The main downside to the on-demand revolution is the need for more. When you have the luxury of every episode being readily available, the last hour is like a break-up. Such is the case with the Shondaland period drama Bridgerton, with season two concluding happily as former enemies Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma finally tied the knot.
That finale only refuelled the need for more, with the recent spin-off Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story proving a temporary and superior substitute. Thankfully, Netflix has provided a taste of what's to come in season three – including new first-look photos, unveiled at the platform's recent TUDUM event. Here’s everything we know.
Luke Newton and Nicola Coughlan as Colin and Penelope ('Polin') in Bridgerton, season 3. Photo: Netflix
What’s the Bridgerton, season 3 plot?
Whereas seasons one and two adapted the first two volumes in Julia Quinn’s novel series – The Duke & I and The Viscount Who Loved Me – season three bypasses the third book (An Offer from a Gentleman) and moves straight to the fourth (Romancing Mr Bridgerton). But it’s for a good reason: Romancing Mr Bridgerton focuses on Penelope Featherington and her unrequited love, Colin Bridgerton, anointed as 'Polin' by fans. They've been a will-they-won't-they since season one.
In season three, Penelope abandons her crush on Colin after overhearing his hurtful comments at the end of season two. She decides, instead, to focus her energy on bagging a husband. The man in question must provide Pen with enough independence to continue her double life as the elusive and epistolary Lady Whistledown, writing secretly about the ton. But when she tries to court potential lovers, her lack of self-confidence scuppers her chances.
Luke Newton in Bridgerton, season 3. Photo: Netflix
Meanwhile, Colin has returned from his travels with – according to the Netflix press release – a 'new look’ and a ‘serious sense of swagger’ (Colin? Really?). However, that swagger is frosted by Penelope’s cold shoulder. Eager to mend their friendship, Colin mentors Pen to find her confidence as well as a decent husband. But when his advice works, he wonders if his feelings for her reach beyond friendship.
Jess Brownell (Inventing Anna) replaces Chris Van Dusen as showrunner.
Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton, season 3. Photo: Netflix
Who’s in the Bridgerton, season 3 cast?
All the regular cast are scheduled to return. This includes Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington, Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton, Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton, Simone Ashley as Kate Sharma, Claudia Jessie as Eloise Bridgerton, Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton, Adjoa Andoh as Agatha Danbury and, of course, Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte. Phoebe Dynevor is not returning to play Daphne, whose relationship with Simon Bassett, the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page) was the focus of season one.
There are also some newbies arriving in season three. Daniel Francis (Small Axe) plays Marcus Anderson, a man full of attractive charisma. Sam Phillips (The Crown) plays Lord Debling, ‘a genial lord with unusual interests’. And James Phoon (Wrecked) plays Harry Dankworth, an unintelligent man with ‘serious good looks'.
Hannah Dodd (Anatomy of a Scandal) is also joining the cast, replacing Ruby Stokes in the role of Francesca Bridgerton – a character described as ‘a bit of a mystery within her chatty, extroverted family’.
Hannah Dodd is playing Francesca Bridgerton for season 3. Photo: Michael Shelford/Netflix
What’s the Bridgerton, season 3 release date?
No confirmations yet. Season two dropped in spring 2022, but that gap was filled this year by Queen Charlotte. Are they returning to a Christmas-time release, as for season one? Whatever the date, you can count on a ravenous fanbase.
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