Marcella season 3: Cast, plot recap and release date for the twisted ITV drama

Anna Friel is back as the troubled police detective - find out all you need to know about Marcella season 3.

By Becky Gamester-Newton Published: 20 January 2021 - 12.32pm
ITV Anna Friel stars in Marcella

Nearly three years after it was last on our TV screens, Marcella is back.

Starring Anna Friel as Marcella Backland, the police detective who suffers violent blackouts because of her dissociative identity disorder, the show is one of the most dark and twisted crime dramas out there.

Season 3 promises to take a closer look at her trauma – and it will take place in a new location, as Marcella goes undercover in Belfast.

Find out more about the new season as Marcella returns to ITV.

How did season 2 end?

The finale revealed that Jane Colletti – the mother of Marcella’s son’s girlfriend – was behind the murder of 17 children.

It was also revealed that Marcella accidentally suffocated and killed her own baby daughter. When she discovered what she had done during a session with her therapist, she had a breakdown and attacked colleague Rav after opening up about her secret – even though he had saved her from jumping off the police station roof.

We last saw Marcella sleeping rough under a tunnel, and being approached to come and work undercover for the police.

What is Marcella season 3 about?

This season sees Marcella start a new life in Belfast as an undercover detective. She has taken on the identity of Keira and has infiltrated the infamous Maguire family.

Her quest for the truth puts her in danger, and how much of the old Marcella has she really left behind?

How to watch Marcella season 3

Marcella returns to ITV at 9pm on Tuesday, January 26. The whole series will then be available to watch on BritBox.

Watch Marcella seasons 1 and 2 on BritBox.

How many episodes are there?

There are eight episodes of season 3 – all of which are available to watch on BritBox after the first episode airs on ITV.

Where was Marcella filmed?

The series was filmed entirely on location in and around Belfast.

Amanda Burton as Katherine, Aaron McCusker as Finn and Michael Colgan as Rory Buccaneer Media/ITV

Amanda Burton, who joins the series as Katherine Maguire, loved filming in the area.

She said: “I spent a lot of time in a beautiful house that was Katherine’s home. It was wonderful because we were right in the middle of the gorgeous countryside in this rather enormous house. There was actually a llama born one morning as we walked past one of the paddocks and that was really exciting. We were all very keen to see how the llama did and, safe to say, it was flourishing by the time we left.

“I equally loved being out on the streets… I truly love Belfast and I’ve got to know it in a different way to than I did previously. Whenever I had a day off I’d walk around the city, chatting to people and soaking up the vibes of the place.”

Who’s in the cast?

Marcella Backland – Anna Friel

Anna Friel as Marcella Backland Buccaneer Media/ITV

Anna Friel returns to the title role as the deeply troubled, unrelenting detective. At the end of season two, she effectively wanted to erase herself – and returns under an undercover persona, Keira Devlin. Keira’s backstory is that she was in the police in Manchester, working her way up to detective. She was discovered to be a corrupt officer and moved back to Northern Ireland, where she used to visit her grandparents when she was younger.

DCI Rav Sangha – Ray Panthaki

Ray Panthaki as Rav Sangha Buccaneer Media/ITV

Rav has been promoted and is a loyal, committed officer who goes by the book.

His now-strong relationship with Marcella was shown at the end of season 2, when she nearly confessed to him that she killed her daughter Juliet.

Frank Young – Hugo Speer

Hugo Speer as Frank Young Buccaneer Media/ITV

We briefly saw Frank in the final scenes of series two. He was sent to find Marcella after her DNA was found at a house fire in London, because she swapped her DNA with a homeless person in series one. Marcella is technically deceased – and is therefore valuable to the police who want to send her undercover.

Katherine Maguire - Amanda Burton

Amanda Burton as Katherine Maguire Buccaneer Media/ITV

The Waterloo Road and Silent Witness star takes on the role of Katherine, the matriarch of the Maguire family. Having grown up on the estates, she tries to help the community by having a stake in charitable and social enterprises - but this masks her true ways.

Her late husband ran a criminal enterprise with paramilitary links in the 90s  and while she steered it to a legitimate operation, she leaned on the contacts she and her husband had developed in the underworld.

Finn Maguire - Aaron McCusker

Aaron McCusker as Finn Maguire Buccaneer Media/ITV

Finn is the middle Maguire child and acts as the business’s CEO. His mother is unimpressed that he is yet to provide an heir to the family business, and Finn is almost self-loathing as a result.

Rory Maguire – Michael Colgan

Rory is a reclusive germaphobe and his nickname Raw Hands comes from how often he washes his hands, leaving them red raw.

He is the family lawyer, and has a great mind and a photographic memory.

Stacey Barrett - Kelly Gough

Kelly Gough as Stacey and Martin McCann as Bobby Buccaneer Media/ITV

The youngest daughter of the Maguire family, Stacey is pregnant with a girl – a source of pride for her mother, but slight resentment from her brothers because the child’s father is Bobby Barrett.

Bobby Barrett – Martin McCann

Marrying into the Maguire family has given Bobby social status beyond what he could ever have imagined. However, he lacks the smart character that a Maguire is born with and he isn’t cut out for the position he’s found himself in.

Lawrence Corrigan – Paul Kennedy

Anna Friel as Marcella Backland and Paul Kennedy as Lawrence Buccaneer Media/ITV

Lawrence has worked as the Maguires’ accountant for several years and is Marcella’s way into the family. He is in a relationship with Marcella and sees a potential future with her.

Will there be a season 4?

Probably not - the show’s creator, Hans Rosenfeldt, revealed to the Express that the intention was to finish after season 3.

He said: “When we got to series 2, we thought one more would be great because then we could wrap it up and bring in home.

“So we hoped for a series 3 when we ended series 2 - but we’ve always - or at least since series 2 - always thought that we should do three. It should be a trilogy but then we’re done.

“There is an ending to it in the last episode of series 3.”

 

Marcella returns to ITV at 9pm on Tuesday, January 26 – after which all eight episodes will be available on BritBox.

Marcella seasons 1 and 2 are available on BritBox now.

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