Another lottery syndicate, another set of winning numbers, and more lives changed by money are in store when the critically-acclaimed drama, The Syndicate, returns for a third series.
Written by BAFTA award winner Kay Mellor, OBE (In the Club, Fat Friends, The Chase), Series 3 of The Syndicate follows the upstairs residents and downstairs staff of Hazelwood Manor, a once-stately home overlooking Scarborough that has seen better days. Way better.
Lord Hazelwood (Anthony Andrews, The King’s Speech, Brideshead Revisited) is fading fast, but his second wife Lady Hazelwood (Alice Krige, Thor: The Dark World, MI-5) seems more concerned with maintaining her lavish lifestyle, while his stepson Spencer (Sam Phillips, In the Flesh, Pete Versus Life) seems intent on spending his inheritance as quickly as possible. What is left of the crumbling estate is disappearing on fast cars, fancy yachts, and living the high life, despite rising debts — all behind the back of the ailing Lord Hazelwood.
Given their finances (or lack thereof), the Hazelwoods have had to seriously reduce their downstairs staff. Of the 30 they had, only five remain: housekeeper Sarah (Cara Theobold, Downton Abbey, Call The Midwife), cleaner Dawn (Elizabeth Berrington, Stella, The Crimson Petal and the White), cook Julie (Melanie Hill, Cilla, Brassed Off), groomsman and odd-jobber Sean (Richard Rankin, The Crimson Field, Silent Witness), and gardener Godfrey (Lenny Henry, Chef!, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban).
Godfrey, high functioning despite the Asperger’s Syndrome, formed the lottery syndicate with his coworkers years ago, as he was convinced he could work out how to win it mathematically. In the series opener, he is certain that he has finally cracked the system and gives Dawn his weekly list of statistically-based winning lottery numbers. A series of mishaps follows and all seems lost, but then it hits them: they have won £14 million! Everyone is ecstatic.
Dawn, pregnant with an unplanned third child, can’t wait to share the good news with husband Andy (Kieran O’Brien, The Last Enemy), son Noah (newcomer Bradley Johnson), and daughter Amy (Endeavour). But then, on the night of the win, Amy suddenly goes missing. As the syndicate moves from downstairs to upstairs, the search for Amy becomes increasingly urgent as the police investigation uncovers clues and raises suspicions.
Said Mellor, who also executive produced and directed this series, “The Syndicate 3 is a completely new series, with a fresh new world and brand new characters. […] I was excited by the idea of setting the syndicate winners amongst the old money of a crumbling stately home, where Lord and Lady Hazelwood’s inherited money is fast running out. It’s a delicious premise which enables me to look at class and social politics within the framework of a drama — ‘downstairs’ becoming instantly wealthier than ‘upstairs’. I’m able to explore how the lack of money and greed have a devastating effect and how a sudden change in fortune can bring about its own problems.”
The Syndicate: Series 3 premieres on BBC One this spring. Viewers in the US can watch the first and second series at Hulu, where the third series should screen later this year.