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After Life season 3 release date: Cast, trailer and latest news on Ricky Gervais Netflix series

Ricky Gervais returns for a third and final season of Netflix comedy series After Life.

Afterlife Season 3
Ray Burmiston / Netflix
Published: Friday, 14th January 2022 at 1:55 pm

After two heart-wrenching seasons on Netflix, it’s hardly surprising that fans have been clamouring for the third run of After Life.

But the arrival of After Life season 3 is bittersweet for Ricky Gervais fans, who will have to say goodbye to Tony Johnson and the rest of the Tanbury gang in season 3, which marks the final instalment of the melodrama series.

However, judging by After Life season 3’s moving trailer, the show will go out with a bang. The new episodes will delve deeper into the story of Gervais’ character, a local journalist named Tony, who is left battling his grief in the wake of his wife Lisa’s death, as well as showing more of Lisa (Kerry Godliman), who recorded videotapes to guide Tony through life ahead of her death.

After Life season 3 might be the last, but there’s still a lot to cover before the show’s finale, including Tony’s potential budding romance with nurse Emma (Ashley Jensen), his unresolved feelings following the death of his father (David Bradley) and, of course, the prospect of Tony allowing himself a happy ending.

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Here’s everything you need to know about After Life season 3 including its release date and latest trailer information.

In the meantime, why not check out RadioTimes.com's After Life season 3 review.

After Life season 3 release date

CONFIRMED: After Life season 3 will be released on Netflix on 14th January 2022 at 8am GMT.

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.

Ricky Gervais confirmed on Twitter that series two drew more viewers in its first week than series one, and the show has now been viewed by 80 million people.

In April 2021, Netflix revealed on Twitter 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.

In May 2021 Netflix released some behind-the-scenes images from filming, teasing the return of Penelope Wilton (Anne), Joe Wilkinson (Pat), Tony Way (Lenny), Jo Hartley (June) and of course dog Anti.

By June, filming had wrapped, with Gervais taking to Twitter to mark the end of the 35-day-shoot.

The second season of After Life wrapped in October 2019 and launched on Netflix six months later.

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."

However, Gervais has signed a multi-year deal with Netflix that includes two more projects following After Life season three - so we may well see the comedian's unique brand of humour return in a brand new sitcom.

After Life season 3 cast

Ricky Gervais blowing an airhorn
Ricky Gervais in After Life season 3 (Netflix) Netflix / Ray Burmiston

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)

Back in July 2020, Gervais told GoldDerby that he wasn't sure if Tony's relationship with Emma would have a happy ending. "That's the tricky bit, really, because he's sort of addicted to grief, as he said, because he knows where he is with it, because hope lets him down too much."

Comedian Joe Wilkinson has also talked of his hopes for a happy ending for Pat and Roxy, amid increasing speculation that the two characters could have a baby.

"I think it might be nice if Pat and Roxy are solid. You know what I mean? If they had a really lovely relationship," Wilkinson told Digital Spy.

He added: "And a lottery win. Yeah, five numbers and a bonus ball – about 200 grand. How about that? That's fair, isn't it?"

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.

After Life Joe Wilkinson
Joe Wilkinson in After Life (Netflix) Netflix

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.

In April 2021, comedian and actor Kate Robbins revealed she'd joined the cast of After Life, though details of her character remain under wraps.

And, of course, we're hoping for lots more of Anti as Tony's dog Brandy!

After Life season 3 trailer

We now finally have a trailer for the third season of After Life.

The beloved Netflix comedy released its first trailer on New Year's Day 2022 and was shared by Ricky Gervais on his Twitter account.

You can watch the emotional clip below, which sees Tony look to the future, praise the heroism of the NHS and also watch a video of wife Lisa.

We're not crying, you're crying!

The description of the trailer reads: "It's the final season of After Life and Tony (Ricky Gervais) is still desperately mourning the loss of his wife, Lisa. Will he ever truly embrace the future if he can't let go of the past? "

After Life season 3 plot

Not a huge amount was known about the season’s plot, but it seemed from the trailer that Tony is looking for a new beginning. Might he finally get a happy ending in the show's finale?

Gervais has also helpfully promised of the new season: “It’s the best one yet and I promise the dog does not die.” Well, thank goodness for that, then.

He gave another hint about what to expect while talking to the press recently, admitting there was one scene involving Tony’s late wife Lisa that never fails to make him cry.

“There’s one scene, I’ve watched it 70 times and it still absolutely chokes me up,” he said. “It’s when Lisa reads the poem in episode six – honestly, I gag.

“It’s such an amazing poem, it’s such an amazing performance and what’s happening while it’s happening. Honestly, that poem, I’ve loved it for years. I’ve always wanted to use it, it’s devastating,” he added.

Read more on After Life:

After Life season 3 is released on Netflix on 14th January 2022.

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Check out our lists of the best series on Netflix and the best movies on Netflix, or see what else is on with our TV Guide.

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