Everything to Remember Ahead of 'Grantchester' Season 9

Rishi Nair as Alphy Kottaram in Grantchester Season 9

Rishi Nair as Alphy Kottaram in Grantchester Season 9


Once upon a time, in a little town called Grantchester in 1954, a vicar named Sidney Chambers (James Norton) had just finished officiating a funeral when he was asked to look into the death to see if it was really a suicide. His investigation brought him face-to-face with the local Detective Inspector Geordie Keating (Robson Green), and a beautiful friendship was born. Geordie became friends not just with Sidney but with the Vicarage housekeeper, the widowed Mrs. Sylvia Maguire (Tessa Peake-Jones), and the closeted curate Leonard Finch (Al Weaver).

Sidney and Geordie fed off each others' issues. Sidney was nursing a broken heart because the upper-class girl he carried a torch for, Amanda Kendall (Morven Christie), was engaged to a suitable rich fiance, and he was going to officiate the wedding. Geordie was married to Cathy (Kacey Ainsworth), and they were struggling to raise four children on a shoestring budget. His stress led him to an affair with the office secretary, Margaret (Selin Hizli), and nearly ended his marriage; his drinking with Sidney, who was womanizing (including also sleeping with Margaret!) to try and forget Amanda, was less than ideal for fixing it.

Amanda's marriage to Guy Hopkins (Tom Austen) fell apart quickly, and she was disowned by her father (Pip Torrens) for divorcing him. After giving birth during the series' only Christmas special, she and Sidney hook up, as he struggles to balance his faith while technically sleeping with a married woman. Leonard also falls in love with photographer Daniel (Oliver Dimsdale), and, in a panic, gets engaged to a woman on the advice of the new Archdeacon, Gabriel Atubo (Gary Beadle). Mrs. M also falls in love with the rich Jack Chapman (Nick Brimble) but admits she's not widowed, just abandoned. Luckily, her husband, who ran away with the Romani, turns up dead, freeing her to become Mrs. C. 

Leonard's sham engagement ends quickly, almost as quickly as Sidney and Amanda, whose relationship ends when he realizes he would rather stay in Grantchester as a priest than move with her to London. However, once he lets go of his childhood crush, he falls in love, for real, this time, with the daughter of a civil rights leader visiting from the States. The two get engaged, and he leaves for America partway through Season 4, abandoning Geordie, Leonard, and Mrs. C. Geordie and Leonard try to solve a crime together, but it doesn't work well.

Thankfully, a new vicar arrives, Will Davenport (Tom Brittney). Will is everything Sidney wasn't: He likes rock and roll, not jazz; he rides a motorbike for thrills instead of drinking; he's celibate instead of a womanizer. Also, he never served in the war; in fact, he's a draft dodger and a pacificist, the former because he's the scion of titled gentry, and comes from serious upper-class people. However, this being 1957, these are the ones who have lost all their money; his father, a failure, is an abusive drunk, and his mother, Amelia (Jemma Redgrave), preferring comfortable subservience to freedom. His celibacy is due to being sexually abused by rich girls as a boy, and his joining the priesthood is as much a rebellion as a calling.

It's a rough start to his friendship with Geordie, who struggles to accept that Will never served his country, that he's a poor little rich boy, and that he sees parental abuse everywhere. But as Will works through his issues, sleeping with a nun before tentatively dating modern independent women like Ellie (Lauren Carse), watching his father commit suicide and then his mother remarry a new rich man, St John Gurney-Clifford (Dominic Mafham), and gaining a party-girl stepsister, Tamara (Emily Patrick), the two form a closer friendship that Geordie ever had with Sidney.

Will's friendship with Geordie causes friction at the precinct, as Gerodie's bagman, Larry Peters (Bradley Hall), gets jealous that he's sidelined for endless priests. Peters relishes screwing over Will any chance he gets, like when Leonand and Daniel are outed as gay, and Leonard not only gets fired from the church, but jailed for his sexuality. Moreover, the new curate, Henry (Ahmed Eljah), a Nigerian who cannot afford not to play by the rules, doesn't understand Will's privilege and nearly gets the local Bishop, Aubrey Gray (Stuart Bowman), to fire Will on top of firing Leonard. 

But Will's friendship is also a boon when Geordie's PTSD is triggered by his old friend Johnny (Shaun Dooley), and Will sides with Cathy when she throws her husband out for a second time. But when Will accidentally sleeps with Maya (Ellora Torchia), the fiance of Geordie's new superior, Elliot Wallace (Michael D. Xavier), Geordie finds himself being tracked for early retirement as punishment. But things have a way of working out. The new office secretary, Miss Scott (Melissa Johns), bonds with Cathy over men being numbskulls and convinces Peters to support Geordie and Leonard, especially when Elliot beats Leonard as he tries to minister to men getting out of prison with his new halfway house project. 

Most importantly, Will meets Cathy's widowed niece, Bonnie (Charlotte Ritchie), who comes to look after the kids while Cathy works after she throws Geordie out of the house. Bonnie's son, Ernie (Isaac Highams), and Will become fast friends as Will and Bonnie fall in love. The two married at the end of Season 7, and by the end of Season 8, they've started to figure out this whole marriage and kids thing as Bonnie gives birth. It looks like Will is ready to settle in Grantchester and grow old with Geordie solving crimes forever...

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A vicar turned sleuth helps a grumpy cop in the Cambridgeshire village of Grantchester.
Grantchester: show-poster2x3

Grantchester Season 9 debuts at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 16, 2024, on most PBS stations, the PBS app, and the PBS Masterpiece channel, and will air and stream weekly through the beginning of August. All eight episodes will be available as a binge for members on PBS Passport on premiere day. As always, check your local streaming service/listings.


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

A Woman's Place Is In Your Face. Cat Approved. Find her on BlueSky and other social media of your choice: @anibundel.bsky.social

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