Happy Valley creator Sally Wainwright confessed she feared writing the closing chapter of the acclaimed crime drama.
The TV scribe, 60, was worried she’d cop flak if the third and final season, starring Sarah Lancashire as Sgt Catherine Cawood, didn’t live up to the previous two outings.
‘We [Sarah and I] made a definite decision that this was going to be the final season. Just because it’s been successful, we weren’t going to let it drift on until it became a pale shadow of itself,’ she said.
‘I was really anxious not to write a duff third season – [but] I really don’t think it is. There’s a very definite climax.’
The Bafta-winning series made a comeback earlier this month, picking up where the second series left off in 2016.
The pieces are in place for another confrontation between Cawood and psychopathic Tommy Lee Royce, played by James Norton. An imprisoned Royce has been in touch with Cawood’s grandson Ryan – a returning Rhys Connah – the product of Royce’s rape of her daughter, who then took her own life.
Wainwright said: ‘There’s a very big face-to-face showdown. The kind of cathartic showdown that people have waited for. It’s pretty dramatic.’
She is pleased producers didn’t recast Connah, now 16, who joined the show and ‘has a lovely vulnerability about him’.
In an interview with Radio Times, Wainwright also defended the BBC show’s depiction of violence.
She said: ‘I worked with a police adviser called Lisa Farrand. She was pretty cross with some of that criticism because it’s the reality of being a cop. She’s been badly beaten up twice and nearly killed once. To not reflect it in a drama that is realistic about what it’s like to be a female police officer would be a whitewash.’
Happy Valley continues Sunday on BBC One at 9pm
They are Valley pally! Norton is ‘like a dad’ to on-screen son
There certainly isn’t any off-screen drama for Happy Valley co-stars James Norton and young Rhys Connah.
Father-son relationships don’t get much more dysfunctional than the one shared by their characters, notorious criminal Tommy and schoolboy Ryan.
But more than a decade after they first met on set, the bond between Norton, 37, and Connah, now 16, is clear to see.
Norton has reportedly become a mentor to his co-star, who is said to be estranged from his real-life dad. ‘It is really sweet that their on-screen father-son relationship has crossed over into something lovely in real life,’ a source told the Mail on Sunday.
‘They have loved working together throughout the three series and they keep in close touch away from Happy Valley. It has been so inspirational for Rhys to see James get more and more successful and famous.’
Connah has said Norton is ‘such a nice person, and then we’ll start filming and he’ll just instantly switch and there’s this psychopath’.
MORE : Happy Valley viewers hail Sarah Lancashire ‘the best actress of all time’ after dramatic cafe scene
MORE : Will Happy Valley’s Faisal go through with killing Joanna after heartstopping episode 3 cliffhanger?
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