First of all, don’t take the words “Happy Valley” at face value. It’s a thriller that unravels with ruthless consequences. Gripping. Terrifying. Outstanding.
First of all, don’t take the words “Happy Valley” at face value. It’s a thriller that unravels with ruthless consequences. Gripping. Terrifying. Outstanding. If I was being asked to sum up the new, original BBC drama then that would be it and those three words should hopefully be enough to make you want to catch up with this epic drama immediately.
No? Let me explain more…
If you, like me, already watch Happy Valley then you will know why it deserves the credit it is receiving. After each episode you are left on a cliffhanger that makes your heart pound as much as a heavy cardio workout does—Sally Wainwright’s emphatic writing coupled with an overall outstanding performance from Sarah Lancashire leaves you on the edge of your seat and craving more.
A journey with questions and barriers
The series follows Sergeant Catherine Cawood (Lancashire), a copper with a good heart and looking to keep the peace in a small town embedded in the stunning Yorkshire valleys which is crippled by a drug problem that appears to be behind everyone wrong-doing she has to deal with.
Although she seems determined and strong willed, it is only concealing some utterly terrible things that have gone on in her life including a divorce and her daughter’s suicide – something she has never got over and this strikes a chord with the audience from the word “go” as Catherine is force to cope with the man she blames for her daughter’s death, Tommy Lee Royce, being released from prison.
Up to this point, the last episode of the series, viewers have been taken on a journey of angst and torment as Catherine panics and starts to doubt her own motives as she tries desperately to bring him to justice for what he has done to her and grandson Ryan’s life, not knowing that Royce is involved in a kidnapping and blackmail orchestrated by a man out of his depth.
The audience are asked to questions morals and greed as these barriers are crossed by accountant Kevin Weatherill, who – in a desperate attempt to provide his daughters with a better education – asks his employer, Nevison Gallagher to give him a much needed pay rise.
However, this isn’t a questions that was provided with the desired response and in an erratic state of anger, Kevin calls on local business man Ashley Cargill to help him plot a kidnap for ransom in an attempt to get money out of Gallagher in a more persuasive manner.
This is a decision that is immediately regretted by Kevin as he is then offered the money by Gallagher, without going to such extremes but once this information is relayed back to Cargill, it’s too late. The offer of £500,000 is more than enough to get him and his accomplices, one of which being Tommy-Lee Royce, fired up for the kidnap of Anne Gallagher.
Not a disappointment
With Nevison and his wife refusing to tell police about what has happened to their daughter – whilst they’re handing over money to her kidnappers, she is subject to horrific abuse and is unwillingly involved in the brutal murder of one of Catherine’s colleagues when the van she is being carried in is involved in a routine stop.
The death of PC McAskill shakes Catherine up and she is determined to find out who did it and why and there is the feeling that something is in the air when Nevison’s wife asks Catherine’s sister for a discreet meeting to talk about something that is troubling her.
The secret of the kidnapping is soon out and Catherine believes that she’s got her man, but upon finding the missing girl and confronting Tommy Lee Royce, the mind inside a psychologically damaged man is presented to the audience with horrific consequences.
As you can probably tell, this isn’t a light-hearted hour of television but despite its darkness it has attracted millions to BBC One at 9pm on Tuesday evenings whilst it’s been on and the final episode promises to be a thriller.
Original dramas by the BBC rarely disappoint and this is no exception. Whilst the episode that was aired on May 27 was a lot more sedate than the rest of the series, don’t expect that to last for very long as the final episode promises to be a thriller.
So, what are you waiting for? Catch up now on BBC iPlayer and get ready for an extraordinary ride full of enthralling twists and turns.
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