'Happy Valley' series three releases first-look images hinting at gritty finale

Happy Valley returns with Sarah Lancashire as Catherine Cawood. (BBC/Lookout Point/AMC)
Happy Valley returns with Sarah Lancashire as Catherine Cawood. (BBC/Lookout Point/AMC)

Happy Valley has released some first look images from its long-awaited third and final series, set to return after six years off screen.

The crime thriller about Sergeant Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) seeking vengeance on Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton), the man who raped her daughter Becky and drove her to take her own life, was last on TV in 2016 after launching its debut series in 2014.

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Now, Sally Wainwright's Bafta-winning Happy Valley is set to air its much anticipated final instalment which filmed earlier this year and a first look at pictures from the series hint at the violence and gritty drama to come.

Happy Valley S3: Tommy Lee Royce (JAMES NORTON) (BBC/Lookout Point/AMC/Alex Telfer)
Tommy Lee Royce looks very different in series three. (BBC/Lookout Point/AMC)

Lancashire can be seen as Catherine with blood covering her face while in uniform and attending a police raid, while Tommy (Norton) in his police cell looks very different to the last time viewers saw him.

Images also include Siobhan Finneran who returns as Catherine's sister Clare, and Rhys Connah as Catherine's now teenage grandson Ryan, who Becky gave birth to after being raped.

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Series three, returning to the West Yorkshire community ravaged by drug crime after a long break, sees Catherine discover the remains of a gangland murder victim in a drained reservoir.

Happy Valley S3: Clare Cartwright (SIOBHAN FINNERAN). (BBC/Lookout Point/AMC/Matt Squire)
Siobhan Finneran is back as Catherine's sister, Clare. (BBC/Lookout Point/AMC)

It sparks a chain of events that leads her straight back to her old enemy Tommy, stirring up past trauma.

Ryan, a small child in the first series, is now 16 and still living with Catherine, but he has ideas of his own on what kind of relationship he wants to have with the man Catherine refuses to acknowledge as his father.

The battle with the valley's drug problems continues and with Catherine on the cusp of retirement, she faces the bleak reality that the same issues are going nowhere.

Happy Valley S3: Ryan Cawood (RHYS CONNAH). (BBC/Lookout Point/AMC/Matt Squire)
Ryan is now a teenager. (BBC/Lookout Point/AMC)

Returning cast include Ishia Bennison as Joyce, Shane Zaza as Shaf, Chord Melodic as Sledge, and Mete Dursun as Gorkem.

Happy Valley newcomers Oliver Huntingdon (The Rising), Jack Bandeira (Sex Education), Alec Secareanu (God’s Own Country), and Anthony Flanagan (Gentleman Jack) will also appear in series three.

They join the previously announced new and returning cast members Con O’Neill, George Costigan, Charlie Murphy, Derek Riddell, Karl Davies, Susan Lynch, Rick Warden, Vincent Franklin, Amit Shah, Mark Stanley, and Mollie Winnard.

Happy Valley series three will run for six episodes and will air on BBC One at a later date, with series one and two available on iPlayer.