Grace series 3: ITV release date, trailer, and cast of Peter James drama with John Simm and Richie Campbell

John Simm and Richie Campbell return for the third series of Brighton set detective drama Grace, adapting the Peter James novels Dead Like Me, Dead Man's Grip, and Not Dead Yet

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Grace, the popular Brighton-set detective drama, is returning to ITV for its third series this March. John Simm is set to return as DI Roy Grace, still haunted by the disappearance of his wife as he solves new and complex mysteries each week.

The series, which also stars Richie Campbell and Craig Parkinson among others, adapts the Roy Grace novels by author Peter James. Each episode is 90-minutes long, taking over the Sunday night feature-length crime drama slot recently vacated by Vera.

Across the series, Grace must investigate a sinister copycat killer at a police celebration, consider a road traffic accident that seems like more than meets the eye, and trace an obsessive fan stalking a star musician.

Here’s everything you need to know about Grace ahead of its return to ITV this month.

What’s it about?

The official synopsis for Grace Series 3 explains that “as East Sussex police bid farewell to ACC Alison Vosper, the announcement of her replacement is not welcome news for Grace. Shaken by the recent sighting of Sandy, Roy attempts to get closer to the truth while trying to move forward with Cleo, as he is drawn into three sinister investigations.”

“A chilling serial offender from Grace’s past, a road traffic accident which unleashes a web of vengeance and a shocking murder attempt on the Brighton music scene, all test Grace’s skill as past and present collide for Roy, forcing him to confront old memories and learn from previous mistakes.”

Which Peter James books does it adapt?

Grace is inspired by Peter James’ Roy Grace novels, the first of which was published in 2004. Grace S3 adapts three of James’ more recent books: Dead Like You (book six, published in 2010), Dead Man’s Grip (book seven, published in 2011), and Not Dead Yet (book eight, published in 2012). 

Who stars in Grace?

Richie Campbell as DS Glenn Branson and John Simm as DI Roy Grace in Grace S3, stormclouds brewing behind them (Credit: ITV)Richie Campbell as DS Glenn Branson and John Simm as DI Roy Grace in Grace S3, stormclouds brewing behind them (Credit: ITV)
Richie Campbell as DS Glenn Branson and John Simm as DI Roy Grace in Grace S3, stormclouds brewing behind them (Credit: ITV)

John Simm plays DI Roy Grace, a Brighton detective still haunted by the inexplicable disappearance of his wife. You’ll know Simm from a run of different crime dramas previously – most notably Life on Mars – as well as from roles in series like Trauma, Collateral, and Doctor Who. Fun fact: Simm was set to star in the Game of Thrones prequel Bloodmoon, which was eventually scrapped in favour of House of the Dragon.

Richie Campbell plays DS Glenn Branson, Roy’s long-time friend and recent police partner. Prior to starring in Grace, Campbell appeared in school soap opera Waterloo Road, ITV crime drama Liar, and the children’s series Pixelface and Eve.

They’re joined by Zoë Tapper (Rules of the Game) as Cleo Morey, Craig Parkinson (Line of Duty) as DS Norman Potting, and Laura Elphinstone (Game of Thrones) as DS Bella Moy amongst others.

Who writes and directs the series?

Writing partners Ben Court and Caroline Ip (Whitechapel) wrote the first and third episodes of Grace Series 3, with Ed Whitmore (Rillington Place) writing the second film. Camilla Strøm Henriksen (Føniks), Isher Sahota (McDonald & Dodds), and Will Sinclair (Vera) directed an episode each. 

Russell Lewis, best known for his work on Morse and Endeavour, wrote every prior episode of Grace up to this point. 

Is there a trailer?

Yes, there is! You can watch it right here.

When and how can I watch it?

GraceSeries 3 will begin on ITV1 on Sunday 19 March at 8pm, with new episodes airing weekly thereafter. The third and final episode of the series will air on Sunday 2 April.

You'll also be able to watch the series online on ITVX.

How many episodes will there be?

Grace Series 3 is made up of three feature-length episodes, each of which are around 90-minutes long.

Is there going to be a fourth series of Grace?

Yes, there is! Production on the fourth series of Grace is already underway, and – though we don’t know much about a potential release date at all – John Simm recently revealed that the next series will have an additional episode and adapt four of James’ novels.

Where is Grace set?

Grace is filmed in and around Brighton (which is, coincidentally, also where Peter James grew up and where star John Simm now lives). 

Why should I watch Grace?

It’s one to check out if you enjoy this kind of character-driven ITV procedural – fans of Vera and Endeavour would probably particularly enjoy Grace.