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MASTERPIECE: Grantchester: Season 2

James Norton as Sidney Chambers and Robson Green as Inspector Geordie Keating.
Courtesy of Des Willie/Lovely Day for ITV and MASTERPIECE
James Norton as Sidney Chambers and Robson Green as Inspector Geordie Keating.

Airs Sundays, March 27 - May 1, 2016 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

James Norton (WAR AND PEACE) dons his priestly collar and Robson Green (RECKLESS) his rumpled raincoat for a new season as the improbable crime-fighting team, Reverend Sidney Chambers and Inspector Geordie Keating, bringing justice and spiritual nourishment to early 1950s England. GRANTCHESTER, Season 2 airs in six exciting episodes on MASTERPIECE MYSTERY!, Sundays, March 27 - May 1, 2016 on PBS.

James Norton as Sidney Chambers.
Courtesy of (C) Matt Frost/Kudos & ITV for MASTERPIECE
James Norton as Sidney Chambers.
Robson Green as Geordie.
Courtesy of (C) Des Willie/Kudos & ITV for MASTERPIECE
Robson Green as Geordie.
Al Weaver as Leonard.
Courtesy of (C) Colin Hutton/Kudos & ITV for MASTERPIECE
Al Weaver as Leonard.

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Reviews

Based on the popular "Grantchester Mysteries" by James Runcie, GRANTCHESTER was praised by critics far and wide during its premiere season. The Wall Street Journal judged it “glorious”; The Orlando Sentinel, “compelling”; USA Today, “charming”; The Los Angeles Times, “guilelessly entertaining”; and The New York Daily News, “visually engaging... romantic” — not to mention the kudos from the British press.

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Returning cast members include Morven Christie (CASE HISTORIES) as Amanda Hopkins, Sidney’s true love, who tired of waiting for his proposal and opted for glacial aristocrat Guy Hopkins, played by Tom Austen (POIROT). Tessa Peake-Jones (DOCTOR WHO) returns as Sidney’s censorious, Bible-quoting housekeeper, Mrs. Maguire. Kacey Ainsworth (EASTENDERS) is back as Geordie’s long-suffering wife, Cathy, a harried mother of four young children. And Al Weaver ("Marie Antoinette") reprises his role as novice priest Leonard Finch, who stoically faces the anti-gay hostility of the day.

Last season saw Sidney and Geordie cement a fast friendship over backgammon, ale, their war service, women problems, and obsession with solving the baffling homicides that crop up in and around Cambridge — including nearby Grantchester, where Sidney is the village vicar. They make the perfect team: Geordie is a working-class police inspector who understands the criminal mind, while Sidney studied for the ministry at Cambridge University and uses his fellow feeling for humanity to get perpetrators to own up to their misdeeds.

Still unresolved from last season is Sidney’s love life. Handsome, worldly-wise, and virtuous, he should be an ideal catch. And at least one very promising female companion turns up in the new series. But will Sidney scare her away with his unconventional taste for jazz, blood-spattered crime scenes, and a married woman?

The new season’s cases include a shocking charge of sexual assault that turns into a homicide investigation implicating a pillar of the community; an apparent suicide from the college spire that takes on Cold War overtones; a confession to murder in which the alleged victim is still very much alive; a haunted stable with links to the Holocaust; and more. The burning issues of post–World War II Britain provide the backdrop to the action: class conflict, the death penalty, homosexuality, the looming sexual revolution, the communist threat, rationing, and the persistent effects of combat on war veterans such as Sidney and Geordie, who are just trying to get on with their lives and make society safe, secure, and a bit fun.

GRANTCHESTER is a co-production of Kudos and MASTERPIECE for ITV. The Executive Producer for Kudos is Diederick Santer. The Executive Producer for MASTERPIECE is Rebecca Eaton at WGBH Boston. The Producer is Emma Kingsman-Lloyd. The Directors are Tim Fywell, David O’Neill and Edward Bennett. Adapted from "Grantchester Mysteries" novels by James Runcie, the series was developed for television by Daisy Coulam, and written by Daisy Coulam, John Jackson and Joshua St Johnstone.

EPISODE GUIDE:

Episode 1 airs Sunday, March 27 at 9 p.m. - Sidney is suspected of murder. But then, so are a fellow priest, a photographer and a classmate of the victim. Geordie makes up his mind about who will hang.

Episode 2 airs Sunday, April 3 at 9 p.m. - A professor dies in a suspicious fall. A government agent warns Geordie to back off the case. Meanwhile, Sidney is warned off an old flame, but finds a new prospect.

Episode 3 airs Sunday, April 10 at 9 p.m. - Sidney and Geordie answer a false alarm, which turns into a real murder investigation. Amanda gets into trouble. Things get more serious with Margaret.

Episode 4 airs Sunday, April 17 at 9 p.m. - An apparent suicide leads Sidney to perform an exorcism. Gary goes on trial. Leonard bets on a long shot. Margaret makes her move. Amanda confronts her lost love.

Episode 5 airs Sunday, April 24 at 9 p.m. - Will Gary go to the gallows? Will Geordie go to prison? Are Sidney and Geordie’s crime-fighting days over? The case of a suspicious death takes a surprising turn.

Episode 6 airs Sunday, May 1 at 9 p.m. - Sidney seeks oblivion. His friend Sam seeks forgiveness. A dead girl’s parents seek revenge. Amanda seeks Sidney. Leonard finally takes a stand.

Watch past episodes of MASTERPIECE online. MASTERPIECE is on Facebook, Instagram, and you can follow @masterpiecepbs on Twitter.

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