Happy Valley is back on our screens on New Years Day — sadly it’s the final season. Cast and creator share their thoughts
Sally Wainwright’s multi-Bafta award winning hit Happy Valley returns to the BBC for its third and final series, starring Sarah Lancashire as Sergeant Catherine Cawood. When Catherine discovers the remains of a gangland murder victim in a drained reservoir, it sparks a chain of events that leads her straight back to Tommy Lee Royce [James Norton]. Her grandson, Ryan [Rhys Connah], is now sixteen and has ideas of his own about the kind of relationship he wants to have with the man Catherine refuses to acknowledge as his father, leaving Catherine’s sister Clare [Siobhan Finneran] caught in the middle. In another part of the valley, a local pharmacist gets in over his head when a neighbour is arrested.
Talking about the show, Sally Wainwright (writer, creator and executive producer) explained why series 3 has taken so long to arrive (six years!):
I waited six years because I wanted to get to a point where Ryan would be old enough to start making choices about whether he wanted to have a relationship with his dad or not. And could he have a relationship with his dad, and how would Catherine feel about that? I really wanted to be able to explore that. It’s been great that we got Rhys back to play Ryan which has been fantastic, and he has done a really lovely job in that. That was always the intention, to have a gap and it has worked out just about right. Just the right period of time because he is now 16, so he can travel places by himself, he can make choices. He can do things behind Catherine’s back. The intention developed through conversations I had with Sarah to make it a three-parter, to make a trilogy. We always said this would be the final season and it is very definitely is the final season.
You can read a lot more in the BBC article, including interviews with James Norton, Siobhan Finneran and Rhys Connah. Happy Valley series three begins at 9pm on 1 January, New Year’s Day, on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.