Fans of the BBC One series Happy Valley are preparing for its dramatic conclusion this weekend with the season 3 finale.
The Yorkshire based crime drama returned to our screens on New Year’s Day following a seven-year hiatus. Starring Sarah Lancashire as sergeant Catherine Cawood, the series follows her as she deals with her nemesis Tommy, whom she blames for the death of her daughter and his child, her grandson, who is uncertain about the relationship that he wants to have with his father.
Fans have already been asking if there will be a fourth season of the popular crime drama, with the series already having two Bafta awards under its belt. But who wrote Happy Valley? Here’s everything you need to know.
Who wrote Happy Valley?
Happy Valley was written by Sally Wainwright, the TV writer has written a number of successful TV shows including Unforgiven, The Last Tango in Halifax and Gentleman Jack.
Reported by Telegraph & Argus, she was inspired to write Happy Valley after watching a documentary by Jez Lewis called Shed Your Tears and Walk Away. Wainwright said: “It was about drug and alcohol problems, specifically in Hebden Bridge. The other influence was that, when I was a kid, there was a series called Juliet Bravo, which I really, really liked. It was filmed in Todmorden. It was about a female police inspector and it’s kind of in my top 10 TV shows from adolescence, so it was my attempt to revisit that.”
She continued: “The other big thing that inspired me was (US comedy-drama) Nurse Jackie. I wanted to write my own Nurse Jackie, but obviously I couldn’t write about a nurse, so I wrote about a policewoman instead. When I wrote the first series that was very much in my head as an influence.
Who is Sally Wainwright?
Wainwright is a TV writer who comes from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. The 59-year-old studied English at York University, becoming a bus driver after she graduated. At age 24 she quit her job to write full time for the BBC Radio series The Archers. She would go on to become a writer for ITV’s Coronation Street between 1994 to 1999, after which she began to focus on writing her own projects.
She has written many successful TV series from ITV’s Unforgiven in 2009 which won the RTS Writer of the Year award and Last Tango in Halifax which saw her win the Bafta for best series and best writer in 2012. Wainwright has been married to the performance artist and composer Austin Sherlaw-Johnson since 1990, with the pair sharing two children. In 2020 was awarded an OBE for her contribution to television.
What else has Sally Wainwright written?
Wainwright has a slew of popular TV series and dramas under her belt. Before going out and writing her own projects she was a staff writer on BBC Radio drama The Archers and ITV soap Coronation Street. Here are some of Sally Wainwright’s most popular TV shows and where you can watch them:
The three-part ITV series was released in 2009 on ITV and starred Suranne Jones as Ruth Slater, a woman found guilty of murdering two police officers as teenager. The series lead to Wainwright winning the RTS award for best writer. You can stream Unforgiven on BritBox.
Scott & Bailey
In 2011 Wainwright wrote Scott & Bailey, an ITV drama about two female police officers, which once again starred Jones. The show was cancelled after one season. You can watch Scott & Bailey on ITVX.
Last Tango in Halifax
One of Wainwright’s most successful series, it aired on BBC One in 2012, with the final episode airing in 2020. The plot was based on Wainwright’s mother who was widowed in 2001. It won the BAFTA for best drama in 2013, with Wainwright being named best writer. Last Tango in Halifax is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
In 2019 she wrote Gentleman Jack for BBC One, it told the story about the 19th Century landowner, diarist, and lesbian, Anne Lister and starred Jones. You can watch Gentleman Jack on BBC iPlayer.
The BBC drama is one of Wainwright’s most successful TV series, set and filmed in the Calder Valley, West Yorkshire, it stars Sarah Lancashire and Siobhan Finnera. Now in its third season, the finale will air on Sunday 5 February.
During an interview with Radio Times the TV Writer shared what viewers could expect from the latest edition of the series. Wainwright said: “A narrative has gone across all three: in season 1, Catherine and Tommy came face to face outside Ryan’s school, and in season 2 they almost came face to face in the crematorium, at Tommy’s mum’s funeral. In season 3, there’s a very big face-to-face showdown. The kind of cathartic showdown that people have waited for.” Adding: “It’s pretty dramatic.”