Q&A with Sarah Lancashire for Happy Valley Series 2

Sarah Lancashire in Happy VAlley

The BBC and Red Production Company released a Q&A session with Sarah Lancashire about season 2 of Happy Valley. According to this new press release, Happy Valley begins on BBC One in February. Finally an almost definitive date for the start of series 2!

Q: Did you expect the first series to be such a success?
A: You know when a script is good but you don’t have any knowledge how visually it is going to look. When this came out and I saw the first episode and thought it was terrific.

Sarah Lancashire in Happy Valley

Q: Why do you think it struck such a chord with people?
A: I would like to think that the piece as a whole, the characters, the story, were all so engaging and really captured people’s imaginations.

Q: Where do we find Catherine when the series begins?
A: It is 18 months later and Tommy has been in prison for a year and a half. He was charged with three murders so he is in there for life. Catherine finds a body in episode one and the rest of the series unravels from there.

Q: There has been a lot said about the violence towards women in particular. What do you think about the violence?
A: Catherine is a police officer and the violence that she was subjected to in series one is what female police officers can be subjected to every day of the week. I would never condone anything which I thought was salacious, titillating, or gratuitous. If you’ve played the violence from series one, what you think you saw you probably only heard because it was shot beautifully. It was an absolutely honest portrayal of what a female police officer can be subjected to.

Q: How does Catherine Cawood get on with other new members of the team, e.g., John Wadsworth (Kevin Doyle) and Jodie Shackleton (Katherine Kelly).
A: It is very interesting because they are CID. They have been brought into the building to investigate what appears to be a serial killer. She loathes Jodie Shackleton simply because she used to be CID and she knows how CID works.

Q: What sort of reaction have you had from female police officers?
A: The reaction from the police last year was that they had never seen a police officer portrayed accurately and they said Catherine Cawood is a great portrayal of police officer. This is down to Lisa Farrand who was our police advisor. She is retired from the force now but she was a sergeant and whenever we do any sort of procedural stuff Lisa is with me. She takes no nonsense and gets on with the job.

Q: Does the series still maintain its characteristic humour despite the difficult storylines?
A: Yes, Catherine’s dark humour is present all the way through. Remember how Steve Pemberton’s character got deeper and deeper until he got too deep? It’s the same with Catherine.

If you haven’t seen series 1 of Happy Valley yet, it’s available on Netflix, Amazon Video and iTunes. I highly recommend it.

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