The first five minutes of Bridgerton season three have been released – and fans are gagged

Close up of Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton in the first five minutes of Bridgerton season 3

The long wait for the third season of hit Netflix period drama Bridgerton is almost over, with new episodes set to drop tomorrow (May 16).

However, just in case you can’t wait that long, the streaming giant has released the first five minutes of the hotly-anticipated TV show already, so you can whet your appetite while you wait for more.

The episode starts with lots of horse-drawn carriages and waving, as is traditional. Characters are shown leaving their country estates behind for the delights of London – and a new social season.

Yes, it’s time for Francesca Bridgerton (Hannah Dodd) to finally glide onto the ballroom floor.

Lady Whistledown narrates: “As the season begins, the question on everyone’s mind is… which newly-minted debutante will shine the brightest.”

Then there’s the issue of “which gentleman will reveal himself as the prize of the season,” while the camera follows Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) disembarking from a boat. Not long afterwards, we see a lovesick Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) watching him from a large bush as he greets he rest of his family.

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Bridgerton season 3 first five minutes reaction

Bridgerton fans were thrilled with the sneak peek, to say the very least. One person shared a clip, where Benedict explains that Francesca had been playing Mozart’s funeral march on the piano, saying: “Not even five minutes into the first episode and we already have an iconic Benedict Bridgerton line.”

Another fan shared a selection of screenshots, saying: “SO YOURE TELLING ME ALL THIS HAPPENS IN (THE) FIRST FIVE MINUTES OF BRIDGERTON S3 AND IM SUPPOSED TO WAIT OVER 42 HOURS???”

Another added: “First five minutes of s3 and it’s just various shots of Kate and Anthony Bridgerton holding hands. We used to pray for times like these.”

Excitingly, in an interview with Pride, the drama’s new showrunner Jess Brownell revealed that a queer love story is coming our way in season three.

“This is a show about love in its many forms and it’s only right for us to foreground queer love and to tell queer stories,” she said. “I want to see more queer joy on my screens and that was definitely a priority for me when I stepped into the showrunner role.”

The writer refused to be drawn on whether the queer storyline will be introduced through new characters or whether an existing one is about to explore their sexuality.

“How exactly that plays out over this season and the next couple seasons, I can’t say specifically, but I will say I’m excited for fans to see that,” she said.

If you’ve been left desperate for more, don’t worry: the first half of Bridgerton season three arrives on Netflix tomorrow on Netflix (16 May), with part two set to make its debut on 13 June.