TCA 19: Grantchester welcomes a new vicar

Tom Brittney Grantchester 3At the “Mystery!” TCA panel for PBS Masterpiece, Shaun Evans and Tom Brittney talk about their roles as TV detectives in British period dramas, Endeavour and Grantchester.

You can read about Shaun Evans and Endeavour HERE.

This article will focus on Tom Brittney and his stepping into the role of the vicar and detective, Rev. Will Davenport, taking over from James Norton (Rev. Sidney Chambers) in the fourth series of Grantchester. After Chambers leaves Grantchester sometime in season four, a new vicar has to help Detective Geordie Keating solve crimes.

While it was intimidating for Brittney to join the series, he was pleasantly surprised by the positive feedback from the fans.

Tom Brittney GrantchesterHe said:

“You know what? Obviously, I was very, very much prepared for a lot of blowback. But there hasn’t been. And episode 4 came out yesterday in the UK, and that was one of my first ones where I take the reins. And the feedback was excellent. I know that people say stay away from Twitter and all that kind of stuff, but I did have a look. This is my biggest job. I wanted to see what people thought.

And you know what? Luckily, I had nothing but good feedback. And, for me, I was so desperate for people to like Will, like he wants people to like him. It’s the same. It’s life replicating art. And luckily, so far, it’s been really, really lovely. And I only have the writers to thank for making that transition so organic and easy…”

Grantchester season 4He also talks about the differences between the two vicars:

“Oh, well, I mean, the biggest difference is the age difference, which I know me and James are not that our age is not that far apart, but it makes a massive difference in the ’50s because he fought in the war and I didn’t. And I represent this sort of youth coming in at the end of ’50s, the rock ‘n’ roll, leather jacket wearing, motorbike riding, Elvis listening people. And that’s probably the biggest difference, I think. And his dark past is, again, to do with the war. Mine is more to do with well, there’s some stuff in my past that comes out in the show, and that I’ve got an underlying anger that comes out quite a bit, I guess. That’s the difference with us. And it causes me and Geordie’s relationship to be much more different than Sidney and Geordie’s was.”

Grantchester Will DavenportBrittney also truly appreciates the team behind Grantchester and the strength of the writing which is what keeps the show popular among viewers in Britain. He also talks about the process of preparing for his role:

“Yeah. When you are wearing a vicar’s outfit, you can’t help but feel a bit like a vicar. You start wearing a policeman’s uniform, any uniform, instantly, you know what that person represents. So that helps. I did a lot of research into it as well because it was quite alien to me, I think, the whole life I think it is to a lot of people. I was saying, when I was researching a vicar or a priest or something like that, we kind of got their back up about, like, “People think we only work one day of the week.” But they don’t. Especially in the 1950s, they were an integral part of life in a village or a town or something like that in more than just religious aspects. And there was a lot of research that I did to, sort of, get into the character in that way.”

He goes on to say that he is wholeheartedly committed to Grantchester and he hopes that he can be a part of it for a long as he can.

Grantchester season 4 premieres on July 14 on PBS MASTERPIECE.

Check out the trailer for Grantchester below: