When is The Third Day on Sky Atlantic? What’s it about?

The "ground-breaking" new drama from HBO and Sky is led by Jude Law and Naomie Harris, and will feature a special live episode halfway through the season.

The Third Day jude law

Premium broadcasters Sky and HBO have had a fruitful start to their collaborative efforts, bringing the likes of Chernobyl, Catherine the Great and The Young Pope to audiences.

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Now, they’re gearing up for another high profile drama led by Jude Law and Naomie Harris – this time from the mind of Dennis Kelly, who previously wrote Channel 4’s acclaimed drama series Utopia, and co-creator Felix Barrett.

Here’s everything you need to know about The Third Day:

When is The Third Day airing on Sky Atlantic?

The Third Day launched on Tuesday 15th September 2020 on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV, with a new episode every Tuesday.

In addition to that, the Third Day live event will be broadcast on Saturday 3rd October 2020 from 9.30am to 9.30pm on Sky Arts.

The Third Day trailer

You can see Jude Law in a teaser for the drama, below:

A new trailer also reveals the introduction of Naomie Harris as Helen at the start of episode four, as we move into “Winter”.

She can be seen arriving on Osea Island with her two daughters, and defiantly insisting on staying on the island – despite the islanders’ hostility:

What is The Third Day about?

As a work of television drama, this sounds pretty unusual. As Sky explains, this “ground-breaking” series will be “told by three, stand-alone but interconnected stories, not only on screen but also in an innovative live broadcast of an epic theatrical event.”

The six episode series will be split in half to make two distinct chapters, first “Summer” and then “Winter.” But in between them, viewers will have the chance to watch “Autumn” – a live theatrical event which will be broadcast live on Sky Arts and online.

It’s described as a “visceral drama” set on an “alluring and mysterious British island” that will “take viewers into its captivating and distortive world where all is not as it seems.”

If you’re wondering “Where is The Third Day filmed?“, follow the link for all the essential info on the drama’s unique shooting location.

Helen - Naomie Harris The Third Day

How will the broadcast actually work?

It’ll go like this: “Summer” follows Sam (Jude Law) as he travels out to an isolated island off the British coast, where he witnesses the strange customs of the local residents which include rituals that bring his past traumas back to the surface. These three episodes will air weekly from 15th September.

“Isolated from the mainland, Sam is unable to leave the idyllic and dangerously enchanting world he has discovered, where the secretive rituals of its inhabitants bring him to grapple with experiences of loss and trauma hidden in his past through the distorted lens of the present,” we are told.

“As boundaries between fantasy and reality fragment, his quest to unlock the truth leads the islanders to reveal a shocking secret.”

Next comes “Autumn”! And on 3rd October, in an experimental broadcast created by production/theatre company Punchdrunk, we’ll watch The Third Day’s characters and follow the events of a single day in real time.

“Capturing events live and in one continuous take, this cinematic broadcast will invite viewers deeper into the mysterious and suspenseful world of The Third Day, and will blur and distort the lines between what’s real and what’s not,” says Sky.

This special live episode was announced in July 2020, so it seems the producers expect to be able to go ahead with whatever they’re planning for 3rd October – despite the coronavirus pandemic.

And then, in weekly episodes from 6th October, Sky will release the final three episodes as “Winter”. Naomie Harris plays Helen, an outsider who arrives on the island seeking answers. As the lines between fantasy and fact are distorted, Helen and her family “are caught between the island’s splintered forces, which gives rise to a fractious battle to decide its fate.”

Dennis Kelly (Utopia) is on scripting duties while the two parts of the series will be directed by Marc Munden (National Treasure) and Philippa Lowthorpe (Three Girls) respectively. All six episodes are produced by Adrian Sturges.

Who is in the cast of The Third Day?

The Third Day on Sky

Jude Law (The Young Pope) will take on the role of Sam, the lead for the first half of the series, while Naomie Harris (007: No Time To Die) will star in the second half as Helen.

The supporting cast is looking equally robust so far, with Katherine Waterston (Alien: Covenant), Paddy Considine (The Death of Stalin) and Emily Watson (Chernobyl) all set to appear.

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Getting ready for the launch of The Third Day? Check out the best Sky TV deals this month and everything you need to know about NOW TV in our NOW TV guide. Check out what else is on with our TV Guide, or take a look at our new TV shows 2020 page to find out what’s airing this autumn and beyond.