Fans of Grantchester finally can mark their calendars for the return of the town's favorite crime-solving vicar. Despite not having a premiere date in the U.K. as yet, Masterpiece has confirmed the series will kick off the traditional October slate, premiering on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021.
Like many of Masterpiece's usual suspects in the mystery show department, Grantchester's filming schedule was upended by the pandemic last year. The series had already experienced a full-year hiatus between Seasons 3 and 4 after significant casting turnover replaced original leading man James Norton with Tom Brittney. A second delay wasn't ideal, but the show has managed to keep it shorter than most, with a U.S. premiere for Season 6 that lags only a few months behind its usual summer spot on the schedule.
Despite the behind-the-scenes drama that replaced the crime-solving Rev. Sidney Chambers (who stars in the James Runcie short stories upon which the show is based) with the younger (but not really hipper) Will Davenport, the show's popularity hadn't waned. In fact, Season 5 saw U.K. ratings rise after dipping down in the wake of Norton's exit, proving the new lineup was just as popular as ever. That Masterpiece has already announced a premiere on this side of the pond ahead of ITV suggests that U.S. audiences are just as eager to see more of Davenport and DI Geordie Keating (Robson Green) back on the case.
Check out new footage from the upcoming season in Masterpiece's latest promo:
Along with both Brittany and Green, the rest of the main cast is slated to return, including fan-favorite couple Leonard (Al Weaver) and Daniel (Oliver Dimsdale), as well as the vicarage housekeeper Mrs. C (Tessa Peake-Jones) and husband Jack Chapman (Nick Brimble). Geordi's family will also be back, with Kacey Ainsworth returning as his wife Cathy and Skye Lucia Degruttola as eldest daughter Esme. Bradley Hall will be back as Geordi's often neglected actual partner DC Larry Peters. Will's mother, Amelia (Jemma Redgrave), is also expected to return, as will Lauren Carse as his sort-of love interest Ellie Harding.
There's no official synopsis for the new season as yet. When filming commenced back in October of 2020, the press release promised the first episode would see the series go on the road for a holiday, with Geordie, Cathy, Will, Leonard, and Mrs. C together at a holiday resort that also comes with a side of murder. (How Agatha Christie of them.) As for where that leads, Green told PBS in a recent interview, "Let's just say Geordie and Will, two kindred spirits, go AWOL and go down a really destructive path together. So who's going to save their two souls?" I'm sure Mrs. C will have a few ideas.
Grantchester will premiere on Masterpiece on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, at 9 p.m. ET on most PBS stations. As always, check your local listings.