Feeling right at home in a social distancing world, ‘Professor T’ renewed for S4!

Photo courtesy: ITV

There are times in this inexplicable one and done world of British mystery/drama that you can be pleasantly surprised when good telly gets the welcome news that they will live to see another day. It happened recently with All Creatures Great and Small getting the renewal news for not one but two more series and then there is the brilliant Call the Midwife which, at one point, was renewed for three more series at one time.

In the case of Professor T, starring Ben Miller, Frances de la Tour, Juliet Stevenson and Barney White, the series recently received the news that they have been renewed for a 4th series before the 3rd series has seen the light of day. While series 3 has yet to premiere either in the UK or the U.S., producers will only say that series 4 will once again be set predominantly at Cambridge University, and will take place six months after what is described as a “shocking” finale to season 3, with a dangerous crime wave taking place.

Variety does report, however, that Professor T will be taking on “a new musical pursuit”, that romance is in the air for his mother Adelaide, and that the lines between professional and personal become blurred for therapist Helena.

Ben Miller as Professor T and Frances de la Tour as Adelaide Tempest in Professor T. Photo courtesy: ITV

One would think that portraying an eccentric forensic criminologist is hard enough but try portraying an eccentric forensic criminologist with OCD who accidentally becomes an advisor to the police. For Ben Miller, it turns out the Worst Week of My Life, Primeval, Death in Paradise star was able to draw on his own experiences with the mental health condition to portray the brilliant yet socially awkward Professor Jasper Teerlinck in Professor T, which premiered last Sunday on PBS.

I did struggle a lot with OCD, particularly in my 20s,” Miller told Radio Times magazine. “I’m very lucky in that it’s all very manageable now. But there were times where it was unmanageable, as it is for Professor T, so I know how that feels and I know how I dealt with it.” He added: “I’d be very obsessed with numbers and touching things. I was very OCD about doorways and doors. For me, it was a way of mitigating and controlling my anxieties.

Photo courtesy: ITV/PBS/Jonathan Ford

I thought if I touched an object a certain number of times, then bad things won’t happen,” he said. “Of course it doesn’t work – I constantly had to amplify my behaviors to try and reduce my anxiety. There comes a point where the OCD behaviors themselves make the anxiety worse and you enter into a positive feedback loop; it gets out of control. There were crisis points when I decided to seek professional help.

Based on the Belgian series starring Koen De Bouw as Professor T, the British Professor T also delves inside the mind of the title character for a bit of fantasy helping Miller understand his own early struggles. “I’ve found these sequences – where in the Professor’s imagination he doesn’t have OCD and he’s free of all those behaviors – are a great way to show what’s going on inside,” the actor said. “Seeing somebody lining up items on a desk looks pretty innocuous but inside, that person can be a lot more complicated.

Since it’s been a bit since S2 of Professor T has aired on ITV and PBS, here’s a quick look back to catch you up a bit….

For those still waiting for S3 on ITV and on PBS, the third season will see Professor T “banged up in prison”, while the synopsis for the new episodes also says that “with his career on the line he is forced to make a momentous decision”. It’ll be worth the wait knowing that as soon as S3 ends, S4 will waiting in the wings.

In: Drama