Interview with Tom Brittney as Will Davenport
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Grantchester S5: Tom Brittney

Interview with Tom Brittney – Will Davenport in Grantchester

How did it feel returning to Grantchester after joining the drama last year?

It was a joy to come back for another series.

I was nervous going into the series after taking over from James [Norton]. You hope that people want to see more of it so it was great they asked me to come back and come and play with my Grantchester family again. It’s just a dream.

Was it good to be reunited with Robson Green?

It was amazing.

We carried on seeing each other between filming. We became better and better friends so it’s just like being reunited with your best friend again and getting to go to work together every day.

What does your character Will Davenport have in store for him this series?

If you thought they put me through the mill last year, they’ve doubled it this year.

You meet Will and he’s now embedded himself in the village of Grantchester and he’s very much part of the community. Everyone seems to be accepting him as the vicar and he is still trying to hold onto this idea of being an eternal optimist, he’s really holding on to that ethos.

The more he gets involved in the crimes, the more he starts to be challenged and see more of the darker side of life and people and he finds it harder to hold onto that idea.

Also, he is trying to deal with many different things, he is dealing with the loss of his father. He’s trying to keep his mother happy after what happened last series and keep his friendship with Geordie going, and search for a father figure.

He also deals with a new woman in his life who challenges his very tightly hold vow of chastity.

How does Will and Geordie’s relationship develop this series?

A year has passed and they’re better friends than ever. But the one thing that Will really needs in life and what he is searching for is a father figure.

He may have found it in Geordie, but there is something that he isn’t quite getting from Geordie that he finds in the character of Vic [Ross Boatman] who runs the boxing club. He seems to understand Will’s problems a lot more and Will starts to grow a bit further apart from Geordie as he gets closer to Vic.

Ellie Harding [played by Lauren Carse] catches Will’s eye this series, what happens?

Will meets this character, a journalist from the local paper, Ellie Harding. She has befriended Geordie, she gets stories from him on the sly because she runs this gossip column.

Will meets her at the beginning of episode one and instantly he’s attracted to her, she is a beautiful, stunning woman. But there is something different about her compared to other women in the 1950s.

She is strong, independent, outspoken and isn’t scared of speaking her mind and getting in the way and causing trouble. Will finds that both attractive and has a moral issue with the way she goes about her business.

So, he has this constant battle with her wit and being very attracted to her at the same time. Slowly they start to see different sides of each other and that relationship develops quite a lot.

Is Will Davenport still driving his motorbike in this series?

He is and I passed my motorbike test so I can do it all on my own without a stunt man, and I’ve been taking full advantage of that. I absolutely loved being back on the bike again.

What is the main theme of this series?

The main theme that goes through the series is this idea of ‘Eden’.

Harold Macmillan was saying at that time in the fifties that Britain had never had it so good. But in actual truth, underneath, there is always this dark side bubbling, and no more than in the village of Grantchester.

With Will, he is striving for everything to be perfect and to see everyone as inherently good but he starts to realise that isn’t true and that people can be evil and he sees that with people who are very close to him.

Grantchester often explores difficult storylines and themes doesn’t it?

It’s a funny thing that people view Grantchester as a cosy crime series but actually Grantchester has never shied away from tackling deep, dark, real issues that existed at the time.

A lot of people may look back and think the fifties were lovely and Britain was great but this is exactly what Grantchester is exploring, because it wasn’t.

There were so many different criminal and social issues, personal issues that people were going through and a lot of the time had to be hidden from society. Grantchester has never shied away from trying to tackle those. So, I think it’s a lot darker than what people give it credit for.

All the cast of Grantchester speak very highly of the show and how much they enjoy being in it. Why do you think that is?

We all refer to it as our happy place, it’s the Grantchester family. Every single member of the crew and cast is such a joy to work with and loves being here.

We’re well known for that in the acting community and actors want to be a part of the show because you have such a wonderful time. Whether you’re coming in for one line or a bigger part, we love making people feel welcome and having that family unit.

I think it’s because everybody cares, there aren’t many shows like that. Every single person cares about making the best show they can and it really does show.

Robson Green as Geordie Keating in Grantchester

Grantchester S5: Robson Green

Geordie Keating & Will Davenport

Grantchester S5 E1