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Grantchester viewers in 'shock' over devastating ending to series 8 premiere

Will Davenport is set towards a dark path following a huge cliffhanger ending

Tom Brittney and Robson Green as Will Davenport and Geordie Keating in Grantchester © ITV
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
January 12, 2024
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Grantchester fans have been eagerly waiting for the return of crime-fighting buddies Will Davenport and Geordie Keating following the end of series seven. After an almost two-year gap between seasons, the beloved ITV show finally returned to our screens on Thursday night – and it's safe to say the detective drama is back with a bang. 

Series eight opened with a time jump to 1961, which sees Will [Tom Brittney] a happily married man following his wedding to Bonnie [Charlotte Ritchie] in the series seven finale, while Geordie [Robson Green] finds contentment in his marriage to Cathy [Kacey Ainsworth]. 

WATCH: Will is set down a dark path in Grantchester series 8

However, life is never simple in Grantchester for long, and things took a devastating turn for Will at the end of the episode, leaving viewers shocked. 

Warning! Spoilers ahead.

In the episode, Will clashed with his wife Bonnie over her decision to return to her parents' house after the news that her mother had collapsed following a stroke. 

Tom Brittney and Charlotte Ritchie in Grantchester© ITV
Will and Bonnie clash over her decision to leave for her parents' house

While Will had opposed the idea since Bonnie is seven months pregnant, his wife insisted. "Yes, pregnant," she said. "Not a porcelain doll. Stop vicar-ing me."

After Bonnie left the village in a taxi, Will took his motorbike out for a ride, despite previously deciding to put it away for a while following a minor crash earlier in the episode. 

It was a decision Will would soon come to regret, however. 

While out on his bike, the vicar turned a corner and crashed into a man who had stepped into the road. 

TOM BRITTANY Will Davenport in Grantchester© ITV
Will collides with a pedestrian in a cliffhanger ending

While Will was left unscathed, he rushed to the man to find him unconscious on the ground. As he checked for a pulse, he pleaded with the man to wake up, but no joy. 

Speaking about Will's reaction to the accident ahead of series seven, actor Tom said: "Everything he's worked so hard for is gone just like that. It just destroys the way Will thinks of himself, because this action, whether it was an accident or on purpose, in the eyes of God and everyone else, he believes it's unforgivable, and it really sets him down a dark path."

Tom Brittney as Will Davenport in Grantchester© Courtesy of Kudos and MASTERPIECE
Will is 'set down a dark path'

READ: Grantchester: who is new lead Rishi Nair? Everything to know

MORE: Grantchester stars Robson Green and Tom Brittney's close friendship explored

Tom went on to explain how the crash leads to a crisis of faith for Will in the coming episodes. "Now that this thing has happened, he's questioning whether God or anyone can ever love him again," he said. "He just shuts them out and it pushes him further and further away from everyone to the point where we don't know if he's ever coming back."

ROBSON GREEN as Geordie Keating and TOM BRITTANY Will Davenport in Grantchester 

Will suffers a crisis of faith in the coming episodes

Viewers who tuned into the opening episode were left shocked by the cliffhanger ending and took to social media. One person penned: "Oh my god no!!! What a shock!!! Breathe, breathe!!!!" while another added: "It doesn't look good for Will next week!"

A third person wrote: "You can't leave it like that.. you mean I have to wait a week to find out what happens," while another added: "I AUDIBLY GASPED."

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