‘GRANTCHESTER,’ SERIES FOUR: A SWAN SONG FOR SIDNEY. James Norton says good-bye in his final turn of the popular BBC series. All text © Rissi JC

‘GRANTCHESTER,’ SERIES FOUR: A SWAN SONG FOR SIDNEY

December 16, 2021 3 Comments

After you follow the journey of a favorite character for 3 plus years, and gotten to know them, seeing them leave is a little bit disappointing. However knowing it’s the actors choice versus writer’s deciding to kill them randomly makes it easier to accept. This is the case in this (now) long ago Grantchester, series four departure.

Grantchester, Series Four (2017) BBC TV Series Review

Losing his way isn’t something new to vicar Sidney Chambers (James Norton). In aftermath of saying goodbye to the love of his life, Sidney still doesn’t exactly have his life together. This causes worry to his good friend Geordie (Robson Green), a police man with whom Sidney investigates crimes. During a lecture Sidney attends where an American speaks on the civil rights movement, a man is murdered by an assailant which brings in Geordie.

Additionally Sidney’s stern but caring housekeeper Mrs. Chapman (Tessa Peake-Jones) also worries about him. Meanwhile, Leonard (Al Weaver) encounters his own troubles; the possible new vicar, Will (Tom Brittaney), a man with a checkered past of his own, makes his entrance in Grantchester; and Sidney finds his head turned by someone.

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I’m going to be honest, it’s a bit weird for me to do this write up at this point. It’s been several years since series four of this show aired and yet, here we are. You see, long story short, I did have this written up only for my entire flash drive to malfunction and on it, the review of Grantchester. In my quest to re-write and re-create everything on the drive, this is one forgotten. But recently I’ve been thinking about Sidney’s series four swan song, and I decided to go ahead with these thoughts. Because, let me tell you, I do have thoughts.

‘GRANTCHESTER,’ SERIES FOUR: A SWAN SONG FOR SIDNEY. James Norton says good-bye in his final turn of the popular BBC series. All text © Rissi JC

First things first, I do love Sidney. Broken pieces and all, I always have. I’ve also had a love-hate relationship with his relationship with childhood love, Amanda. However, I came into this fourth year prepared to love the end of Sidney’s story, knowing Amanda’s was through, and hoping that even in the bittersweet, he’d get a proper send off. In many ways, Sidney does receive this, but in more important matters (like the heart), I really think his sendoff is “convenient” and not genuine. Now I’m probably forgetting a timeline (meaning time may have passed between the third and fourth season), but for a man violently in love with someone (and willing to have a ready-made family), the way he decides to “uproot” his life and be with another is just awkward.

That said, I still can appreciate where the writers are coming from. What I do love are the moments between Sidney and Geordie as that sendoff really had to be golden. I think it is, and that’s what, ultimately, really counts. Will, as a new lead character, is good, however I think he’s a bit too similar to Norton’s Sidney. He disappoints and surprises in equal measures the same as his predecessor. However, once I pick the show up again, I do find his story interesting enough to hold my attention. In other words, while this year did have its share of disappointments, I’m still curious and think Grantchester is one of the best British shows.

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

You can find Grantchester, series four digitally on Amazon with a Masterpiece add on or (at publication) with Prime.

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‘GRANTCHESTER,’ SERIES FOUR: A SWAN SONG FOR SIDNEY. James Norton says good-bye in his final turn of the popular BBC series. All text © Rissi JC

Content: one character is homosexual. We see them couple together now and again, and if my memory serves, amidst the sneaking around, there is some hand holding, kisses, and the like. There’s two sex implications; one being a one-night (presumably) stand between a man and woman, and a man sleeps with a woman he likes. There’s some discussion about celibacy. Some “heavier” topics come up like racial things or other possibly touchy topics. The series is likely TV-14.

Photos: PBS / Masterpiece Theatre

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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3 Comments

  • Brittaney B December 17, 2021 at 10:06 AM

    I remember this season. And sadly, I wasn’t too sad to see Sidney go, even though I LIKED him. I felt like his character never really grew. He kept making the same poor choices over and over again and it began to frustrate me. I too, felt like his moving on with a new woman didn’t feel entirely genuine. In fact, it felt like another one of Sidney’s poor choices, not really taking time to get to the root of his unhappiness. Up until this latest season of Grantchester, I have really liked his replacement Will and I’m glad the show hasn’t put as much focus on his romantic relationships as they did Sidney’s.

    • Rissi JC December 20, 2021 at 11:33 PM

      GOSH, yes! Sidney does continue to make the same bad choices. For some reason I always had a soft spot for him, but 100% agree and know what you mean. I feel like when a character is more destructive than not, we *need* to see active change and growth. Well said. I just feel like this relationship wasn’t genuine and felt like a “pretty bow” solution to something that wouldn’t be “real.” I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m a TV (movie) romantic so I would love to see Sidney with someone and happy, but this feels wrong. Guess the good thing is, being off screen now, I can imagine he’s happy. :) I liked what I saw of Will, but chatting with you has made me more aware (Amazon has reminded me that there’s new episodes) that I haven’t watched the more recent ones yet.

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