Set in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, the BAFTA-winning police drama Happy Valley had the nation gripped back in 2014 and 2016 with the story of police sergeant Catherine Cawood and her battle with Tommy Lee Royce. The first season saw her dealing with the kidnap of Ann Gallagher, while the second season saw her dealing with a serial killer as well as a teacher who happens to be Tommy’s lover grooming her grandson. 

Sarah Lancashire in Happy Valley / Image credit: BBC/Alamy

Sarah Lancashire in Happy Valley / Image credit: BBC/Alamy

The intensity is turning up a notch with the upcoming third season, which started filming in January this year. Catherine and Tommy’s paths cross once again, and who knows how it will end this time? Here's what we DO know...

Season 3will be the last

It’s a massive shame but the cast and crew of Happy Valley will be moving on to pastures new once the filming of Season 3 wraps. We know the nature of the story means it can’t go on indefinitely, but we’re still sad to see it go. Sarah Lancashire’s character Catherine Cawood is approaching her retirement from the police force in the upcoming series; and after a seasoned career fighting some of the country’s most savage criminals, we have to say she deserves a break.

Catherine Cawood will be fighting drug lords

While the previous two seasons only really touched on drugs (Tommy Lee Royce having done eight years inside for drug-related crimes, kidnapper Ashley Cowgill being part of a major drug ring, and who can forget Operation Greensleeves and the pill-dispensing ice cream van?), this new season allegedly focuses on a gangland murder linked to the drug supply in the valley. Of course, all roads lead back to Tommy in the end, and we’re anticipating a final face-off between Catherine and Tommy.

Shirley Henderson and James Norton in Happy Valley season 2 / Image credit: BBC/Alamy
Shirley Henderson and James Norton in Happy Valley season 2 / Image credit: BBC/Alamy

It takes place six years on from season two

Season 3 returns in real time with events taking place six years after events in 2016’s season two. Catherine’s rebellious grandson Ryan Cawood is now a 16-year-old, and judging by the rather high opinion he held of his biological father, Tommy Lee Royce, back in season two, we’re not expecting to meet a well-behaved teenager. Mind you, perhaps he knows what his father is now, perhaps he knows what he did to his late mother. Or perhaps that will be something he finds out in the coming season. 

The returning cast members

As well as Sarah Lancashire (Catherine Cawood), James Norton (Tommy Lee Royce) and Rhys Connah (Ryan Cawood), we also see the return of Siobhan Finneran as Catherine’s sister Clare Cartwright, Clare’s love interest Neil Ackroyd played by Con O'Neill, Charlie Murphy as PCSO Ann Gallagher, Karl Davies as Catherine’s son Daniel Cawood, and Derek Riddell as her ex-husband and secret lover Richard Cawood. 

MORE: Happy Valley returning for third and final series

We’re interested to know if Clare, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, has stayed on the wagon, and whether or not she and Neil are still together. We also can’t wait to see how Ann’s career has progressed - she must be at least a PC now if she hasn’t achieved her ambition to be a detective. Also, are Catherine and Richard still having a secret affair or did they decide to get remarried? We so eager to find out!

UPDATE: Filming has finally wrapped

Filming for Happy Valley wrapped on May 6th as Sarah Lancashire and co. filled their final scenes at Dean Clough Mill in Halifax, which means the air date announcement for season three can only be imminently forthcoming. 

"It was a special moment to see Sarah film her final scenes for Happy Valley," said BBC Director-General Tim Davie in a statement. "She has brought to life a brilliant character, created by the exceptional Sally Wainwright."

Refresh your memory with the season two trailer:

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