TV preview: Happy Valley

Sgt Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation in the second series of Happy Valley.
Sgt Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation in the second series of Happy Valley.
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BBC1 returns to the Calder Valley this week with the return of Happy Valley.

Written by Sally Wainwright, the second series opens with Sergeant Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) called out to a case of suspected sheep rustling. While investigating possible leads she discovers a decomposed body hidden in a garage on a local estate. Raped and murdered, the victim is someone close to home. All too soon, Catherine finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation.

“A bit of a buzz started to develop as we were filming the first series,” says Wainwright, who is also behind Last Tango in Halifax. “We had an idea we were working on something a bit special, but you don’t like to acknowledge it because you’re scared of tempting fate. I think it was a combination of things that made it work. The stories worked, and we had a caring and hardworking cast and crew.

“I always planned to write another series of Happy Valley. You love your characters and you want to spend more time with them. There’s a thing at the moment that doing a second series is risky, but I think that’s rubbish. It’s when shows get into fifth, sixth, seventh series that the rot tends to set in.”

Happy Valley, Tuesday, BBC1, 9pm.

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