[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for the Grantchester Season 7 finale.]
The vicar of Grantchester is a bachelor no more.
In a whirlwind season finale of the Masterpiece Mystery! series on PBS, Tom Brittney’s young and restless reverend, Will Davenport, married Charlotte Ritchie’s spirited widow, Bonnie Evans. The wedding was filmed on location in the English village where the show is set, and Brittney tells TV Insider that it took some subterfuge to keep the surprise ending under wraps.
“We had a fake bride, and between scenes, I would put on my cassock, so it looked like I was just officiating another person’s wedding,” he says. “Then we would sneak Charlotte into the church, away from the photographers who come to take photos of us while we shoot. We had as much secrecy as Marvel.”
Not to mention desserts that looked delicious even if the cast couldn’t eat them. “And I still hold on to some anger towards that,” Brittney quips. “But me and Al [Weaver, who plays Leonard] have quite a bad habit of eating any food that’s on set, so they’ve often had to spray it with a slightly poisonous spray, which makes it look very nice but makes it very inedible.”
At least the characters enjoyed the reception. Will’s wedding means that his crime-solving colleague and best friend, police detective Geordie Keating (Robson Green), is now a relative by marriage since Bonnie is the niece of Geordie’s wife Cathy (Kacey Ainsworth).
Geordie, who was the best man, toasted the newlyweds by saying, “The only thing better than having Will as my friend is having him as part of my family.”
But, as Will recounted in his own speech, it took a near-death experience for him to realize that he loved Bonnie. Earlier in the episode, he was brutally stabbed by a prospective seminary student who turned out to be a serial killer.
“The moment I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Bonnie was the moment I thought I was about to die,” he told the assembled guests. “I was lying there feeling sorry for myself, and I realized that the things I regretted in life were not the things I’d done but the things I hadn’t. Because I’d been scared that I wouldn’t know how to love, or to be a father, or to even be myself without some cause to fight for.”
Tom Brittney and Charlotte Ritchie (Kudos Film and TV Ltd)
Of course, the final scene was reserved for the pair who remain Grantchester’s supercouple, Will and Geordie. As they hugged and professed their love for one another, the seventh season, set in 1959, came to an emotional end.
Brittney, who made his directing debut with this year’s third episode, was pleased that Will decided to settle down with Bonnie and become a stepfather to her son Ernie (Isaac Highams).
“What I love is that she’s not afraid to call Will out for who he is,” the actor says. “Will claims he’s got his strong beliefs, but I think he needs someone to keep him in check and go, ‘Underneath you actually might be more of a complex or fractured person than you think you are.’
“I was thinking there was a possibility they might not let me survive,” Brittney adds. “But doing the wedding and the wedding party afterwards, it was so lovely to see Will happy after everything that happened.”
But how long will his joy last? Although Ritchie is scheduled to return for Grantchester’s eighth season, which has already started filming, a release from PBS says that “a terrible accident” will send a despairing Will on “a dangerous downward spiral.”
Grantchester, Season 7, PBS app and Masterpiece Prime Video channel