Last night the Brighton-based ITV detective drama Grace returned to our screens for a brand new series. Based on Peter James’ novels, series 3 stars John Simm who reprises his role as DS Roy Grace, as well as Richie Campbell as DS Glenn Branson and Zoe Tapper as pathologist Cleo Morey. Craig Parkinson is also back as DS Norman Potting and Laura Elphinstone is DS Bella Moy.
After the last series, the question on the minds of most is Sandy. Is she alive? Is she dead? Will we ever find out what’s happened to her?
“It’s an ongoing thing, it isn’t solved in this series,” Simm explains. “She’s still missing, but we’re drip fed information and little cliff-hangers. You get to see what they’re relationship was like, and maybe it wasn’t as perfect as you thought it was.”
“It’s the one thing that he can’t solve,” Simm continues. “And it’s the closest thing to home.”
The police drama has been a major success ever since its first episode in 2021 that gained almost nine million viewers. “People love the fact that it’s a dark show,” suggests Campbell. “It’s not your typical Sunday night viewing, it’s got a bit of edge to it. You also just don’t know where it’s going. Then you’ve got the through line of the team and the characters. I feel it’s the winning formula.”
The first episode of series 3, ‘Dead Like You’, touches on themes of violence against women, a topic heavily discussed following the #MeToo movement, as well as the death of Sarah Everard and the recent Met Police officer rape cases. “I think we’ve had to deal with all of that, in the scripts and production,” Simm commented.
“With the police characters, we can’t really address that” continued Simm. “We’re playing fictional characters and the characters that we’re playing are good cops. Of course there are bad cops, but we can only do what’s in front of us and try to serve these storylines.
“The writers and producers, everybody involved, are very sensitive to it all and I hope, and think they do address it. Especially in this first episode, the changing attitudes to solving rape cases is clear because there are flashbacks. Our characters are furious with how cases were handled and are trying to right a wrong.”
Grace is based on the bestselling author, Peter James’ novels who continues to write new books ahead of any ITV adaptations. “I’m quite happy to keep going in this character,” Simm reveals. “I really enjoy the job, I love the crew, the cast. I really look forward to it. Who knows what might happen, but we’re up for filming all of them.
“They’re great books,” he says. “And we want to get them all on screen.”
Without looking too far into the future, it seems we can at least look forward to another series. “We’re about to start filming series 4,” Campbell teases.
“I think we’re doing four this year and if everything goes well, I think the plan is to do the same next year,” Simm tells us.
Grace is on ITV Sundays at 8pm, or watch on ITVX.
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