Grantchester season 8: release date, cast, plot, trailer, interviews, episode guide, guest stars, cases and all about the 2024 series

Grantchester season 8 again stars Robson Green (Geordie) and Tom Brittney (Reverend Will) Davenport.
Grantchester season 8 again stars Robson Green (Geordie) and Tom Brittney (Reverend Will) Davenport. (Image credit: ITV)

Grantchester season 8 sees more investigations and relationship rollercoasters for DI Geordie Keating and Rev. Will Davenport, played by again by Robson Green and Tom Brittney.

The six-part crime series is again set in the late 1950s, and joining them will be the regular cast who appeared in Grantchester season 7, including Charlotte Ritchie, Tessa Peake-Jones, Al Weaver and Kacey Ainsworth, plus many new guest stars.

Robson Green says: "It’s so good to be back on Grantchester. A series that just gets better with age. Everyone involved is at the top of their game and this incredibly charming, likeable, dark and edgy show is an absolute privilege to be part of.”  

Tom Brittney adds: “I’m absolutely chuffed with this series of Grantchester and that I get to continue playing a character I adore so much. To be part of a show as well loved as this one, that is now in its eighth series, is an absolute honour.” 

So here's everything you need to know about Grantchester series 8 on ITV1...

Geordie and Will have plenty to contend with in season 8 of Grantchester.

Geordie and Will have plenty to contend with in season 8 of Grantchester. (Image credit: ITV)

Grantchester season 8 release date

You can watch Grantchester season 8 on ITV1 from Thursday January 11 2024 at 9pm with episodes running weekly on ITV1 at the same time and also available as a box set on ITVX,. The six-part series has already been shown in the US on PBS Masterpiece from Sunday, July 9, 2023. 

Is there a trailer for Grantchester season 8?

Yes there's a trailer for Grantchester season 8, released by PBS Masterpiece for the show's US release. Take a look below...

Interview: Robson Green on what happens to Geordie in Grantchester season 8

The stories in Grantchester season 8 range from an episode involving speedway racing to spying in the Cold War. The series will also be exploring the lives of invisible women and the very visible problems caused by Leonard’s new vocation which may, once again, find him battling the law.  

Will is the happiest he’s ever been but his world will be rocked by a terrible accident. He’s always preached the word of a compassionate God – but how can he now, when his despair leads him on a dangerous downward spiral? Geordie has found a new contentment in his relationship with Cathy, but when they are both confronted with shocking announcements at work their happiness is threatened. As Mrs. C, Leonard, Jack and Daniel rally around, both Will and Geordie find themselves in unfamiliar, emotional waters and murder is always around the corner.

In a recent interview with us to promote Robson Green's Weekend Escapes Robson told us: "Yes, so in the opening episode something horrific happens to Will that changes his life forever. It's really shocking and has a profound effect on everyone around him, including Geordie. It also looks like Geordie’s being kicked out the station and that he’s going to have to hang up his detective hat because there’s some new young blood coming in with some different ideas. I’ve just watched the episodes actually and they’re as strong as ever. Everybody is at the top of their game and I just feel so fortunate that I’m nearly 60 and I’m making a living out of doing something like Grantchester. It’s a lovely show to do and as I enter the last third of my life I just want to do jobs that are fun and with people I love working with."

Geordie brooding in series 8 of Grantchester.

Geordie brooding in series 8 of Grantchester. (Image credit: ITV)

Tom Brittney on what happens to Will Davenport in Grantchester season 8

Series eight of Grantchester opens with a time jump forward, with Bonnie and Will about to have a baby. Tell us where we find Will at the start of the series.
Tom Brittney says: "Will is a happily married man; he and Bonnie couldn't be happier. They’re best friends. But Will is struggling a little bit with disciplining [his stepson] Ernie and being a tougher parent, because obviously his father was the worst kind of parent and he wants to be the opposite. So Bonnie gets frustrated a little bit, saying, ‘You need to be a father. You need to properly tell him what to do. Otherwise, he'll be trouble.’ So there are teething issues with that, but, all in all, Will is loving life, until something happens that takes Bonnie away and then leads to it all coming crashing down."

So Will is beset by this great tragedy in which somebody loses their life. How does it affect Will?
Tom says: "From the moment we first met Will, he’s always been struggling with his demons. What drives him in life is being the best man he can – everything he does, every case he helps Geordie with, every problem that he solves, he feels like he's getting better and better as a person, morally. And then this thing happens that just seems to erase all of that in one instant. Everything he’s worked so hard for is gone just like that. It just destroys the way Will thinks of himself, because this action, whether it was an accident or on purpose, in the eyes of God and everyone else, he believes it’s unforgivable, and it really sets him down a dark path.

It leads Will to have a crisis of faith. What can you say about that?
Tom reveals: "Now that this thing has happened, he's questioning whether God or anyone can ever love him again. He just shuts them out and it pushes him further and further away from everyone to the point where we don't know if he's ever coming back."

How does Geordie try to help?
Tom says: "A couple of series ago, Will was helping Geordie when he was going through his darkness. Will was there for him and really tried to pull him back to the light. And so Geordie does the same for Will. He's his best friend and his father figure. Geordie understands the guilt that Will feels, because he's gone through it himself. It doesn't mean that Will listens. The tragedy of this series is that everybody thinks they’re losing the Will that they love and Geordie has to watch it happen while also trying to deal with his own issues with his job and possible retirement. Geordie doesn’t realise how far down the path Will goes."

You and Robson seem to have forged a close friendship offscreen as well as on. What can you tell us about that?
Tom says: "We are best friends. Genuinely, we have a little bit of an age difference, but it doesn't exist when we’re together: we're both children and best mates on set just messing about. We laugh all the time. But also, outside of work, we always try to see each other. I go up to his house in Northumberland sometimes just for a sleepover, to hang out with him and his partner. We’ll watch Jackass on TV and eat sweets. I love it and I hope we’ll always make that effort."

What can you tell me about the cases in Grantchester series 8?
Tom says: "They’re a lot more personal this series than before. They’re not just strangers within the Grantchester community who are getting murdered; they all have a link in some way, which then compounds what happens to Will even further, because it's seeming like he just has the mark of death upon him. He feels he is a corrupt individual now who is only going to cause death and misery. Whether he actually has any responsibility at all for what’s going on, he's making it his problem. It’s different from previous series, because normally there's a distance between Will and the murders; he can detach from them emotionally a bit more, but that becomes impossible for him to do.

You’re working with real babies this season as well as Dickens the dog. How was that?
Tom says: "I both love it, and it has also made me put a pause on thinking about being a parent for a little bit. There are a couple of babies that I’m holding this series and it made me so broody. They’re lovely. But, also, when it’s not your baby and you have to do 30 takes with this baby that quickly gets very bored and starts to scream, it’s not so much fun. Will’s dog, Dickens, was very well behaved this series, although in every scene with Dickens I probably have a whole handful of sausages in order to bribe him. He’s got a very good agent, while I get greasy hands and have to change my costume"

How do you think Will has changed over the five series you’ve been in?
Tom says: "What’s sad is that this series, when we meet him at the beginning, he's really the best man that he's ever been and he's worked so hard to get there. The thing you love so much about Bonnie is that she knows him so well and keeps him grounded. I think he's matured a lot and is starting to shed the demons that were pulling him back. He will always have the issues with his father and his upbringing, but he can talk to Bonnie, who helps puts things in perspective for him. So I think he's matured."

The motorcycle has been a big feature of Will’s life. Can you tell us about that, and what it’s like for you riding the motorbike?
Tom reveals: "The motorbike has always been a symbol of Will’s rebellion and something he's holding onto from his youth. But he’s a family man now and when Ernie sees Will come off the bike in episode one, it makes Will start reassessing his priorities. Then he has a bit of an immature wobble: he doesn't take some news very well, goes back to old habits slightly, which then has a knock-on effect for the entire series. I love riding the motorbike so much. I was so scared when they made me get my licence, but the minute I got it I understood why people love motorbikes. The producers won’t let me go very fast, but my stuntman makes me look very cool on that bike. I briefly considered buying a motorbike when I got my licence, but I wouldn’t want to put my parents through the worry.

How does the cast get on behind the scenes? Is there a lot of joking around?
Tom says: "Usually, it’s me and Robson. For example, I have these jelly beans that are very spicy, but they look like just strawberry flavoured jelly beans. Robson isn’t very good with spice, so just before we did a scene I said, ‘Do you want a strawberry jelly bean?’ It was a ghost pepper jelly bean. So he was doing the scene and his eyes were absolutely streaming. He was crying! It was so funny."

Rev Will Davenport is about to become a father.

Reverend Will Davenport is about to become a father. (Image credit: ITV)

Charlotte Ritchie on playing Bonnie Davenport in Grantchester season 8

We got a surprise at the end of series seven of Grantchester, when suddenly Will and Bonnie got married. What did you make of that sudden event?
Charlotte Ritchie says: "It was lovely. It seemed like a sweet resolution for such an eternally unmarriable person like Will. There's something about Bonnie’s complicated situation and her upfront nature that seemed to pierce through all of that, so it was really sweet that they got married. It's not necessarily saying that marriage is the happy ending,  but it always felt like Will was really looking for something meaningful and it feels like he found it. And so has Bonnie, in fact – she was married before, but there wasn’t any love in that relationship so it’s great they both get to have a loving union."

So where do we find Will and Bonnie as season eight of Grantchester opens?
Charlotte says: "They’re doing very well and are very much in love. I think they're very into each other and have a shared sense of humour. Bonnie’s pregnant and they're looking forward to the baby coming. It's all pretty jolly. And Bonnie’s son, Ernie, really loves Will, which is reciprocated. Bonnie feels pretty much like things are quite settled, which is lovely. What could happen to ruin all that?!

Yet Bonnie doesn’t believe in God. Does that become a problem now that there are expectations of her as a vicar’s wife?
Charlotte says: "She really doesn’t have that faith that he does, but I think they're both willing to make it work. It's a really interesting question more broadly, whether people of different faiths can have relationships. They can, but I think it has to involve a lot of empathy and patience. Also, Will’s religion is very, very liberal by the standards of the era, and he has that sort of curiosity and sense of exploration and development in his faith, which probably allows for Bonnie’s lack of faith. But it's definitely difficult."

It seems that Bonnie needs to teach Will something about parenting, as well...
Charlotte says: "She’s concerned with co-parenting, and how to show him that instilling boundaries and discipline with Ernie, versus showing love and affection, are things that go hand in hand. What’s nice is that Bonnie doesn't mother Will – she’s not telling him off. She says, ‘You need to come with me on this,’ for example on parenting Ernie. There’s a sense of equity about them both taking responsibility for all elements of parenting. I think about this a lot, the way in which spiritual people can be intellectually and philosophically very compassionate and communal, but actually, in their private lives, it can be a really difficult balance. And so it's interesting that as a vicar, he's a kind of father to his parish, but when it comes to his personal life, he has to learn a lot about just the day in, day out realities of being there and making the breakfast or whatever. I think that is the big tension for him.

It becomes quite clear in early episodes that Bonnie doesn't want to be a traditional vicar's wife...
Charlotte says: "Bonnie is a really modern woman for that time. She's independent, a single mum and very enterprising and definitely not willing to settle down and be an accessory to anybody. Will is the star of the show in the village and I think that Bonnie is much more about equality and sharing things. To me, the situation she was in would have been impossible. It wasn’t until the mid-70s that women could have their own bank accounts! The mind boggles."

Charlotte Ritchie as Bonnie Davenport in Grantchester series 8.

Charlotte Ritchie as Bonnie Davonport in Grantchester series 8. (Image credit: ITV)

Grantchester season 8 regular cast

Grantchester once again sees DI Geordie Keating and Rev. Will Davenport played by Robson Green and Tom Brittney. Charlotte Ritchie (Ghosts) returns as Bonnie, alongside Tessa Peake-Jones as Mrs Chapman (aka Mrs C), Al Weaver as Leonard Finch, Kacey Ainsworth as Cathy Keating, Oliver Dimsdale as Daniel Marlowe and Nick Brimble as Jack Chapman.

Checking out for trouble... sleuthing partners Will and Geordie are back!

Checking out trouble... sleuthing partners Will and Geordie are back!  (Image credit: ITV)

Tessa Peake-Jones as Mrs Chapman and Nick Brimble as Jack Chapman.

Grantchester regulars... Tessa Peake-Jones as Mrs Chapman and Nick Brimble as Jack Chapman. (Image credit: ITV)

Grantchester season 8 guest stars

Look out for plenty of guest stars in Grantchester series 8, including Shaun Dingwall (Top Boy, Noughts & Crosses), Jeff Rawle (HollyoaksDoc Martin) as an oddball professor in episode 3 (see our episode guide below), Denise Black (Coronation Street) in episode 5 and Jemima Rooper (Gold Digger). 

Grantchester series 8 episode guide

Here's a brief guide to the Grantchester season 8 episodes below. We will be updating throughout the run so please do check back...

Episode 1: Thursday January 11, ITV1
After surprise wedding bells for Reverend Will Davenport and DI Geordie Keating’s niece Bonnie last series, there’s further cause for celebration when Grantchester returns as it’s revealed the happy couple are expecting a baby! "Will is happy with life; he's married to Bonnie [Charlotte Ritchie], has a child on the way and finally seems to have got over his demons from the past," says Tom Brittney. As always, murder is never far away in Grantchester, however, as detective Geordie (Robson Green) investigates when a young biker is found dead in a field following a charity bike race organised by motorbike enthusiast, Will.  "The motorbike is a throwback from Will’s rebellious youth. It's something he can give his emotions to and that gives him a feeling of freedom," says Tom. Will finds himself having to reconsider his passion when his stepson Ernie becomes distressed… "Will loves Ernie, as if he were his own, and wants to be a wonderful dad to the boy who, having only just lost his own father, is scared of Will dying on his motorbike, so he tries to take his keys away,’ explains Tom. "Reluctantly, Will agrees to stop riding for a while." But when news arrives that Bonnie’s mother is sick and she must go and look after her, a frustrated Will takes to the open road on his motorbike…and tragedy strikes. Full of petulant anger over his wife leaving at this moment, Will goes out for a ride and hits someone,’ reveals Tom. "Suddenly, all the work Will’s put into being a good person is thrown out the window now he’s done this unspeakable thing. It sets him down a dark path."
Grantchester season 8 episode 1 recap: Race day disaster

Episode 2: Thursday January 18, ITV1
Will suffers a devastating crisis of faith when he’s involved in a fatal motorbike accident that results in the death of a local man. While, DCI Wallace is determined to make sure Will’s held accountable, Geordie (Robson Green) goes all out to exonerate his friend, which leads to some reckless decision-making! Meanwhile, having championed a halfway house for ex-convicts, Leonard (Al Weaver) once again finds himself battling the law…

Will Davenport on his bike.

Will Davenport on his motorbike. (Image credit: ITV)

Episode 3: Thursday January 26
Always keen to help those who’ve hit hard times, former curate Leonard Finch (Al Weaver) recently opened a halfway house in Grantchester, taking in homeless people and ex convicts. It’s proving harder than Leonard anticipated though, as he finds himself overrun with mountains of laundry and dirty dishes! When Leonard’s work starts to affect his private life, partner Daniel (Oliver Dimsdale) urges him to hire a housekeeper. Will Leonard accept he needs an extra pair of hands? "Leonard still wants to be of service to others, but without that tag of religion. He’s trying his best, but it’s chaos," says Al, who also directs this third episode. "Directing this was one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve had. It was a dream come true." Former Hollyoaks star Jeff Rawle plays Dr Abbot, a professor hosting an art exhibition at the university where a valuable painting is on display. As guests, including Reverend Will Davenport, DI Geordie Keating and his wife Cathy), gather at the drinks reception that follows, chaos ensues as it’s disrupted by protestors… and Dr Abbot is horrified when he then returns to his office to discover the priceless painting has been stolen! Later, when one of the college porters is found murdered, can Geordie and Will determine whether the killing, the theft and the protest are all linked?

Episode 4: Thursday February 1
Mrs Chapman has embraced her new role helping out at Leonard Finch’s halfway house, but this week she feels put out as Leonard hires a housekeeper called Martha. "Mrs C sees the halfway house as her domain; she often drops in, puts on a pinny and gets on with cleaning and dusting," says Tessa Peake-Jones, who plays her. "Suddenly, there’s this woman employed to do that and they clash on the way things should be done in the kitchen. It doesn't go terribly well!"
Martha’s played by former Bad Girls star Simone Lahbib, who already has a connection to Grantchester…
"It was lovely acting with Simone who’s the real-life mum of Skye Degruttola who’s played Geordie and Cathy’s daughter, Esme, since she was nine," explains Tessa. ‘Simone would often chaperone Skye, so she’s part of the family."

Episode 5: Thursday February 8
Former Corrie star Denise Black guests in this penultimate episode as council official Miss Taylor, who Leonard hopes to woo into supporting the halfway house. At first she’s sceptical, especially given the village residents’ petition to close the home. But she soon appears inspired by testimony from Jack (Nick Brimble), who pretends to be a new resident! However, as tensions mount, Will, who’s still popping pills to help him cope with the motorcycle accident, gives her short shrift in a showdown that leaves everyone in shock!

Episode 6: Thursday February 15
Having fled Grantchester in disgust with himself over recent events, Reverend Will Davenport finds himself battered and bruised and in the middle of nowhere before he’s picked up by local copper, Mac (Mark Benton). Mac calls Geordie, who turns up to collect him. But before he can give Will some harsh home truths, they become embroiled in a murder enquiry, in which a farming couple have been stabbed to death. Geordie and Mac catch up with the suspected young killers but it’s Will who makes the breakthrough in the case… Can he be reunited with wife Bonnie before she goes into labour?

Jeff Rawle as Dr Abbot in episode 3.

Jeff Rawle as Dr Abbot in episode 3. (Image credit: ITV)

More about Grantchester series 8 

This eighth series of Grantchester is executive produced for Kudos (part of Banijay UK) by Emma Kingsman-Lloyd (Deadwater FellHumans), writer and series creator Daisy Coulam (Deadwater FellHumans), Robson Green and Tom Brittney. The Executive Producers for MASTERPIECE are Rebecca Eaton and Susanne Simpson at GBH Boston.

Adapted from the Grantchester Mysteries novels by James Runcie, the series was developed for television by Daisy Coulam. Writers this series include Richard Cookson (episode one), Helen Black (episode three), Anita Vettesse (episode four) and Richard Cookson and Karla Williams (episode five). The series is directed by Rob Evans, Al Weaver (who makes his directing debut) and Martin Smith.

Kudos Executive Producer Emma Kingsman-Lloyd says: “We are delighted to be returning to our beloved Grantchester. It’s a testament to the fantastic creative work of our cast and crew that the audience want us back series after series.”

PBS MASTERPIECE Executive Producer Susanne Simpson says: “We are thrilled to bring MASTERPIECE viewers back to Grantchester for an eighth season. The talented ensemble cast and captivating storylines have made Grantchester one of our most beloved series. We can’t wait for fans to see it!”

Grantchsster season 8 is coming to ITV and PBS Masterpiece.

Robson Green as Grantchester season 8 started filming. (Image credit: ITV/PBS Masterpiece)
Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.