fb-pixel Skip to main content

Catch up on ‘Happy Valley’ before the final season arrives

Sarah Lancashire as Sergeant Catherine Cawood in "Happy Valley."Ben Blackall/Netflix

Have you seen “Happy Valley”? The British series, which premiered in 2014, is returning on May 22 for its third and final season. The six new episodes — which ran to rave reviews in the UK in January and February — will be available on Acorn TV, AMC+, and BBC America.

It’s a must-see for those who enjoy very, very dark crime stories, the kind the Brits do so well. From Sally Wainwright, the creator of “Unforgiven,” “Scott & Bailey,” “Last Tango in Halifax,” and “Gentleman Jack,” it’s about a detective caught up in a case involving the man who drove her daughter to suicide.


The detective, Sergeant Catherine Cawood, is played by the remarkable Sarah Lancashire (she’s Julia Child in “Julia”) and the baddie, Tommy Lee Royce, is played by the also remarkable James Norton (he was Sidney on “Grantchester”). She’s heartbreaking, while he brings us further than we’d like inside the malicious thinking of the criminal mind. Siobhan Finneran — she was O’Brien on “Downton Abbey” — is also on hand, as Catherine’s sister.

I’m mentioning it because you’ll be able to play catch-up with the show in the weeks before it returns. The first two seasons, each six episodes long, will be available to stream beginning April 3 on Acorn TV. It’s currently available to stream on AMC+. And BBC America is going to marathon both seasons, for those of you with DVRs — season 1 from May 8-10 and season 2 from May 15-17.

James Norton (with Shirley Henderson) plays Tommy Lee Royce. Ben Blackall/Netflix

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.