The third and final series of Ricky Gervais comedy After Life is storming ahead as filming finally gets underway, following a lengthy production delay caused by the pandemic.
The shoot is getting started in Hemel Hempstead, one of the many locations that have been used to create the fictional town of Tambury, in which the comedy is set.
While fans only had to wait around a year to feast their eyes on series two, they’ll have to be a bit more patient before finding out what happens next to struggling widow Tony Johnson, after a downbeat open ending.
This marks the first time that one of Gervais’ television shows has earned a full third series, with the likes of The Office and Extras wrapping up with two outings and a feature-length finale.
We’ve gathered everything you need to know about After Life season three.
After Life season 3 release date
After Life was renewed for a third season less than two weeks after the second was released, when the show shot to the top of Netflix’s internal ranking chart in numerous regions.
In April 2021, Netflix revealed that filming had officially started on the next batch of episodes, posting a picture of an ecstatic Gervais holding a clapperboard outdoors on a remarkably sunny day.
It’s unclear how long filming will go on for, but it could be several months given that pandemic protocols have made television shoots more time-consuming than they were before.
For that reason, RadioTimes.com predicts that we won’t see After Life season three until late 2021 at the earliest.
Unlike his previous comedies The Office, Extras and Derek, which all wrapped up after two series and a special (or pair of specials), Gervais has always been open to the prospect of going further with After Life.
He 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. 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.”
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!
After Life season 3 trailer
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 mere two weeks before launch, so any teaser for the next instalment likely won’t be with us until late 2021 at the earliest.