James Norton has pulled one of the great TV acting tricks of the decade. On PBS’s “Grantchester,” he is gentle clergyman-sleuth Sidney Chambers; at the same time, on Netflix’s “Happy Valley,” he is one of TV’s vilest villains, Tommy Lee Royce. The two performances, equally convincing, were powerful proof of his range.
Norton and PBS have announced that Norton is leaving “Grantchester,” a “Masterpiece” series, after the fourth season, due next year. The actor, currently also starring in AMC’s “McMafia,” is moving on in what appears to be an amicable split: “As excited as I am to be filming a new series of ‘Grantchester,’” Norton said in a statement, “it’s also heartbreaking to be saying goodbye to Sidney Chambers. I’ve loved this experience, and particularly working with such an extraordinary cast and crew.”
Stepping in to fill the gap: Tom Brittney, who’ll play the Reverend Will Davenport, the new resident vicar of the village and the new crime-solving partner to Robson Green’s Geordie Keating. Brittney is best known for his work on “Outlander,” as Lieutenant Jeremy Foster.