After Life Season 3: Cast, release date, and plot of the final season of Ricky Gervais's hit show

The time has come to wish a fond farewell to After Life, as the third and final series of Ricky Gervais' bittersweet comedy returns to Netflix.

By James Descombes Published: 18 January 2022 - 12.02pm
� 2021 Netflix, Inc.

Ricky Gervais returns for the final series of the number 1 Netflix show, After Life. So grab your tissues and settle in for an emotional farewell to Tony, Tambury and all your favourite characters in After Life Season 3… but expect a lot of laughs along the way. 

What is After life about?

After Life follows local newspaper journalist Tony (Ricky Gervais) as he comes to terms with the death of his wife Lisa (Kerry Godliman) from breast cancer. Determined to take his anger out on the world, Tony succeeds only in making his friends and colleagues pity him. Only widow Anne (Penelope Wilton), who he meets at the local graveyard, is prepared to offer him home truths about his behaviour. 

At the end of season 2 it looked as if Tony and Emma (Ashley Jensen), the nurse who’d been looking after Tony’s dad Ray (David Bradley), were going to resume their  ‘Groundhog Day’ relationship, which Tony is most comfortable with while still mourning Lisa.

In season 3, we’ll see how that relationship develops and how Tony continues to move on with his life after not only the death of his wife, but the death of his father too. The trailer to the new series reveals that Tony takes a trip to scatter his father’s ashes, including a scene in a pub where the ashes end up on the carpet and in the face of the pub’s landlord, who Tony also gives a verbal tongue lashing.

In season 2, the team at the Tambury Gazette managed to save it from being sold by the owner, so we’ll see how the local paper manages to move forward with its eclectic mix of local news stories in season 3. Plus, expect to get further insight into the love lives of Lenny (Tony Way), June (Jo Hartley) and Kath (Diane Morgan) and meet the new intern, Coleen.

As it’s the final series of After Life, we’re likely to see some closure for the other key characters, such as Postman Pat and Roxy, who started dating in series 2. Whatever’s in store for the final season, it’s sure to pull at the heart strings. 

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Ricky Gervais and Diane Morgan in After Life season 3 � 2021 Netflix, Inc.

The cast of After Life Season 3

* Ricky Gervais (Tony)

* Penelope Wilton (Anne)

* Ashley Jensen (Emma)

* Tom Basden (Matt)

* Tony Way (Lenny)

* David Earl (Brian)

* Joe Wilkinson (“Postman” Pat)

* Jo Hartley (June)

* Diane Morgan (Kath)

* Ethan Lawrence (James)

Of course, Ricky Gervais is back as Tony Johnson and he’s joined by his trusty German Shepherd, Brandy.

Ashley Jensen (Extras) also returns as Emma, and we’ll see how her relationship with Tony develops during the series. Emma was looking after Tony’s father Ray (played by David Bradley) in the nursing home, but the character died of dementia towards the end of season 2. However, we’re still expecting to see him in the new series through flashbacks, in a similar way that we see Tony’s wife Lisa, played by Kerry Godliman.

Penelope Wilson (Downton Abbey) plays Anne, Tony’s bench buddy and graveside confidante, so we’re likely to see more comedy-laced conversation between the two in series 3.

Over at the local paper, we’re sure to see Tony’s colleagues back for the final series, including Lenny (Tony Way), his girlfriend June (Jo Hartley) and her son James (Ethan Lawrence).

No doubt Kath (Diane Morgan) will be butting heads with Tony again, whether she’s debating religion, dating or Kevin Hart films with him. Speaking of which, we’ll have to wait and see whether she’s moved on from trying it on with Tambury Gazette editor, Matt (Tom Basden), whose marriage is now seemingly back on track. New local paper intern Coleen, played by Kath Hughes (The Joy of Missing Out), also plays are big part as Tony takes her under his wing. 

Away from the paper, we’re looking forward to more laughs from Postman Pat (Joe Wilkinson) as he continues to deliver, and read, Tony’s mail. And we’re interested to see how his romance develops with Tony’s close friend Roxy (Roisin Conaty), the ‘sex worker’.

Old favourites such as Brian Gittins (David Earl) feature again, as well as guest appearances from Tim Key, Dave Hill, Wendy Albiston, Ricky Grover, Ben Hull, Cole Anderson-James and Kate Robbins. And there's even a star turn from Ewen MacIntosh, who played Keith in The Office. 

Tony and Brandy in After Life season 3 2021 Netflix, Inc.

Where is After Life filmed? 

After Life is set in the fictional town of Tambury, which isn't actually a real place. So After Life is in fact filmed in the historic Hertfordshire town of Hemel Hemptead, near Luton. 

The Tambury Gazette, where Tony and his colleagues work, is based in the centre of the town and is close to other recognisable landmarks and locations featured in the show, such as The Old Town Hall, Gadebridge Park and St Mary's Church.

Many of the local shops, cafes and restaurants that line the high street may also be recognisable. For example, The House of Elliott is a high-street gift shop that's transformed into the vintage boutique that Tony pops into in series 3.

Some of the most heartfelt scenes in After Life are the conversations between Tony and Anne. These are filmed at St Mary and All Saints church in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. 

The iconic scene in season 1 where Tony walks into the sea and is saved by his dog, Brandy, was shot at Camber Sands. 

Tony’s house is located in Vale of Health, a beautiful chocolate-box Hampstead, which is one of the most desirable places to live in London. 

 

After Life Season 3: Ratings and reviews

Unsurprisingly, the third and final season of Ricky Gervais’s hit comedy landed at number 1 on Netflix’s trending shows.

Many fans binge-watched the show upon its release and were quick to tweet their approval – even England footballer Jack Grealish.

The Metro newspaper said: “Ricky Gervais delivers masterclass in exploration of grief in heart-wrenching final outing,” while NME.com added “Ricky Gervais’ humanist hit goes out on a high; The final scene, moving and poignant, is among its creator's greatest works.” Both publications gave After Life Season 3 four stars out of five. 

Is there an After Life Season 3 trailer?

There is, though unsurprisingly it features some pretty colourful language. You can find it on YouTube. Below is a little gem written for After Life by Ricky Gervais and Andy Burrows.

 

When and where can I watch After Life?

All six episodes of After Life Season 3 are available to watch on Netflix now. After Life Season 1 and After Life Season 2 are also available to stream right now on Netflix.