bit further apart from Geordie as he gets closer to Vic.”
Watch the Official Preview
Check out a preview for the all-new season, premiering Sunday, June 14 at 9/8c on MASTERPIECE on PBS.
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