It took a little longer than usual for ITV to confirm that the fifth season of popular period mystery series Grantchester was in the works. (Usually, renewals are announced soon after the U.K. finale airs.) But once ITV was convinced the American audiences over here were as on board with the series' new leading man as viewers were in the U.K., the declaration came that Season 5 was a go. So what can fans expect from Brittney's first full season as both vicar and crime solver?
The good news is that after three seasons of the show existing in a nebulous "1950s-esque" era, Grantchester will start following the Endeavour routine of "one season = one year." It was understandable that the Sidney Chambers era didn't want to confirm or deny what date it was, as the books move along in time, while the show was not. But Season 4 was declared by the synopsis to be 1956, and Season 5 will be 1957 which, as the summary reminds us, was the "year that inspired Prime Minister Macmillan to tell the British people that they’d “never had it so good.” Brittney also concurs that time will be passing between seasons and that when fans meet him and Geordie again, they will have had a full year of pints and backgammon together.
Filming for the new season has begun, with photos of Brittney on set in Grantchester, Cambridgeshire. The Mirror reports that Al Weaver, who plays Leonard, was also spotted on set, as was Tessa Peake-Jones, as the ferocious Mrs. C. The family is definitely back together. No sign of Oliver Dimsdale, Leonard's love interest from the past two seasons. Robson Greene was not there as Geordie Keating either, but that's probably because the mystery hasn't turned up yet. Fans should not worry, Greene was at the table read for the new season, and won't be going anywhere.
ITV has not yet confirmed if Season 5 will be six episodes or not. But considering the first four seasons all were, it's a good bet that the U.K. run to be six installments. PBS will most likely run the first two episodes back to back for the premiere and then follow with four more one-hour adventures. There is no Christmas special planned at this time.
Here's the Season 5 synopsis in full:
Series five picks up a year later, in Cambridge in 1957, the year Prime Minister Harold Macmillan told the British people that they had ‘never had it so good’. For many of the residents of Grantchester, it really will feel like they’re in a delightful new Eden, but for all the talk of paradise on earth and faith-in-action, Geordie Keating knows that trouble is never far away.
As for Grantchester's original star, it should be evident to viewers by now that James Norton has left the building. There are no plans for him to come back in a guest star role either at this time. But viewers shouldn't worry that Norton and his Hot Vicar goodness have left the big or small screen entirely. They can see him this December as Laurie's tutor John Brooke in Greta Gerwig's all-star Little Women film, where he'll be marrying Meg March (Emma Watson).
With filming for the new season just getting underway, fans should not expect any more episodes of Grantchester to debut this year. Most likely it will air on ITV in the Spring of 2020, with a PBS broadcast to follow in the summer.