The third season of Sally Wainwright’s crime drama for BBC One, Happy Valley has long been in production. While one reason for the delay is the ongoing COVID-led production shut down, there is more to the story.
For those who don’t know, the BBC Special crime thriller follows Sergeant Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) who is undergoing the trauma of her daughter’s suicide.
Following the tragic event, she leads a team of strong-willed police officers in West Yorkshire to solve cases in the area and also perhaps solve the one closer to home.
Her investigations take her to the man who assaulted her daughter, which is what most likely pushed her to kill herself. However, the assaulter is now part of a bigger and much more secret kidnapping plot, of which she is unaware.
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With an IMDb rating of 8.4 the series delivered as much heartbreak, thrills and laughs throughout its first season as it did in the second one.
According to many, more so in the second one than the first. Which is why fans cannot wait for the third season, and luckily for them, nor can the creator.
On March 16, 2016 – the day after series two’s finale went out on BBC One – Happy Valley’s BAFTA-winning writer Sally Wainwright confirmed that she was open to more stories. (Yes, it has been four years since then! Obama was president when the season 2 ended and quarantine was just another majorly misspelt word in the world.)
What’s going on really?
In mid-2017, producer Nicola Shindler said that there was a possibility it could return the following year. James Norton, who plays Tommy Lee Royce, the man who raped and impregnated Catherine’s daughter Becky, said in July 2019, “I’d love to return to Happy Valley.”
But even as late as December 2019, when China was already hit by the pandemic that was ready to go global soon, Norton still hadn’t heard from Sally about a third season.
Instead, he gave us an important reminder. “I think they’re waiting for the kid [Ryan, Catherine’s grandson] to get a bit older,” he told DigitalSpy in an interview in 2019, December.
Ryan, who is also the son of Tommy Lee Royce, writes a letter to his grandma Catherine at the end of season two.
There is a lot of scope on this storyline, considering we want to see how much of his father’s darker traits Ryan might inherit, especially once he grows up.
So it makes sense for the creators to want for him to grow up a bit and look a teenager for the right impact.
In fact, Sally herself said in an interview with Radio Times that the storyline has been on the cards from day one: “We’re kind of waiting for the little boy to grow up so he’s more of a teenager than a child.”
The story suddenly could become much more layered and potent with this one twist. With such amazing talent, Jane can only expect Sally to be as busy as she is currently.
In fact her busy schedule is also one reason the show has been delayed for so long. She has had her hands full last year with Gentleman Jack’s Two and Last Tango.
The British crime drama was 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.
We hope to have Sally pick up this job even during the pandemic. But no word as yet. Meanwhile, Ryan (played by child actor-soon to be- teenager Rhys) is growing up fast.
Comment below and let us know what you think about Sally picking up the project first thing after the pandemic subsides!