When the BBC Media Centre broke the following news on 27th August 2014;
Both Father Brown and WPC 56 returns for a third series. A Halloween ghost story, a Christmas wedding, the arrival of a new nurse and farewell to some familiar faces, tune into Doctors this autumn on BBC One to find out more.
WPC56 will – tx BBC One late Autumn – 10 x 45 mins. Produced by BBC Birmingham
A whole TEN episodes, that was unexpected, especially as series one and two only had 5 x 45 mins episodes. It certainly seemed that the daytime show was set for even greater exposure, and rightly so. However, just under one month later a star of the show confirmed that the 10 episode announcement was likely to be a mistake. In a tweet, James Barriscale (Sgt Swift) doubted the release by commenting; “not unless they’re 20 mins eps!”
A press release from Endemol Distribution, confirms that there will be just FIVE new episodes for series three, but it also states that they will be one hour long (Series one and two episodes were only 45 minutes long).
Here is the series three synopsis from that release;
It’s 1956 and fresh faced WPC Annie Taylor (23) is the one and only female officer in the Brinford Police. Trailblazer WPC Gina Dawson has now moved on to pastures new in the Met, leaving Annie to walk the very same beat, but with a rhythm all of her own. Hailing from a respected police family this way of life is in Annie’s blood, but as the first woman amongst them to join up she has big shoes to fill, not least of all her father’s. Annie is determined to be the best policewoman she can be, and with the same old attitudes to contend with at work and at home, it’ll be an uphill struggle. But Annie Taylor is gutsy and tenacious; she’s never given up on anything in her life, and she’s not about to start now.
So who will be returning for series three?
Filming on series three commenced on Sunday 19th October 2014 and some of the cast have already announced their involvement.
An appearance from Jennie Jacques is now looking very unlikely (unless in a flashback or in brief cameo role). Jennie has been exceptionally busy in 2014, first with Vikings;
and then on September 17th Jennie revealed her next project would be The Delivery Man for ITV;
Coming to the end if filming Vikings soon, next adventure will be shooting ITV comedy The Delivery Man! Exciting stuff! — Jennie Jacques (@JennieJacques1) September 17, 2014
So, with WPC Dawson heading to the Met, we will be seeing a new WPC on the beat in Brinford and she will be played by Claudia Jessie, revealed in this tweet from her agent.
At the end of week three filming Liam Jeavons (PC Tommy Perkins) posted a few pictures on his Facebook page and we finally got a look at the new WPC.
You can catch a glimpse of Claudia, as the nurse’s daughter, in the new Boots Christmas 2014 Advert
Confirmed – Liam Jeavons reprises his role as the shy PC Tommy Perkins
Initially heavily hinted – James Barricale will return as Sgt John Swift, unless he normally wears 1959 cardigans!
and then later confirmed
Confirmed – Rachel Leskovac returns as bubbly station secretary Susie Nightingale
So Susie, PC Perkins and Sgt Swift are back, as confirmed by this picture from Liam Jeavons on Twitter, but who else will we see?
Confirmed – Charlie De’ath (Sgt Sidney Fenton)
Charlie was last seen on our screens as a land agent in the BBC series Our Zoo, and it now seems that he will reprise his character from series one and two after his agents confirmed his involvement on their website.
Confirmed – John Bowler (Chief Superintendent Arthur Coulson) Visible on set in this series three filming image;
Confirmed – London Talent Agency, Cole Kitchenn have confirmed Daniel Brocklebank (Carl Saunders) will return
Daniel is currently dividing his time between the Weatherfield cobbles of Coronation Street and the 1950s streets of Brinford and was confirmed as being back on the WPC56 set in November in this photo from Liam Jeavons
Highly Likely – Mark Healey (Chief Inspector Briggs)
With confirmation that Daniel Brocklebank will reprise the character of Carl Saunders it does seem very likely we’ll see Mark Healey so they can pick up their storyline from series two.
Confirmed – Susannah Doyle (June Sawyer)
Susannah was a series regular in ‘Drop The Dead Donkey’ where she played, the not as cheerful as she sounds, PA Joy Merryweather. Susannah was last seen on the small screen in the 2012 ‘Outnumbered’ Christmas special, where she played Tatiana.
Confirmed – Joanna Higson (Vicky Hall)
Committed to the show until December, joining the cast in the role of Vicky Hall. Joanna has previously appeared in Shameless, Holby City and Doctors.
Confirmed – Adam Lawrence (Marty Havers)
A graduate of Birmingham School of Acting (BSA), fresh from his role as Polly Gray’s lover in the 1920s drama Peaky Blinders, jumps forward 30-odd years in time to play Marty Havers.
Confirmed – Melanie Kilburn (Lydia Taylor)
Melanie is certainly no stranger to a police drama. She has previously appeared in Juliet Bravo, Heartbeat, The Bill, Holby Blue, Lewis, DCI Banks and Law & Order:UK, so she should be quite at home in Brinford in a role quoted to be ‘Semi Regular.’
Confirmed – Amy Shepherd (Helen Reilly)
Amy graduated with a BA (Hons) Acting from ALRA: North (The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts) in 2014 and this is Amy’s first TV role. Amy is a finalist in Monologue Slam at Birmingham Rep on 5th November 2014.
Still a bit shocked but extremely excited that my first professional acting job is for a BBC drama!! 🎭
— Amy Shepherd (@AmyShepherd93) October 15, 2014
Casting Call Pro gave a hint to one series three storyline when they reported that Diane Ellis will play a Beauty Pageant Guest.
Out – Ben Turner (DI Max Harper)
Currently touring in ‘The Kite Runner‘, which runs until 22nd November. Due to his current commitment to his theatre tour, Ben Turner will not be available until late November, which will rule him out of a major role in series three. See comment #1 below
On 9th October 2014, Moseley School confirmed on Twitter they will be one of the 1950s locations used for series 3
— Moseley School (@MoseleySch) October 9, 2014
The cast and crew completed a shoot at Chateau Impney, Droitwich on 30th October 2014.
During the first week in November series three scenes were filmed at the Black Country Museum, Dudley and in an old factory unit in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.
No location for this scene, but sounds quite exciting;
I got very excited on set today as we were using a drone cam! It flew!! Before you point it out I realise that I’m a total tech film geek..
— Daniel Brocklebank (@Dan_Brocklebank) November 11, 2014
When I hear any news I’ll update this post, so watch this space.