When is The Split back on TV? Where to watch Season 3 and what's in store for the Defoe sisters

a collage showing the cast of The Split series 3

Viewers who enjoyed the first two installments of the Nicola-Walker-led show will be pleased to learn that The Split season 3 drops any day now.

A legal drama with a difference is how best to describe BBC's The Split. High-stake divorce cases, messy relationships and secret affairs of the heart have all had audiences hooked with season 1 and 2 of the hit show. And it seems that further heartbreak and head-scratchers are in store for the Defoe sisters in the new season of The Split which returns to screens after a near 3-year hiatus.

The Split was officially crowned the third most watched drama series on iPlayer in 2020, with over 19 million streams. And it's thought that series 3 will attract just as large an audience. Alongside Peaky Blinders season 6, Killing Eve season 4 and the upcoming Everything I Know About Love TV adaptation - the BBC has proven that it remains to be a go-to destination for great British TV drama.

When is The Split back on TV?

The first episode of The Split season 3 will air on Monday 4 April at 9pm, on BBC One. UK viewers will also be able to stream all new episodes of the legal drama on BBC iPlayer from this - after the first episode has gone live.

Those in the US can also look forward to the new season arriving on BBC America and streaming service Sundance Now soon. Though we're still waiting to hear of the season 3 American release date.


Season 3 has been a long time coming for fans, with the season 2 finale airing in February 2020. Filming for the third series began in June 2021 and officially wrapped in September. The BBC gave fans their first glimpse of what's in store for the upcoming season in a trailer, which dropped 21 March.

The Split season 3 synopsis:

The Split season 3 picks up 10 months after the finale of the second season. Continuing to follow the lives of the three Defoe sisters and their mother Ruth, a pivotal storyline in season 3 will be the ongoing divorce proceedings for lead character Hannah - following her affair with colleague and now partner Christie.

As for sisters Rose and Nina, season 2 ended with heartbreak and big life changes in store. Rose found out she had lost her baby. Whilst Nina learned she was expecting a baby girl after a brief fling with comedian Rex Pope. Audiences will be keen to learn the fate of the two younger Defoe sisters this series.

"It's great to be back writing for the Defoe family, and to dive once more into the complications of their lives and those of their clients," show creator Abi Morgan shared.

"In the final series of this bittersweet trilogy, Hannah faces the heartbreak of her own divorce, and the fight to save her family and her marriage. Siblings clash, past mistakes are exposed and hearts are broken as Noble Hale and Defoe notches up more billable hours in the divorce capital of the world."

Cast of The Split:

  • Nicola Walker (Unforgotten, Last Tango in Halifax) returns as Hannah Stern
  • Stephen Mangan (Green Wing, Episodes) returns as Nathan Stern
  • Fiona Button (Grantchester) returns as Rose Defoe
  • Annabel Scholey (Being Human, Medici: Masters of Florence) returns as Nina Defoe
  • Deborah Findlay (Cranford) returns as Ruth Defoe
  • Lara Pulver (Spooks, Sherlock) plays Nathan's new love interest Kate
  • Barry Atsma (The Hitman's Bodyguard, Hector and the Search for Happiness) returns as Christie Carmichael
  • Rudi Dharmalingam (Wakefield) returns as Rose's husband James Cutler
  • Chukwudi Iwuji (Peacemaker, Designated Survivor) returns as 'Zander' Hale, director of law firm Noble & Hale
  • Damien Molony (Brassic, Ripper Street) returns as Zander's husband Tyler Donaghue

Actress Nicola Walker who returns as lead character Hannah Stern has teased what's in store for her character this season:

"Hannah has hit rock bottom, so, for me, it was really interesting to play someone who's got to look at herself in the mirror before she leaves for work every day. And she's beginning to understand what being honest to everyone really means.

"It was fantastic actually, as I like playing people with ordinary human failings," she told Daily Mail's Weekend magazine.

Season 3 also welcomes new character Kate played by Sherlock actress Lara Pulver. The audience get their first glimpse of her in the trailer for the new series. And it certainly suggests that Kate has some form of romantic attachment to Hannah's ex-husband Nathan.

She's been teased as "a leading child psychologist whose arrival adds a whole new layer of complexity to Morgan’s multi-layered examination of divorce and modern marriage".

actress lara pulver in The Split season 3

Credit: BBC

Actors Nicola Walker and Lara Pulver are no strangers to each other, having been co-stars in former BBC drama Spooks. And it's this familiarity between the two that helped when it came to scenes together:

"It was fantastic," Nicola said of their time filming. "And the fact that I knew Lara meant that you could push it a bit harder than doing it with an actress you didn't know. So it was really useful."

"It's incredibly embarrassing that first meeting," she adds, teasing their initial meeting. "It's one of the best first meetings and dinner scenes I've ever read on the page. You feel so humiliated as Hannah."

How many episodes of The Split season 3?

As was the case with the first two seasons, The Split season 3 will have a total of 6 episodes. Each one will run for approximately 60 minutes without adverts.

How many series of The Split are there?

There are three series of BBC drama The Split in total. The upcoming series - which airs in April - marks the third installment. All episodes from the first two seasons are available to watch on BBC iPlayer now.

Season one of The Split first premiered in May 2018, with the second series airing two years later.

Actor Stephen Mangan who plays Hannah's husband Nathan Stern shared how audience response to his character has changed with each series.

"I had people shouting at me in the street when the first series went out: 'How could you cheat on Nicola Walker?'," he joked. There was a lot of anger directed at me. But by the second series there was a lot more sympathy directed at me - people were like 'Oh mate that's really tough'. So it's been a difficult journey."

a close up of Stephen Mangan in a scene from The Split season 3

Credit: BBC

As for season 3, he joked: "I'm not coming out of my house for the next six weeks". Stephen admits that whilst he does "want to shake" Nathan sometimes he has "huge empathy for him". "The whole thing is messy. That's what's interesting to watch," he adds.

Is there a season 4 of The Split?

No, sadly there will be no season 4 of The Split, with the BBC confirming that series three will be the final installment of the show. The broadcaster shared that creator Abi Morgan "is set to conclude proceedings with the most dramatic and heart-breaking series to date, as we watch a divorce lawyer confronted with her own divorce".

Abi - who also makes her directorial debut in the third series - has also previously confirmed that to her the drama series was a three-parter. With the final series focusing on Hannah's divorce. "I always constructed it as a series of 3," she told GoodtoKnow at the press screening.

Actress Nicola Walker added that she's struggling with the idea that seaosn 3 is the last series. "I’m in denial," she said. "I keep thinking we’re going to meet up next year and make another one. I want everyone to enjoy it. It’s such a good story and it has a fantastic ending."

It certainly sounds like season 3 will wrap everything up for the audience. So there'll be no loose ends lingering after the final ever episode.

If you're looking for another legal drama try the Lincoln Lawyer on Netflix.

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Emily Stedman
Features Editor

Emily Stedman is the former Features Editor for GoodTo covering all things TV, entertainment, royal, lifestyle, health and wellbeing. Boasting an encyclopaedic knowledge on all things TV, celebrity and royals, career highlights include working at HELLO! Magazine and as a royal researcher to Diana biographer Andrew Morton on his book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. In her spare time, Emily can be found eating her way around London, swimming at her local Lido or curled up on the sofa binging the next best Netflix show.