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Grantchester - Season 03

At the start of the fourth series, actor Tom Brittney joined the cast as Will Davenport, a former inner-city chaplain who was appointed as Sidney Chambers' replacement as the Anglican vicar of Grantchester. James Norton made his last appearances as Sidney in the first two installments of the fourth season to help with the transition. At the end of the second episode, Sidney Chambers leaves Grantchester and moves to America. Starting with the third episode, actor Robson Green began receiving top billing in the opening credits. Also, with the addition of Brittney to the series, it gave the opportunity for the remaining cast members to expand their roles, particularly Kasey Ainsworth as Cathy Keating, Geordie's wife and Oliver Dimsdale as Daniel Marlowe, a local photographer who is also Leonard Finch's best friend and lover. Both Ainsworth's and Dimsdale's characters had been on the back burner for the last three years. By the time the fourth season had begun, Cathy was already working as a saleswoman in a department store and Daniel's relationship with Leonard had become more intimate and intense. The scenes around the Manor house owned by Will Davenport's parents were filmed in Rotherfield Park in East Hampshire.[14][15]

Grantchester - Season 03

Not that I don't think the upcoming Christmas special and next season will somehow be devoid of soap opera drama. I'm sure there will be plenty. But it was time for Sidney, and for the production, to remember where the heart of the series lies, and let the tide of drama roll on back.

It's been two years since mystery series Grantchester last aired on these shores, and quite a bit has happened between then and now. The six-episode Season 3 (plus Christmas Special premiere) was a hard one for everyone's favorite Vicar, Sidney Chambers (James Norton). After spending two seasons pining after Amanda Hopkins (Morven Christie), she's finally free of her husband Guy (Tom Austen) and well on her way to having her baby. His partner, DI Geordie Keating (Robson Green), approves of the match and Chambers' happiness. But things aren't as easy as all that. Amanda faces social pressures from all sides to return to her husband, rather than stay divorced. And Sidney still can't actually be with her, as her divorced status means he, as a man of the cloth, cannot marry her or call himself daddy to her child.

To stay with the church or stay with the girl? All season, that was the debate. The Archbishop made it clear that Chambers should choose the former, while at every turn, Sidney yearned to pick the latter. Entire episode's worth of cases occurred because of Chamber's desire to get away, including the adventure where Mrs. Maguire (Tessa Peake-Jones)'s supposedly-deceased husband turns up. (Don't worry, Ronnie's not long for the world, freeing her up to marry again by season's end.) In fact, marriage is all anyone talks about. Sidney and his desire to be able to, Geordie, and the miserable mess of blowing up his own over the junior clerk Margaret (Seline Hizli). Even Chamber's coworker Leonard Finch (Al Weaver) gets engaged at one point, though blessedly, that only lasted for an episode or two before fiance Hilary (Pheline Roggan) realized something was very wrong with their relationship.

In the end, that's just what they've done. Season 4 will begin with Norton's Chambers back where we left him, but he's not long for the job. Whether it's the return of Amanda that lures him away or another reason to walk from the church for good remains to be seen. But by the time the new season is over, Tom Brittney will have joined the cast and the rectory as Will Davenport. He'll also join the chase to find those who do bad things in Grantchester, before delivering sermons on them at the end of every week.

However, Grantchester significantly changed when leading man James Norton left after three seasons. Although the series continued without him (it aired its seventh season in spring 2022), that meant finding a way out for its main character. Why did James Norton leave Grantchester -- and how was he replaced?

Tom Brittney, who played Lt. Jeremy Foster on Outlander, replaced Norton beginning with the third episode of Season 4. Brittney joined the cast as Reverend William Davenport and won over many Grantchester fans. PBS shared a video on Instagram in 2020 of Brittney introducing the fifth season. Most comments praised Brittney's acting chops, with one person saying, "I miss Sidney, but the new vicar is doing a fine job." It's unlikely that Norton would return to reprise his role as Sidney, considering that Brittney has been leading the show for nearly four seasons. But perhaps the character will cross the Atlantic again someday. 041b061a72


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