The second season of Netflix’s After Life ended on an ambiguous note, with Tony (Ricky Gervais) still struggling to cope with his grief even as he was offered a new glimmer of hope.
Is that the end of the story? Or is there more to come from Tony and the eccentric residents of Tambury? Answer: Absolutely! Netflix has confirmed another string of episodes are in development.
Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming third outing for Gervais’s acclaimed series. **CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR ALL SIX EPISODES OF SEASON TWO**
Will there be an After Life season 3 on Netflix?
Yes! Less than two weeks after the second season was released on Netflix, the streaming giant announced they had greenlit a third run.
Because so many of you watched #AfterLife2 so quickly and made it Number 1 again, the nice people at @Netflix have suggested that I get off my fat arse and do another season. This is all your fault. pic.twitter.com/NDD2gGnFXx
The rapid recommission is remarkable considering Cindy Holland – VP of Content Acquisition – previously said she and her colleagues usually wait for 28 days until deciding whether a show has reached its targets.
Season two was announced on 3rd April 2019, a little less than a month after After Life originally launched (on 8th March 2019). The earliest we might expect a season three announcement, then, would be late May 2020.
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Despite wrapping up previous projects like The Office, Extras and Derek after two series and a special (or pair of specials), Ricky Gervais previously said he would make himself available for a third season of After Life – so long as people demand it.
Gervais told RadioTimes.com and other press: “For the first time ever, I would do a series three, because the world’s so rich, I love the characters, I love all the actors in it, I love my character, I love the town, I love the themes… I love the dog!
“So I would do a third, but it’s got to be a real demanded-for encore. I’m not gonna just do it. “
He continued: “I wouldn’t do it for the sake of it. I wouldn’t do it just to get paid, or because they [Netflix] want another three hours on their platform. It’s got to be that people really want more.
“It’s a really daunting task, a third series… so it’s really got to be wanted.”
After Life season 3 release date: When is it out?
Season two landed on Netflix roughly 13 months after the show’s debut run, so it’d be feasible for After Life to launch a third batch of episodes on Netflix by spring 2021.
The coronavirus pandemic and resulting social distancing measures have put a hold on most film and TV production for the time being – that said, After Life season two filming didn’t begin till September 2019 and if season three eyed a similar start date in 2020, it’s possible that the worst of the crisis could already be behind us.
After Life season 3 cast: Who is returning?
You can expect all of your After Life cast favourites to return for any third season, including…
Ricky Gervais (Tony)
Penelope Wilton (Anne)
Ashley Jensen (Emma)
Tom Basden (Matt)
Tony Way (Lenny)
David Earl (Brian)
Joe Wilkinson (“Postman” Pat)
Mandeep Dhillon (Sandy)
Jo Hartley (June)
Roisin Conaty (Roxy)
Diane Morgan (Kath)
Ethan Lawrence (James)
Supporting characters who could return include Tracy Ann Oberman as the no-nonsense Rebecca, Paul Kaye as the deranged psychiatrist, and Colin Hoult as wannabe showbiz superstar Ken.
Season two also introduced Peter Egan as Paul, owner of the Tambury Gazette and a potential love interest for Anne, another character who could potentially return in future episodes.
Gervais has also said that, even as time moves on, Tony’s late wife Lisa (Kerry Godliman) will remain an “integral” part of the series.
“It’s such a rich vein: the wife he’s lost, and all the guilt, and moving on, and her vs. someone else… it’s like, who could compare with this perfect wife?” he said. “She’s never gonna make a mistake… so [it’s] all those things.”
It’s unclear if David Bradley would be part of a third season of After Life after his character, Tony’s father Ray, passed away in season two – though there’s definitely the potential for him to reappear in home video footage, a la Lisa.
And, of course, we’re hoping for lots more of Anti as Tony’s dog Brandy!
It’s early days in the production of the third season, so obviously there’s no trailer as of yet – the season two trailer (see below) dropped a little over two weeks ahead of the season’s launch, so any teaser for the next season likely won’t be with us till early 2021.