Vienna Blood season 3: release date, cast, plot and everything we know

Vienna Blood seas 3 stars Max and Oscar.
Vienna Blood season 3 opens with the crime fighters entering the world of high fashion. (Image credit: BBC)

Vienna Blood season 3 is arriving at last, with a new three-part series.

Vienna Blood is something of a hidden gem and hasn't perhaps had all the praise it deserves. Indeed we'd strongly argue it's one of the best BBC dramas available.

Based on the hit books by Frank Tallis, the series is set in 1900s Vienna. It follows the adventures of Max Liebermann, a young doctor of psychology, and a world-weary cop, Oskar Rheinhardt.

Both are brilliant characters and they team up wonderfully to solve gruesome and often very strange crimes in Vienna. Vienna is a character in itself, providing a perfect backdrop to the series.

Talking about the way the relationship between the pair has developed, Matthew Beard, who plays Max, says: "In the first season there was a conflict between Max and Oskar. Max believes passionately in this very new science of psychoanalysis and has strengthened himself knowing that he's going to face a lot of boundaries in trying to push this science forward. And Oskar is very uninterested in the world of the mind. They’re starkly different at the beginning.

"And then they start to respect each other’s opinions, see each other's nuances and begin to see the grey areas in life rather than being so black and white about things. They grow tight as a friendship and that makes both of them mature as people. Then in the second series that friendship really develops, and they become a great team using each other’s strengths.

"And in the third season a new layer of conflict emerges. By this point, Max has written a book about the psychopathy of the criminal mind and a little bit about their adventures. And Oskar now starts to wonder if it isn't just Max's vanity and Max's ego that's making him interested in these murderers. So, there's a new conflict and they try to understand each other on that front."

Here's everything you need to know about its return...

Vienna Blood season 3 release date

Vienna Blood season 3 begins on BBC2 on Wednesday 14 December at 9 pm. It will also be available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

We don't yet have a US release date.

Who's in the cast?

TV tonight Max and Oscar take on another case

(Image credit: BBC)

Acclaimed Austrian actor Juergen Maurer returns as Oskar Rheinhardt, while Matthew Beard is back as Max Liebermann. Luise von Finckh returns as Max's former fiancé Clara. Amelia Bullmore and Conleth Hill return as Max's parents, Rachel and Mendel Libermann.

What’s the plot of the new series?

The first episode, which runs for 90 minutes, sees Max and Oskar enter the world of high fashion! 

The BBC teases: "With the discovery of a young seamstress murdered in a luxury fashion house, Max and Oskar begin to see that the glamour industry conceals dark and sinister truths.

"To identify the killer, this case demands that Max contends with the nature of beauty and the murkier waters of sexual attraction. It’s a trail that will lead Max and Oskar from couture to an altogether more sinister world of exploitation and blackmail."

Meanwhile, Max and Clara shared a moment in the final scenes of the previous series so it will be interesting to see if that goes anywhere.

Talking about what's ahead for Clara, Luise, who plays her, says: "For me this season is about Clara focusing on herself and standing her ground. She has learnt that relying on men is not everything, and that there's only space for love when she's at eye level with men and not relying on them."

If you enjoy the show it might also be worth reading the books. There are seven in total, opening with Mortal Mischief [called A Death in Vienna in the US.

Is there a trailer?

Sadly not yet. Here's the original series trailer to at least give you an idea of the show if you've not seen it.

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years working for TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer for TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!