Grantchester season 6: Cast, release date and everything you need to know

Robson Green and Tom Brittney are back in the 1950s detective drama, but a new arrival puts a strain on their characters' friendship.

By Becky Gamester-Newton Published: 19 August 2021 - 6.50pm
ITV Robson Green and Tom Brittney star in Grantchester season 6

Grantchester is returning to ITV for its sixth series.

Based The Grantchester Mysteries, a series of short stories by James Runcie, the drama follows vicar Will Davenport as his friendship - and talent for sleuthing - develops with Detective Inspector Geordie Keating.

Find out how to watch the new series and what’s in store for the main characters….

What happens in series 6?

It’s 1958 and trouble is brewing in the Cambridgeshire village of Grantchester. Reverend Will Davenport’s (Tom Brittney) role puts him at odds with his own ideals when his kind-hearted curate Leonard Finch (Al Weaver) is at the centre of a scandal.

Will and Geordie Keating’s (Robson Green) friendship is tested when Geordie’s old army buddy comes back into his life. Johnny (Shaun Dooley) is a lawyer who represents the people Geordie puts away – but they have a bond that was forged in a prison camp in Burma.

Geordie and Will tackle various cases including a murder at a holiday camp, contested adoptions, a parish election, soldiers racing cars, robberies, student protests and a murdered music producer.

How many episodes are there in Grantchester season 6?

There are eight episodes in this season, which producer Richard Cookson admitted was a challenge.

“When we were green lit for a sixth series, back in the early weeks of 2020, the biggest challenge we faced was that ITV and Masterpiece wanted eight episodes rather than six," he explained.

“But as challenges go, it was nothing compared to what came next. The world went into lockdown, and the idea of getting a big group of people together to film in close proximity – and in small spaces – became utterly unthinkable.

“But as time passed, smart people started thinking about new ways to get back to work. For us that meant the (now) familiar masks, social distancing and hand sanitising, as well as putting the cast and crew into a rigorous testing regime.

“And despite the snow, the swabs and the unexpected national lockdowns, six months later we wrapped with all eight episodes in the can.

"But truth be told, we had a secret weapon on our side throughout it all: if 50 members of the crew can’t see each other smile, then when the actors unmask for filming, you need some pretty big grins to make up the slack, and Robson and Tom are precisely the cheerleaders and comic goofballs we needed.”

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Grantchester cast

The main cast reveal what’s in store for their on-screen characters this series…

Geordie Keating – Played by Robson Green

Robson Green plays Geordie Keating in Grantchester ITV

Robson Green revealed: “This is the series where Geordie completely capitulates. We see Geordie’s past catch up with him and it creates something completely corrosive in the storyline for him. He was a prisoner of war during WWII and someone from his past arrives on the scene who he hasn’t seen since they were incarcerated together in a cell in Burma.

“I was given licence to go down a pathway of complete destruction with this that I’d never done before in my career and the result is incredibly powerful.”

Robson added that Geordie and Will’s friendship is put to the test in this series.

"Their relationship becomes incredibly volatile and that has consequences. It’s all about Geordie not seeing the world how Will sees it and Will not seeing the world how Geordie sees it and conflict occurs.

"Will sees the world how it ought to be whereas Geordie’s philosophy is that marching for peace is about as much use as praying for it, he doesn’t believe that we can sort problems out by confiding in an invisible friend. This causes real problems between Will and Geordie."

Will Davenport – Played by Tom Brittney

Tom Brittney plays Rev Will Davenport in Grantchester ITV

Tom said: “In regards to friendships - Will and Geordie, although they start off in a great place, their friendship is very much threatened.

“At the beginning of the series we find them closer than ever and the best of friends. As the series progresses we find out that Will has been keeping something from Geordie which threatens to destroy their whole friendship.

“We also see Geordie being drawn down a very dark path when someone from his past comes back into his life and Will tries his hardest to bring him back from the brink. Their friendship is being torn apart with someone else trying to pull Geordie away from Will, things don’t look good for them.”

Mrs Chapman – Played by Tessa Peake-Jones

Tessa Peake-Jones plans Mrs Chapman in Grantchester ITV

Tessa revealed: “Mrs C is really going to go through the mill a bit. I don’t think in any other series she has cried quite so much.

“Her relationship with Leonard is challenged throughout this series. She is torn because of the love she has for Leonard and the dilemma he has found himself in which makes her question what is morally right, her religious views and what is legally right.

“She has forthright views and she’s stubborn but gradually over the series she has to alter her way of thinking and towards the end the audience can see how she thinks differently about things.

"That’s what I love about playing her, she always grows, changes and she is willing to self-reflect. She’s really taught a lesson through it all. Her love and care for Leonard overrides everything that has happened to both of them.”

Cathy Keating – Played by Kacey Ainsworth

Kacey Ainsworth plays Cathy Keating in Grantchester season 6 ITV

Kacey hinted that there might be trouble ahead for Cathy and Geordie.

“They seem to be getting on OK and Cathy doesn’t feel like there are any issues but then something happens. Cathy isn’t exactly sure what it is and can’t work it out but as you do in a long term relationship, you think things will change and it’ll blow over but that doesn’t happen.

“Because of Cathy’s new-found independence, her promotions at work and the fact that she’s generally doing and seeing more interesting things than she used to, she isn’t prepared to put up with this problem as she would have done in the 1940s...”

Leonard Finch – Played by Al Weaver

Al Weaver plays Leonard Finch in Grantchester ITV

Al revealed: “In this series, something big happens to Leonard which threatens his relationship, his career and everything about his life. It’s the biggest challenge that he’s ever faced. Everything is at stake because of the event that happens and the audience will get to see Leonard take on a real journey in this series.”

How to watch Grantchester

Grantchester series 6 begins on ITV on Friday, September 3, at 9pm.

Grantchester series 1 to 5 are available on BritBox and the ITV Hub.