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Happy Valley [DVD] 
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A new six-part drama for BBC One, written by Sally Wainwright and starring Sarah Lancashire as police sergeant Catherine Cawood. Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) is the sergeant on duty when flustered and nervous accountant Kevin Weatherill (Steve Pemberton) comes into her West Yorkshire police station to report a crime.
He's reticent about the details and Kevin loses his nerve. The crime he was trying to report was Kevin's own brain-child, a plot to kidnap his boss's daughter and keep enough of the ransom to put his kids through private school. And now local drug king-pin Ashley Cowgill (Joe Armstrong) has put the plan into action, and Kevin's fantasy has become a grim and dangerous reality.
The botched kidnapping of Ann Gallagher (Charlie Murphy) and its fallout unfolds... Catherine is used to picking up the pieces of everyone else's lives, but the hunt for Ann Gallagher will get right under her skin. Catherine becomes convinced that only by finding Ann alive and bringing her captors to justice can she avenge the death of her daughter.
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Where the only thing that's pretty
Is the thought of getting out
There's a tower block overhead
All you've got's your benefits
And you're barely scraping by
In this trouble town
Troubles are found
In this trouble town
Words do get 'round'
Lyrics to 'Trouble Town'- by Jake Bugg, theme song of Happy Valley
'HappyValley' is one of those towns so misnamed, that you wonder as you drive through, who in their right mind named this town. It took me until Episode 3 to really get into this series. Until then, it was one of those series with an interesting but violent story lines. But, then, the adventures and personalities of the characters hooked me. It is one of those series where you really come to care for the characters.
Sally Wainwright, who wrote 'The Last Tango In Halifax' wrote this series, and it has more of the tough, brutal, real scenes, we don't see in The Last Tango. The characters are very real, very complex and some are downright nasty. Sarah Lancashire plays Catherine Cawood, you will note her from 'The Last Tango In Halifax'. She is a Police Sargeant in this area, and this is her life. Her daughter hanged herself in the past year, and Catherine has not been able to work through this. She takes in her grandson. Clare, Catherine's sister, played by Siobhan Finneran, (O'Brien from Downton Abbey), is superb in this role. She is a recovering drug addict, working in a Mission and helping to care for the boy. The boy's psychopathic father plays a large role in this series, and a nastier piece of work you will never see. All of the police are well played and realistic. The area of Yorkshire in England is as beautiful as it is deadly.Read more ›
With its tongue-in-cheek title, since this must surely be one of the saddest former industrial valleys in Britain apart from the lovely scenery, the police thriller succeeds on all counts. It is compulsive viewing, filled with tense edge-of-the-seat moments, yet unlike many similar dramas is highly plausible, with no nagging holes in the plot twists. The quality of the acting is superb across the board, with a sharp script, many touches of humour to ease the frequent grimness of the theme and little need for subtitles.
It succeeds on several levels, not only as admittedly often bleak and bloody entertainment, but also in developing in depth all the characters as believable people, with their strengths and failings, and their complex relationships. The author even manages to evoke a little sympathy for most of the villains, including Royce, with some appreciation of the dysfunctional families and injustices which have moulded them. As the wealthy industrialist whose daughter is kidnapped observes at one point with unintentional irony, "all actions have consequences".Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic series. Brillant storyline and superb acting. Cant wait for series 2Published 2 days ago by From Yorkshire
Sarah Lancashire just gets better and better all the time. A powerful and gripping drama set in and around Halifax and Sowerby Bridge, this excellent mini-series maintains its... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Graham S.
Brilliant film, a must see.Sarah Lancashire superb actress !! Deserves a BAFTA. Hope to see a lot more films with her playing an equally magnificent part. BRILLIANT !!Published 6 days ago by Amazon Customer