The Third Day (TV series)

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The Third Day
Created by
Country of origin
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes6 (+ 1 special)
Executive producers
  • Benjamin Kračun
  • Ole Birkeland
  • David Chizallet
  • Nicolas Chaudeurge
  • Simon Smith
  • Dan Roberts
  • Luke Dunkley
Running time
  • 57–61 minutes
  • 715 minutes (special)
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseSeptember 14 (2020-09-14) –
October 19, 2020 (2020-10-19)

The Third Day is a folk horror television series created by Felix Barrett and Dennis Kelly for HBO and Sky Atlantic. The series premiered in the United States on 14 September 2020, on HBO, and in the United Kingdom on 15 September 2020, on Sky Atlantic.[1][2][3]


The series chronicles the individual journeys of a man and woman who arrive on a mysterious island at different times.

The production is split into three interconnected parts. The first, "Summer", directed by Marc Munden, follows Sam (played by Jude Law), a man drawn to a mysterious island off the English coast where he encounters a group of islanders set on preserving their traditions at any cost.

The second part of the production, "Autumn", was broadcast in the format of a twelve-hour live event on the island.[4] Described by the producers of the show as a "major immersive theatre event", the live segment of the show aired in one continuous take and is intended to allow followers of The Third Day to "inhabit the story as it happens".[5] It features Jude Law and other members of the series cast.[6] Part 2 also features singer Florence Welch.

The third part of the series, "Winter", directed by Philippa Lowthorpe, follows Helen (played by Naomie Harris), a strong-willed outsider who comes to the island seeking answers but whose arrival precipitates a fractious battle to decide its fate.[6]




  • Stanley Auckland as "Nathan"
  • Will Rogers as Danny
  • Amer Chadha-Patel as the preacher
  • Lauren Byrne as Mya
  • Tom Lawrence as Tomo
  • Anna Calder-Marshall as Margaret
  • George Potts as Alan
  • Hilton McRae as Janny


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
Part 1: Summer[11]
1"Friday – The Father"Marc MundenDennis KellySeptember 14, 2020 (2020-09-14)0.207[12]
A man named Sam drives to the coast near Osea Island to participate in a personal ritual of grief over his son, who was murdered nine years before. His wife calls to tell him that £40,000 is missing from their office, money Sam needs to bribe an official who can help save their business. Sam hears crying in the woods and witnesses a young girl, Epona, attempt suicide by hanging, with the help of a mysterious younger boy. Sam rescues her and drives her across a periodically flooded causeway to Osea, where she asks to be taken to the pub, which is owned by the Martins. After Epona tells Sam there was no boy with her, Sam sees him again on the island, but the boy runs away. Events conspire to prevent Sam from leaving, so Mr Martin invites him to stay the night. That evening, Sam gets drunk with the locals and Jess, an American anthropologist visiting the island for the festival. He then finds the missing £40,000 in his car boot.
2"Saturday – The Son"Marc MundenDennis KellySeptember 21, 2020 (2020-09-21)0.183[13]
Sam and Jess wake up in bed together and realize they had sex when they were drunk the night before. Sam tells Jess about his son Nathan's murder by a Romanian asylum seeker. He finds a drunken old man, Mimir, who has many newspaper clippings about the murder. Masked islanders chase and threaten Sam until Epona's father frightens them away with a shotgun blast and then threatens Sam with the gun, blaming him for the death of Epona's brother. Sam tells Jess that he is experiencing déjà vu on the island. He starts to drive over the causeway but changes his mind and decides to stay. During the festival rehearsal, Jess and Sam get high on LSD. Mrs Martin learns that Larry and his gang are coming after Sam because Larry saw Epona hug and kiss him. Mrs Martin quickly escorts him to a chapel where he can hide, but Larry finds Sam and hits him on the head, knocking him unconscious.
3"Sunday – The Ghost"Marc MundenDennis KellySeptember 28, 2020 (2020-09-28)0.144[14]
After being involuntarily baptised by the Father of the island's bizarre religious cult, Sam learns from Mimir that he is a descendant of Osea's founder, Charrington, and the future Father of Osea. Refusing to take on this 'holy' role, he knocks out Larry, who is about to drown him, and escapes. He tries to leave the island on foot but is trapped by the tide and rescued by Jess, who asks him about the £40,000 she found under their sink. The Martins tell him that his son was kidnapped and is still alive. Sam calls their beliefs crazy and demands to leave the island. He chases the mysterious boy once again, which leads him to the chapel. Epona's dead body lies on the altar, her stomach cut open. Mrs Martin follows him inside with a shotgun and explains that Epona has sacrificed herself to heal Osea. Mrs Martin wants him dead so that Nathan can become the Father of Osea. Sam escapes from her and leaves the island on a boat with Jess. However, she drives the boat back to the dock, revealing that her daughters are being held hostage by the islanders, who are gathered at the pier. The Father welcomes Sam, thanks him, and shoots himself in the head. The crowd cheers, and Sam runs toward the Big House to meet Nathan.
Part 2: Autumn[3]
Special"Autumn"Felix Barrett & Marc MundenFelix Barrett & Kath Duggan & Emily Mytton[a]October 3, 2020 (2020-10-03)[b]
It is the day of the festival "Esus and the Sea", an event which marks the passing into adulthood of the children of the island. A boy is chosen to take "The Path of Esus", a day-long trial that is meant to purify the world of all evil. Osea's new Father, Sam, also undergoes the trial to ensure that he is fit to lead the island and that it accepts him. Jess also attends.
Part 3: Winter[11]
4"Monday – The Mother"Philippa LowthorpeKit de Waal & Dean O'Loughlin and Dennis KellyOctober 5, 2020 (2020-10-05)0.106[15]
Nine months after the events of the first three episodes, a woman named Helen arrives on Osea with her daughters Ellie and Talulah, who is called Lu. Helen has booked a holiday cottage for Ellie's birthday, but she discovers the island in disarray and her booking suspiciously unavailable. Despite being given warnings to leave before the causeway closes, she keeps trying to find a room. She bandages the head of the owner of the only hotel on the island, who has apparently been beaten and then panics when she sees Ellie talking to Larry. After several failed attempts to find accommodations, disturbing encounters with islanders, and the disappearance of their car, Helen and her girls end up at the pub. Weary, afraid, and desperate, Helen demands the Martins find her a place to stay. They explain that Helen's car was towed and give the family dinner. Once settled into their room upstairs, Lu turns on her tablet to play, but Helen takes it away and places it on the bedside table. The tablet's home screen displays a family photo of the two daughters, their mother, and their father: Sam.
5"Tuesday – The Daughter"Philippa LowthorpeKit de Waal & Dean O'Loughlin and Dennis KellyOctober 12, 2020 (2020-10-12)0.167[16]
Helen and her daughters are awakened by a scream. Downstairs is a disputatious crowd of islanders and a pregnant woman in pain: Jess. Helen, a former veterinarian, offers to help. She turns the baby, which is in a transverse position, so that it can be delivered. Helen asks Mr. Martin whether he has seen her husband, Sam, who has disappeared but whom Helen has heard is on the island. Mr, Martin lies, saying he has not seen him. Jess's daughter Kail approaches Ellie and Lu and tells Ellie that she can visit a place where the islanders practice their religion secretly. Jess disappears. Looking for her, Helen finds a drunken Janny, the hotelier whom she previously helped. He mentions having seen Sam, which sends her off to confront Mr. Martin in a rage. The Martins explain that they only wanted to hide his infidelity and that he left three months earlier after telling them he was going back to his wife. As Helen and her daughters are about to drive off the island, they spot Jess walking into the sea. They take her inside a cottage, and Helen helps her give birth to a baby girl. An ecstatic Jess asks Helen to go to the Big House and get Sam so that he can see his daughter. Helen tells her girls to stay with Jess, but Ellie goes off with Kail, who takes her to a cave carved with symbols and tells her about the history of Osea and that the founder, Carrington, was Jack the Ripper. Lu tells Jess that she had a brother named Nathan, whereupon Jess pulls out a knife and prepares to kill Lu, who escapes through a window and runs away.
6"Last Day – The Dark"Philippa LowthorpeDennis KellyOctober 19, 2020 (2020-10-19)0.174[17]
When Helen meets Sam, he tells her what he has been through and that Nathan is still alive. She follows Sam to the Big House only to discover that the boy, who is drawing disturbing pictures, is not Nathan since he is too young and the wrong color. Sam claims that the island is special, that he loves Helen, and that he wants his family together again, but she is furious, calls Sam a parasite, and demands he give her the money he took so that she and her girls can keep their home. Kail tells Ellie that her father is on the island and that her family should leave, but Jess orders their cars burned and the causeway closed. She prepares to take over the island so that her baby will become its leader. Jess's allies start to kill those who side with Sam, the Father of Osea. Jess tells Ellie that the baby is Ellie's sister and Mrs. Martin tells Helen that the man who murdered the real Nathan kidnapped him for the islanders. Mr. Martin is killed, while Jess tries to persuade Ellie that her family must stay on the island. When Ellie meets her parents, Sam apologizes to her and tells her that her brother is alive, infuriating Helen. Jess announces to the islanders that her daughter, named Epona, will be the Mother of Osea and that everyone will be safe, but she has Mrs. Martin killed and Sam and Helen taken to the pub, where Lu is hiding. Sam takes them to the hotel to rescue Ellie and to the chapel to rescue the boy called Nathan, killing their captors. He hands the bag of money over to Helen and tells her to leave with the girls at dawn. Helen does not wait for the causeway to open but leaves in the dark, swimming in icy water and towing the girls in a boat. The three of them make it successfully to the mainland as the morning breaks.


The series was commissioned in June 2019, with the announcement that Jude Law was cast in the lead role. Marc Munden was hired to direct the first three episodes, with Dennis Kelly writing.[18] In July, Katherine Waterston, Paddy Considine and Emily Watson were added to the cast.[19][20] Naomie Harris and John Dagleish were added in August, with Philippa Lowthorpe hired to direct the final three episodes of the series. Kit de Waal and Dean O'Loughlin also joined Kelly to co-write two episodes.[21][22]

The series is set on Osea Island and its causeway. Filming began on the series in July 2019 in the United Kingdom in Essex and Kent.[23] Production visited many locations in Kent for filming, including Fog Signal Station at Dungeness, Allens Farm, Harty Ferry Road near Harty Ferry Inn in Swale, Walpole Bay Tidal Pool, St Clere Estate, Bedgebury National Pinetum Forest, Hever Castle, Grain Coastal Park on the Isle of Grain, Chislehurst Caves and Shellness Beach on the Isle of Sheppey.[24]


The series was initially set to premiere in the United States on HBO on 11 May 2020,[11] and on Sky Atlantic on 12 May 2020.[25] In April 2020, HBO and Sky pulled the series from the schedule due to post-production on the series being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.[26] It was subsequently rescheduled for a 14 September premiere in the U.S., and 15 September in the UK.[3][2]

The first episodes of both the "Summer" and "Winter" parts premiered as part of the Primetime section of the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival on 11 September 2020.[27]

The "Autumn" live event was broadcast live in the UK on Sky Arts and streamed for free via the Sky UK and HBO Facebook pages, on 3 October 2020.[3][6][4]


Critical response

For the miniseries, review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 79% based on 41 reviews, with an average rating of 7.03/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "With a sufficiently arresting atmosphere and captivating performances from stars Jude Law and Naomie Harris, The Third Day is an intriguing—if overly familiar—addition to the folk-horror genre."[28] Metacritic gave the miniseries a weighted average score of 68 out of 100 based on 15 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[29]

U.S. ratings

Viewership and ratings per episode of The Third Day
No. Title Air date Rating
DVR viewers
Total viewers
1 "Friday – The Father" 14 September 2020 0.02 0.207[12] TBD TBD TBD TBD
2 "Saturday – The Son" 21 September 2020 0.02 0.183[13] TBD TBD TBD TBD
3 "Sunday – The Ghost" 28 September 2020 0.04 0.144[14] TBD TBD TBD TBD
4 "Monday – The Mother" 5 October 2020 0.01 0.106[15] TBD TBD TBD TBD
5 "Tuesday – The Daughter" 12 October 2020 0.02 0.167[16] TBD TBD TBD TBD
6 "Last Day – The Dark" 19 October 2020 0.03 0.174[17] TBD TBD TBD TBD


  1. ^ With additional material by Dennis Kelly.
  2. ^ The 12-hour special event aired on Sky Arts in the UK and on Facebook Live worldwide.


  1. ^ Otterson, Joe (August 28, 2019). "Naomie Harris Joins Jude Law in HBO-Sky Limited Series 'Third Day'". Variety. Archived from the original on November 15, 2021. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  2. ^ a b White, Peter (July 22, 2020). "'The Third Day': HBO Sets New Premiere Date For Jude Law & Naomie Harris Interactive Drama". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 22, 2020. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d Bley Griffiths, Eleanor (July 22, 2020). "When is The Third Day on Sky Atlantic? What's it about?". Radio Times. Archived from the original on July 23, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  4. ^ a b HBO (press release) (September 29, 2020). "HBO's "The Third Day" to Feature Live Theatrical Event "Autumn" on Saturday, October 3". The Futon Critic. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  5. ^ Gray, Peter. Archived August 22, 2020, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved May 27, 2020
  6. ^ a b c "The Third Day". Punchdrunk. Archived from the original on August 8, 2020. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
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  8. ^ Sun, Rebecca (February 5, 2020). "CAA Signs 'The Witcher' Star Freya Allan (Exclusive) | Hollywood Reporter". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on August 22, 2020. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  9. ^ "Nico Parker to Star in 'The Third Day' by HBO". BCK Online. September 26, 2019. Archived from the original on August 22, 2020. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  10. ^ "Nico Parker – Curtis Brown". Curtis Brown. Archived from the original on August 22, 2020. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  11. ^ a b c "Limited Series "The Third Day" Debuts May 11, Exclusively on HBO". The Futon Critic. February 12, 2020. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
  12. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (September 15, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 9.14.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on September 16, 2020. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  13. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (September 22, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 9.21.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on September 23, 2020. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  14. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (September 29, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 9.28.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on October 4, 2020. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  15. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (October 6, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 10.5.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on October 7, 2020. Retrieved October 6, 2020.
  16. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (October 13, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 10.12.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on October 14, 2020. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
  17. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (October 20, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 10.19.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on October 22, 2020. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  18. ^ "Jude Law To Star In HBO & Sky Mystery Drama 'The Third Day' From Sky Studios & Plan B Entertainment". Archived from the original on September 10, 2019. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  19. ^ "Katherine Waterston Circling HBO & Sky's Jude Law Mystery Drama 'The Third Day'". Archived from the original on July 12, 2019. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  20. ^ "Katherine Waterston, Paddy Considine, Emily Watson board Sky/HBO series 'The Third Day' (exclusive)". Archived from the original on July 13, 2019. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  21. ^ "Naomie Harris Joins HBO & Sky Mystery Drama 'The Third Day'". Archived from the original on August 28, 2019. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  22. ^ "'The Third Day': 'Mary Poppins Returns' Star John Dagleish Joins HBO & Sky Mystery Drama". Archived from the original on August 29, 2019. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  23. ^ "Jude Law starts filming The Third Day". Archived from the original on July 25, 2019. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  24. ^ Kent Film Office. "Kent Film Office The Third Day Article". Archived from the original on July 28, 2021. Retrieved August 22, 2021.
  25. ^ "Sky launches trailer for The Third Day". Advanced Television. March 9, 2020. Archived from the original on July 23, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  26. ^ White, Peter (April 3, 2020). "'The Third Day': HBO & Sky Move Immersive Drama To Fall Due To COVID-19 Crisis". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 14, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
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  29. ^ "The Third Days: Season 1". Metacritic. Archived from the original on September 13, 2020. Retrieved October 12, 2020.

External links