Last Tango in Halifax writer Sally Wainwright returns to BBC One with new drama series Happy Valley.
The six-part “shocking crime thriller” stars Sarah Lancashire (The Paradise) as police sergeant Catherine Cawood.
Tuesday 29 April 2014, 9pm
“I’m Catherine, by the way! I’m forty-seven, I’m divorced, I live with my sister – who’s a recovering heroin addict – I have two grown-up children. One dead and one who doesn’t speak to me. And a grandson!.”
No nonsense police sergeant Catherine Cawood introduces herself to Liam, a local lad off his head on booze and skunk and is threatening to set himself on fire in a children’s playground. Just another day at the office for Catherine.
Later, Catherine’s ex husband and local journalist Richard probes Catherine about the incident, but the conversation takes a dark turn as he lets slip that convicted drug dealer Tommy Lee Royce has been released from prison. Clearly taken aback, why does the revelation make Catherine’s world come to a standstill?
Kevin Weatherill, an accountant at Nevison Gallagher’s firm, is desperate to get his eldest daughter into a good school. When the idea of a pay rise is dismissed by his boss, Kevin unknowingly starts a chain of shocking events by approaching local drug king-pin Ashley Cowgill with a dark suggestion – to kidnap Nevison’s daughter Ann for a hefty ransom.
As the amateur plan is put into place, Nevison throws a curve ball to Kevin by agreeing to pay for the school fees, as well as offering him the position of temporary manager while he cares for his sick wife, Helen. Stunned and overwhelmed, Kevin rings Ashley to call the whole thing off, but the wheels are already in motion. Ashley no longer needs Kevin, and unlike the cowardly accountant, is prepared to go to any lengths to pull off the plot.
In a panic, Kevin races to the local West Yorkshire police station, where he’s greeted by Catherine. Flustered and nervous, he wants to come clean about his huge mistake before it’s too late. Spooked by her line of questioning, he bolts, leaving Catherine confused and an enormous fallout about to unfold as the staged kidnapping takes a nasty turn.
With Kevin’s brain-child becoming a grim and dangerous reality, Catherine’s world collides with the kidnappers – one of whom is Tommy Lee Royce. Knowing that Tommy is out on her patch, Catherine will not rest until justice prevails, even if it means taking the law into her own hands.
Tuesday 6 May 2014, 9pm
Nevison, in a state of disbelief after his sinister phone call from Ashley, confides in Kevin about Ann’s kidnapping and the details of the ransom demands. It’s more serious than Kevin thought and he soon realises the enormity of the situation he’s created.
Unsure how he’s going to arrange the capital needed, Nevison asks Kevin to find the money within the company and not breathe a word to anyone. Troubling him even more, how is he going to break the devastating news to his sick wife, Helen?
Catherine cautiously tells her sister that she’s convinced she spotted Tommy Lee Royce in a local Chinese. Clare knows Catherine’s still hurting and doesn’t want her to get fixated on him again. There wasn’t enough evidence to convict Tommy of Becky’s rape, but Catherine is determined to punish him for the death of her beloved daughter. Adding to her woes, things with Catherine and her son Daniel become strained as he invites the family round for dinner, all apart from young Ryan. Why does the family want nothing to do with him?
Meanwhile, in the basement of Ashley’s derelict house, an utterly terrified Ann is slumped on a chair after being beaten, bound and gagged. Kidnappers Tommy and Lewis are at loggerheads over Tommy’s brutal and cruel treatment of poor Ann. Tommy storms out in anger, but is soon stopped in his tracks as he spots a copper outside. With Catherine tipped off about his whereabouts, will the game be up for the bungled plot?
Tuesday 13 May 2014, 9pm
There’s an upbeat atmosphere in the air as Catherine and Kirsten share a joke over the radio while the latter is navigating a quiet country lane on police patrol. Neither of them could have imagined the events about to take place, bringing both their worlds crashing down.
A white transit van whizzes past Kirsten, immediately putting her on high alert. She pulls the van over and approaches the young man driving. A panicked Lewis looks instantly suspicious and when she hears muffled sounds coming from inside the van she orders him to open the door.
Parked several metres away, Tommy has witnessed the confrontation from Ann’s Mini and when Kirsten’s back is turned, calmly and calculating he reverses, knocking her to the ground. Stunned, Kirsten reaches for her radio and alerts Catherine, but will she be able to get there in time before Tommy finishes her off?
Fleeing from the scene, Lewis and Tommy hide Ann in an unused caravan at the farm to get her out of sight. Later, Kevin pulls up to see Ashley, pleading with him to keep Ann safe. When Lewis tells him that Tommy brutally ran over a policewoman, he fears things are spiralling out of control. Little does he know that Ann isn’t far away…
Catherine can’t shake the feeling that Tommy is near and returns to the deserted house to take another look. Against police protocol, she breaks in and instantly realises something sinister has happened when she spots a chair with gaffer tape, blood splattered walls and discarded knickers on the floor. But nothing’s been reported, so who is the victim of this disturbing scene?
Tuesday 20 May 2014, 9pm
Still deeply troubled by Kirsten’s death, Catherine is shocked to learn she was run over more than once. The question remains – who could be responsible for her cold-blooded murder?
Catherine’s focus returns to the job in hand as she searches for the owner of the suspicious property in Milton Avenue. The house is traced to Julie Mulligan, wife of Ashley. She is unaware of her husband’s activities and calls him, irate, to warn him Catherine is en route to speak to him. Will Ashley be able to keep his cool now he knows Catherine’s on his case?
Catherine, fixated by the need to discover Tommy’s whereabouts, visits his mother Lynn. An addict, she’s in a state of confusion but claims not to have seen her son. Something about Catherine’s name is familiar and out of the blue she asks if Ryan is Tommy’s son. It’s the truth, but how could she possibly know?
Later, Tommy shows up at Lynn’s house to hide something in the basement and she reveals the secret about Becky’s death and that he’s Ryan’s father. But Tommy doesn’t have long to process the information before Catherine is knocking on the door again. Is Catherine about to come face to face with her past and a sinister crime scene?
Tuesday 27 May 2014, 9pm
Following Tommy’s brutal attack, Catherine is in a critical condition in hospital, with her family waiting anxiously at her bedside. Meanwhile, after a lucky escape thanks to Catherine, Ann is discharged from hospital and reunited with her emotional mother and father.
Ann reveals the details of her kidnapping to the police and Ashley is taken in for questioning. Kevin is arrested. Do their stories add up? Or will this be the end of the line for the calculating pair?
While Catherine is fighting for her life, the police search Tommy’s mother’s house looking for their prime suspect, but there’s no sign of menacing Tommy. Has he escaped?
To the relief of her family, Catherine finally comes round, but she’s devastated to find that Tommy is still on the run. Little does she know Tommy and Lewis are not far away, hiding out in a friend’s flat in the local vicinity.
It’s three weeks before Catherine is out of hospital but soon she’s on the hunt for Tommy once again. But is she prepared for what she’s about to find?
Tuesday 3 June 2014, 9pm
A disguised and weakened Tommy arrive in Hebden Bridge, where he knows his son Ryan lives with Catherine. He breaks into an abandoned narrow boat to use as a hiding place, but how much longer can he go without treatment for his stab wounds?
Meanwhile, at Catherine’s house, Clare wants to lift the tense mood and decides to throw a party for Catherine’s birthday. But the family comes to bitter blows when Daniel reveals a different side of the story regarding his sister Becky. Is Tommy as guilty as Catherine has implied?
Back at work, Catherine’s at the police station when a postman reports an odd smell coming from a local tower block. Catherine instructs Twiggy and Shaf to investigate, but when they arrive they’re confronted with a double murder scene. Who are the victims and, more alarmingly, who is responsible for the horrific crime?
Elsewhere, things aren’t looking good for the kidnappers. Ashley has been placed in a witness protection scheme after trading secrets on a local drug ring and Kevin’s locked up in jail awaiting trial. Will they get away with their sinister plot or finally pay their dues?
When the coast is clear, Tommy approaches Ryan after school and invites him to visit the narrow boat. Ryan’s cautious at first, but this soon turns into curiosity.
Father and son bond and the visits continue, but when Ryan brings a friend along it sends Tommy into a panic. He sends the friend on his way, but when Ryan makes to leave Tommy pulls him back. He’s not going anywhere. Will Catherine be able to stop history repeating itself?
Watch the trailer…
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