Marcella season 3 release date | ITV premiere, cast, plot & news

It’s been almost three years since UK viewers last saw Marcella on our television screens, and the wait for answers about that shocking cliffhanger has been unbearable – but fortunately, it’s nearly over.

ITV recently confirmed that the long-awaited third instalment will air in January 2021 – and although that’s a full seven months after viewers across the pond got to stream season three, we’re not the type to bear grudges (unlike most of the perps on Marcella).

The series stars Anna Friel as a police detective who suffers violent blackouts as a result of her dissociative identity disorder, but that doesn’t stop her from going up against some truly twisted killers.

The upcoming third outing for Marcella looks to be a change of pace from what we’ve seen before, taking a deeper dive into her complicated psyche and the devastating trauma therein.

Season three will see the character operating in Belfast as an undercover detective. She has taken on a new identity, under the name of Keira, and has managed to infiltrate the infamous Maguire crime family.

As Marcella investigates their activities, questions are raised about how much of her old self she has left behind. Will her past come back to haunt her once again?

Read on for everything we know so far about Marcella season three.

Marcella season 3 UK release date

After months of radio silence, ITV has finally confirmed when UK viewers can expect Marcella to be back on television: Tuesday 26 January at 9pm on ITV.

Confirmed: Marcella returns to Tuesday 26 January at 9pm on ITV. Watch the whole new series on ITV Hub from Tuesday 26 January. @itvhub

— ITV Press Centre (@itvpresscentre) January 13, 2021

Fans across the pond didn’t have to wait quite so long, as the new season premiered on Netflix internationally from Sunday 14th June 2020 (note: Friel’s tweet incorrectly states 4th June, which she later acknowledged to be a typo).

#Marcella season 3. Coming to @netflix June 4th . UK must wait I am so sorry until September xxx

— Anna Friel (@annafriel) June 9, 2020

It’s been a long journey bringing Marcella season three into the world, as it went into production way back in March 2019 and filmed throughout the spring and summer.

Friel gave fans a peek behind the curtain via her social media channels, including this video which features her two adorable dogs accompanying her to set…

Being driven up a drive way ready for set. Marcella lll, week two nearly done! Have a great weekend all. 💋💋💋

— Anna Friel (@annafriel) April 5, 2019

A later video saw Friel trapped in her trailer on a filming day, as Belfast is besieged by heavy rain and hailstones that effectively throw their schedule into complete disarray – as she describes in her caption, “a producer’s nightmare.”

It’s raining like cats and dogs. Belfast I love ya…. #marcella #itv #netflix how can we shoot in this?? #aproducersnightmare

— Anna Friel (@annafriel) June 19, 2019

Marcella season 3 trailer

Here’s a better quality version of the season three trailer that Friel shared to her Twitter page…


Marcella season 3 cast: Who’s returning?

Anna Friel, who won an International Emmy for her performance in the role, will return as troubled detective Marcella.

She will be joined by Hugo Speer (The Musketeers) who made a brief appearance in the final scenes of season two as Marcella’s undercover handler Frank Young.

Amanda Burton (Waterloo Road) also joins the cast as the matriarch of the Maguire family, Katherine, as well as Aaron McCusker (Bohemian Rhapsody) as Katherine’s son Finn, Kelly Gough (The Fall) as her daughter Stacey and Martin McCann (Death & Nightingales) as Stacey’s husband.

Eugene O’Hare (The Fall) will play local police officer Eddie, with Michael Colgan (X Company) as Rory Maguire, Paul Kennedy (Death & Nightingales) as Lawrence and Glen Wallace (River City) as past acquaintance Matt.

It is not yet known whether the other original cast members – including Ray Panthaki as DI Rav Sangha, Jamie Bamber as DCI Tim Williamson, Sophia Brown as DC LeAnn Hunter and Nicholas Pinnock as Jason Backland – will reprise their roles in the third season.

Marcella season 2 ending explained

The Marcella season two finale saw the life of the tortured detective unravel to devastating effect.


Not only did she have an almighty face-off with the child killer she had been hunting down all season, but as well as managing to save Edward, she also made a shocking discovery about her past.

The detective worked out after hypnotic therapy that, years ago, she had accidentally killed her baby Juliette by shaking her too hard. Racked with guilt, Marcella decided to sign over sole custody of her children to her ex-husband Jason.

She then went to throw herself off a building, but colleague Rav came to the rescue and coaxed her away from the edge. Marcella told him about Juliette and then, out of nowhere, attacked him with a toilet lid and handcuffed him to the edge of a cubicle, before cutting off all her hair and slicing the edge of her mouth with a pair of scissors.

The scene cut to nine days later, and the last time we saw Marcella she was wearing that famous green parka and sleeping rough under a bridge.

What disorder does Marcella have?

Marcella has dissociative identity disorder, which results in her suffering from violent black-outs. Check out our interview with a psychotherapist for more information on the condition.

Marcella will return to ITV in September 2020. If you’re looking for something else to watch, check out our TV Guide.