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Happy Valley (TV series)

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Genre  Crime drama
Written by  Sally Wainwright
Network  BBC One
8.5/10 IMDb

9/10 TV

Created by  Sally Wainwright
Opening theme  Trouble Town
Writers  Sally Wainwright
Happy Valley (TV series) httpsimagesnasslimagesamazoncomimagesMM

Directed by  Euros LynTim FywellNeasa Hardiman
Starring  Sarah LancashireSiobhan FinneranSteve Pemberton (series 1)Charlie MurphyJames NortonGeorge Costigan
Awards  British Academy Television Award for Best Drama Series
Cast  Sarah Lancashire, James Norton, Siobhan Finneran, Charlie Murphy, George Costigan

Happy valley trailer bbc one

Happy Valley is a British crime drama television series filmed and set in the Calder Valley, West Yorkshire in Northern England. The series, starring Sarah Lancashire and Siobhan Finneran, is written and created by Sally Wainwright, and directed by Wainwright, Euros Lyn, and Tim Fywell. The first series debuted on BBC One on 29 April 2014, and the second series debuted on 9 February 2016. In May 2015, Happy Valley won the BAFTA Award for best Drama series.


Sarah Lancashire initially said that she would not return for a third series, but later confirmed to the news media that she will return. However, no date has been set because Sally Wainwright has previous commitments to work on other projects. "Sally has told us she wants to write another series, which will be the final one. We don't know when it will happen," Sarah Lancashire said in September 2016. Producer Nicola Shindler has confirmed that the series would not air until 2018 at the earliest.

Happy valley series 2 teaser 1 bbc one

Series 1

Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) is a strong-willed police sergeant in West Yorkshire, still coming to terms with the suicide of her teenage daughter, Becky, eight years earlier. Cawood is now divorced from her husband and living with her sister, Clare (Siobhan Finneran), a recovering alcoholic and heroin addict, who is helping her bring up Becky's young son, Ryan (Rhys Connah), the product of rape. Neither Catherine's ex-husband nor their adult son, Daniel, wants anything to do with Ryan. Catherine hears that Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton), the man responsible for the brutal rape that impregnated Becky and drove her to suicide shortly after Ryan was born, is out of prison after serving eight years for drug charges. Catherine soon becomes obsessed with finding Royce, unaware that he is involved in the kidnapping of Ann Gallagher (Charlie Murphy), a plot instigated by Kevin Weatherill (Steve Pemberton) and orchestrated by Ashley Cowgill (Joe Armstrong). Things quickly take a dark turn as the abductors scramble to keep the kidnapping secret, although Catherine is onto them.

Series 2

Eighteen months after the events of the first series, Catherine is back at work and has won the Queen's Police Medal (QPM) for gallantry, for rescuing Ann Gallagher (Charlie Murphy) from Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton), who is serving a life sentence in prison. But when Royce's mother is killed, Catherine finds herself implicated in a string of murders. While trying to prove her innocence, Catherine is tasked with investigating a human trafficking operation linked to the serial killings. Meanwhile, senior HMIT officers Detective Superintendent Andy Shepard (Vincent Franklin) and Detective Inspector Jodie Shackleton (Katherine Kelly) begin to suspect that the supposed fourth victim of the serial killer, Victoria Fleming (Amelia Bullmore), was in fact murdered by someone else. Gradually their investigation starts to lead them towards Victoria's actual killer – police detective, John Wadsworth (Kevin Doyle), whom Fleming had been blackmailing. Catherine's grandson, Ryan, develops a friendship with a new teaching assistant, Miss Wealand (Shirley Henderson), who is secretly a prison groupie infatuated with Royce. Royce, whom the court has forbidden having any contact with Ryan, is using Wealand to try to build a relationship with Ryan and get revenge on Catherine. Ryan increasingly concerns his family by asking questions about his father and even suggests Royce should be forgiven.


  • Sarah Lancashire as Sgt. Catherine Cawood
  • Siobhan Finneran as Clare Cartwright
  • Charlie Murphy as Ann Gallagher
  • James Norton as Tommy Lee Royce
  • George Costigan as Nevison Gallagher
  • Production

    On 22 November 2012, Ben Stephenson announced the commissioning of Happy Valley for BBC One. The programme was written by Sally Wainwright, produced by Karen Lewis, and directed by Euros Lyn, Sally Wainwright, and Tim Fywell.

    Filming began in the Calder Valley in November 2013. Locations in the area included Todmorden, Luddenden, Mytholmroyd, Bradford, Keighley, Sowerby Bridge, Hebden Bridge, and Heptonstall. Huddersfield, Halifax, Bradford, Leeds, and other West Yorkshire cities are mentioned, though not main filming locations. A former West Yorkshire police station was used for some scenes, and additional filming took place at North Light Film Studios at Brookes Mill, Huddersfield.

    The name "Happy Valley" is what local police in the Calder Valley call the area because of its drug problem.

    In the series one premiere episode, Ryan points out to Catherine, who is visiting her daughter Becky's grave in the next row, that visitors have left pens at Sylvia Plath Hughes' grave.

    A second series was commissioned on 18 August 2014. Filming began in August 2015, and the first episode was broadcast on 9 February 2016. The second series was written by Wainwright, produced by Lewis, and directed by Lyn and Wainwright. Catherine's workplace is a former police station in Sowerby Bridge, and her home and local pub (two other main filming locations) are based in Hebden Bridge. The prison scenes were filmed at Oakham Enterprise Park in Rutland, which was Ashwell Prison until its closure.


    The first episode aired on 29 April 2014 at 21:00. It garnered 8.64 million viewers, and it was the second most watched show of the week (commencing 28 April 2014) for BBC One. The BBC reported that the show received an average consolidated audience of 8.21 million viewers, over six episodes, and an additional 8.1 million requests for the show on BBC iPlayer. Radio Times called Happy Valley a "word-of-mouth hit" which "steadily became a success outside the normal audience for the slot and channel."

    After "Episode 1" aired, Ofcom received four complaints under the category "violence and dangerous behaviour", but they did not pursue the matter.

    Reviews from the media have been overwhelmingly positive, and the show has received 100% rating critic review on Rotten Tomatoes. However, some reviewers have criticised the show for its graphic content, especially in "Episode 3" and "Episode 4". The Daily Mail's TV correspondent Alasdair Glennie questioned whether or not the BBC went "too far" in "Episode 4" with the brutal attack on police sergeant Cawood and the murder of one of her officers. The Daily Mail claimed that the BBC had received "15 complaints about ["Episode 4"], which aired between 9pm and 10pm after the watershed, while 45 viewers contacted the [BBC] corporation to say how much they enjoyed the show." Vivienne Pattison, a campaigner for stronger television regulations and a part of Mediawatch-uk, declared that the violence "is part of a worrying trend in TV drama."

    In response to the criticism, Happy Valley's creator-writer, Wainwright, defended the show as "a quality, well-written drama" and stated, "Judging by the amount of email, texts, tweets I've had, I don't think anyone is asking me to apologise." In an interview with Radio Times, Wainwright said the level of violence had been carefully considered and it was done responsibly, by showing the psychological and physical damage suffered by Catherine.

    Other critics have praised the show. Vicky Frost of The Guardian wrote: "To get hung up on the violence of this BBC1 kidnap drama misses the point. It is beautifully written by Sally Wainwright, draws an astonishing performance from Sarah Lancashire—and between them, they have created something truly unmissable." Another Daily Mail TV correspondent, Christopher Stevens, rated "Episode 4" with 5/5 stars, saying that "every instalment has been unmissable" and "BAFTA bosses might as well get next year's trophy inscribed now" for star Sarah Lancashire. Gerard O'Donovan of The Telegraph called Happy Valley "complex, thrilling and brilliantly written and acted", and "one of the best watches of 2014."


    In May 2015, Happy Valley won the BAFTA Award for best Drama series. In 2014, it had won a TV Choice Award for Best New Drama; Sarah Lancashire was named Best Actress at the same time. The series was also voted the best TV programme of 2014 by readers of Radio Times.

    Home media

    BBC Shop released Happy Valley series one on DVD, in regions two and four, on 16 June 2014. The DVD includes two discs, featuring 351 minutes worth of footage, and has an age certificate of 15. All six episodes of the series were released on iTunes, both in standard and high definition.

    On 20 August 2014, the series was further released on Netflix in Canada and the USA, marketed as a "Netflix Original".

    In the summer of 2016 Series 1 of Happy Valley was released on Netflix in the UK and is currently repeated on the channel 'W'.


    Happy Valley (TV series) Wikipedia