Ever since the second series of Happy Valley came to a nerve-wracking climax, there has been much speculation as to whether a third series would be forthcoming. Reports a few days before the finale (read that here) aired suggested that a third series is indeed in the pipeline, which was augmented by showrunner Sally Wainwright herself when she appeared on BBC Breakfast, confirming that she would like to bring it back. However, there have been some seriously mixed messages from the show’s star, Sarah Lancashire, about whether she would be returning.
The series two finale of Happy Valley last night attracted a whopping 7.4million overnight viewers, and set social media alight with its tense climax. It felt like pretty much everyone in the entire country stood up to applaud Sarah Lancashire and the ensemble cast’s jaw-droppingly good performances, while writer Sally Wainwright rightly took the plaudits for the way she mixed brutal violence with heart-warming, quotidian stories of family and friendship. Last week we carried a story saying that there had been news reports suggesting that series three was on its way, and now Wainwright herself has spoken.
So here we are. The end of another gruelling story for Catherine Cawood (the astonishing Sarah Lancashire) saw her edge closer to her and her family’s tormentor – Tommy Lee Royce’s foot soldier Frances – and also thrown into the dénouement of both the serial killer case and the case of John and his wicked ways. It was all to play for.
NB: There are universe-sized spoilers in this review
PLEASE, JUST BLOODY CALM DOWN CRIME DRAMA WORLD. OK? I need to do some actual work here. What is it about yesterday and today? Already we’ve had news from The Bridge (here), Witnesses (here), Bosch (here), Sheridan Smith (here), something from ITV and Red Productions (here), So it has been quite a 24 hours or so, all-in-all. Now one of the other ‘big’ crime dramas has an announcement, coming directly from a Twitter feed purporting to be affiliated with the show’s award-winning star, Sarah Lancashire and a national newspaper this morning. Read on.
With only one episode left we’re starting to enter the final straight of this second series of Happy Valley and storylines began to be tied up, with characters preparing to position themselves for their final showdowns. But before then there was a scene so extraordinary and emotional – which acted as a stunning twist and part of the moving on process – that it had me gaping for a full 10 minutes afterwards.
NB: Much spoiler. Very give-away.
So we’re over the hump and into the home straight with Happy Valley and there are three very definite story strands: the serial killer investigation; the murder of Vicky Fleming and John’s subsequent descent into madness; and Tommy Lee Royce’s revenge plan. It’s all bubbling up quite nicely, really.
The last time we saw Catherine Cawood, her world was falling apart. The re-emergence of Tommy Lee Royce and subsequent confrontation at his mother’s funeral made her superiors question her sanity, while her sister Clare’s spectacular fall off the wagon and her son Daniel’s failing marriage means that her home life is also in chaos. There’s only so much Catherine’s broad shoulders can take.