Motherland season 3 — release date, cast, plot, trailer and everything you need to know

Motherland Season 3
Expect more parenting chaos in Motherland Season 3! (Image credit: BBC)

Motherland Season 3 is back on BBC2 with more school run drama and playdate politics. 

Sharon Horgan's hilarious comedy explores the ups and downs of modern middle-class parenting, bringing to life all those parents you have clogging up your social media pages. From the alpha mum to the frazzled mum and everyone in between... school gate rivalry has never been so fierce. 

Follow Julia, Liz and Kevin as they navigate their way through school PTA fundraisers, frantic kids birthday parties and dreaded coffee mornings — all made more bearable with plenty of red wine! 

After a brilliant Christmas special in 2020, Motherland fans were left wanting more. 

The last time we saw a new series on our screens was back in October 2019 when Season 2 aired... but finally the third instalment is here and we have got all the details. 

Motherland Season 3 release date

Motherland returned to BBC2 with Season 3 on Monday 10th May. The 6-part series will air on Monday evenings at 9pm on BBC2 with the final episode airing on Monday 7th June. 

Seasons 1 and 2 are available on BBC iPlayer and the whole of Season 3 is also available in the same place if you would like to binge-watch the whole lot in one go. 

Here are some of the other you can catch up on Seasons 1 and 2 if you're not in the UK... 

Who stars in Motherland Season 3? 

Anna Maxwell Martin (Line of Duty's DCS Patricia Carmichael) is back as seriously stressed mum of two, Julia, who is trying — and failing — to find that perfect work/life balance. 

Julia is joined at the school gates by single mum, Liz, played by Diane Morgan, who says what she thinks and hilariously manages to get away with it. 

Kevin, played by Paul Ready, is a super-enthusiastic, hapless stay-at-home dad who spends most of his time desperate to impress everyone, throwing himself into the latest fundraising event just to fit in. 

Amanda (Lucy Punch), the perfectly poised alpha mum, who is the queen bee of the popular mum gang, is blonde, beautiful, utterly organised and totally phoney. 

Also returning for Season 3 is Tanya Moodie as larger than life, party animal Meg, while Phillipa Dunne also stars as Amanda's loyal and downtrodden friend, Anne. 

Rather excitingly it’s been revealed that none other than Joanna Lumley will guest star in the new series. She will play Amanda’s mum, Felicity.

Joanna Lumley in Motherland Season 3

Joanna Lumley is guest starring in Motherland Season 3. (Image credit: BBC)

What is the plot of Motherland Season 3?

Expect more trials and tribulations from the world of parenting as Julia, Liz and Kevin try their best to fit in at the school gates. 

Can Julia find a way to juggle her time between her kids and the demands of working full time with a husband who is never around? Will Liz ever care who she offends with her brilliantly brutal honesty? And will Kevin ever manage to impress queen bee Amanda with his embarrassing but endearing try-hard antics? 

What happened in episode 1 of Motherland Season 3?

Episode one of Motherland saw a nit pandemic hit the school, with Julia accused of causing a second wave and finding herself in the bad books with the other mums at the school gates. 

To try and redeem herself Julia decided to host a nit treatment party, but while she managed to get rid of the nit problem, her guests started spilling their innermost secrets! 

First Amanda dropped the bombshell that Anne is pregnant again, Kevin announced he has committed a crime of passion by locking his estranged wife in the loft, Liz revealed she is fighting a 17-year-old for a job at a shoe shop on the high street and the gang were heartbroken to discover Meg has cancer. 

Meanwhile, Amanda was struggling to put on a brave face when her ex-husband announced that he had a new girlfriend. But when it came to the crunch and he organised a lunch for the two women in his life to meet, Amanda couldn't go through with it. 

Also, Julia had her own troubles when she was told her mother can no longer live independently and needs to move in with her permanently. 

What happened in episode 2 of Motherland Season 3?

It's time for our Motherland gang to think about where their little darlings will be going to secondary school, and so episode two saw Julia and so heading off on the dreaded school open day circuit. But when Julia discovered she isn't in catchment for the right school, she decided to become a Catholic for five minutes, with hilarious results. Meanwhile, Amanda tried to pretend that she is okay with the fact her ex has a new girlfriend, while Liz tried to convince Kevin that he needs to fight for what he is entitled to in his impending divorce.

Amanda isn't happy about her ex having a new girlfriend in Motherland

Amanda isn't as okay about her ex having a new love interest as she makes out. (Image credit: BBC)

What happened in episode 3 of Motherland Season 3?

Episode three saw Mother's Day arrive, but while Julia was still running around like a headless chicken, despite it being the one day of the year she should be feeling pampered, Meg's family were going all out to make her feel special. We also got to meet Felicity, Amanda's formidable mother, who proved the apple really doesn't fall far from the tree when it comes to their family. If you thought Amanda was self-centred and obnoxious... that's nothing compared to the woman who raised her! Joanna Lumley was amazing in the role - possibly the best bit of casting this year so far. 

What happened in episode 4 of Motherland Season 3?

Episode four took Julia, Meg and Liz on a school trip, which quickly descended into chaos when the school bus broke down en route. There was also a guest appearance from EastEnders star Natalie Cassidy (Sonia Fowler) as a nervous teaching assistant, Meg got the all-clear from cancer and Kevin fretted about his driving test. Also Julia continued to obsess over her builder, Gary, while things took a surprising turn between Kevin and Amanda as they packed up Amanda's shop and the champagne started flowing! 

Motherland episode five season 3

Julia, Liz and Meg (right to left) were left stunned when Amanda and Kevin's afternoon of passion was revealed!  (Image credit: BBC)

What happened in episode 5 of Motherland Season 3?

The last episode of Season 3 saw Julia and the gang heading to the school for an evening fundraiser, complete with a virtual London to Brighton bike ride to raise funds for the kids. But while Amanda's birthday was ruined when she heard her ex is engaged, Meg was in the mood to party after previously getting the all-clear from cancer, while Liz got a surprise visitor at the school. Meanwhile, Julia decided she was going to leave husband Paul for Gary the builder, and poor downtrodden Anne finally told Amanda what she REALLY thinks of her... while also letting the cat out of the bag about Amanda and Kevin's afternoon of passion! Roll on Season 4! 

Is there a trailer of Motherland Season 3? 

Yes, and it is just as brilliant as we had hoped. It looks like Season 3 is going to be just as hilarious as Seasons 1 and 2! 

Not only do we get our first glimpse of Joanna Lumley as Amanda's overbearing mother, Felicity, but is seems Julia is just as stressed as ever when she gets a call to say her own mum can no longer live independently. 

The trailer only lasts for 30 seconds, but already we can't wait for Season 3 to arrive. 

See more
Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.