Happy Valley season 3: cast with Sarah Lancashire and James Norton, what time does it start, and how to watch

The final episode of Happy Valley airs on BBC One on 5 February at 9pm

Happy Valley returns for its final eposide tonight, 5 February, with police officer Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) once again confronting the troubling case of Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton).

The show, which is set in the Yorkshire borough of Calderdale, won creator Sally Wainwright BAFTA awards for best drama series and best writing. When the series last aired, in 2016, it was watched by 9.8 million viewers.

Here’s everything you need to know about Happy Valley season three.

What is Happy Valley season 3 about?

Season three follows Catherine - still battling the seemingly never-ending problem of drugs in the valley and those who supply them, now on the cusp of retirement - after she discovers the remains of a gangland murder victim in a drained reservoir. The discovery leads her straight back to Tommy Lee Royce.

Grandson, Ryan (Rhys Connah), is now 16 and has ideas of his own about the kind of relationship he wants to have with the man Catherine refuses to acknowledge as his father, leaving Catherine’s sister Clare (Siobhan Finneran) caught in the middle. In another part of the valley, a local pharmacist gets in over his head when a neighbour is arrested.

Throughout the series, Cawood has been brought into contact with her daughter’s rapist several times and the pair have an immense hatred for each other. As she attempts to solve the murder case, she also struggles with protecting her grandson, who wants to have a closer relationship with his father.

Who stars in Happy Valley season three?

Catherine Cawood (SARAH LANCASHIRE) Picture: BBC/Lookout Point/AMC/Matt SquireCatherine Cawood (SARAH LANCASHIRE) Picture: BBC/Lookout Point/AMC/Matt Squire
Catherine Cawood (SARAH LANCASHIRE) Picture: BBC/Lookout Point/AMC/Matt Squire

Lancashire will return as Sergeant Catherine Carwood for the final chapter of the Happy Valley story. On the announcement of the new series, Lancashire said: “It’s time to let the dog see the rabbit.” James Norton will return as murderer and sex-offender Tommy Lee Royce, and Siobhan Finneran will return as Catherine’s sister, Claire.

Norton said: “To take on Tommy one final time is a wonderful and daunting privilege, and something I’ve been looking forward to since we wrapped the last series, 6 years ago. I’m so excited to be working with the insanely talented Sally and Sarah again. Thinking we should all go on one last barge holiday, for old times’ sake.”

New additions to the cast include Oliver Huntingdon (The Rising), Jack Bandeira (Sex Education), Alec Secareanu (God’s Own Country), and Anthony Flanagan (Gentleman Jack), while returning cast include Ishia Bennison as Joyce, Shane Zaza as Shaf, Chord Melodic as Sledge, and Mete Dursun as Gorkem.

Is there a trailer?

Yes, there is! You can watch it right here. The brief first-look teaser for the new episodes has also been released, featuring glimpses of Lancashire as Sergeant Cawood again and James Norton as her nemesis Tommy Lee Royce.

When will Happy Valley season 3 be released?

Filming for the third and final season took place in early 2022, and now the award-winning drama will return for its third and final season on New Year’s Day (Sunday 1st January) 2023 at 9pm on BBC One.

All six episodes will be available on BBC iPlayer as a boxset immediately, though they’ll also continue to air on BBC One weekly.

How many episodes will be in Happy Valley season 3?

There will be six episodes in Happy Valley’s third series, each of which are going to be around an hour long.

What happens in the Happy Valley season 3 finale?

The official synopsis for the final episode states: “Catherine works her final shift, when scores are settled for good, while grandson Ryan faces a moral dilemma. The conclusion of Sally Wainwright’s gripping drama about a Yorkshire police sergeant tormented by the ghosts of the past, starring Sarah Lancashire.”

The penultimate episode of the season saw Tommy asking Darius for a gun, and it looks like he’s planning to kill Catherine on the eve of her retirement. Series creator Sally Wainwright previously teased a “very big face-to-face showdown” involving Tommy and Catherine and that is likely to provide the main thrust of the finale.

Several burning questions will need to be answered including what the future holds for Tommy and Catherine, and if both of them will live to see it. Additionally, someone is going to take the fall for the murder of Joanna Hepworth, and Ryan will finally have to decide what kind of relationship he wants with his father.

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