Happy Valley is less a crime drama than it is a family drama of Sergeant Catherine Cawood. It is the story of Catherine fighting crimes in Yorkshire while battling her inner demons which mostly stem from her family matters. She is a divorced woman with two children, one dead and the other who doesn’t speak to her, and living with her sister and her grandson. Let’s learn about all her family members. Take a look at the Happy Valley family tree!
Though Happy Valley seems to posit as a cop/crime drama, at its crux, it really is a family drama. An intense family drama of the strong-willed Sergeant Catherine Cawood. The BBC One series is essentially the story of how she fights crimes in West Yorkshire while battling her personal demons which stem from her family issues. And the part in which she deals with her inner demons is far more compelling and engaging than the fighting crimes part.
Since Catherine Cawood’s demons all stem from her family issues, let’s take a look at the equation she has with her family members and know exactly what it is that troubles her and haunts her every second following her like a shadow. Let’s take a look at the Happy Valley Family Tree!
Happy Valley Family Tree: Learn More About the Family Members of Sergeant Catherine Cawood!
To get a summary of Happy Valley Family Tree, let’s go to the beginning of it all. How Catherine Cawood introduces herself in the opening scene to a drug addict threatening to light himself on fire and to the viewers.
I’m Catherine, by the way. I’m forty-seven, I’m divorced, I live with my sister – who’s a recovering heroin addict – I have two grown-up children. One dead and one who doesn’t speak to me. And a grandson! So.
Doesn’t that introduction sound cool? Much more for someone who’s divorced and has children, who is either dead or who doesn’t speak to her. She is divorced from her husband, lives with her sister, has a child who has died, and another one who doesn’t speak to her, and is raising her grandson. Does not sound like a Happy Valley at all! That’s a lot to unpack.
But regardless of her marital status and her dead child, and the dead relationship with the living one, they are her family and they are the cause of her sorrow and the reason for her happiness at the time in her life when she was well, happy. Now, her life is no longer the same as before. Let’s find out what made the difference. For that, you have to go through a Happy Valley Family Tree!
Sergeant Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) is a determined, respected hard-working, tuff cookie police community officer, one of the rare ones who are able to crack a good sense of humor while on duty. She is a treasure of the Yorkshire Police Service. Not so much for most of her family barring her sister who lives with her and her grandson who she’s raising. She is divorced and her only living child is not on speaking terms with her because of her grandson, her dead daughter’s son, who they want nothing to do with as he is the product of r*pe that eventually drove her daughter to kill herself.
Richard Cawood (Derek Riddell) is Catherine Cawood’s ex-husband. The couple was happily married until after their grandson was born. When Catherine decided to raise her grandson, who was the product of r*pe, Richard divorced her because he was unable to be around the child as he kept seeing the child as a reminder of his daughter’s death. But even though he split from Catherine, he’s not over her and begins an affair with her despite being married to somebody else.
Rebecca ‘Becky’ Cawood
Becky Cawood (Emily Barnett) is the dead daughter of Catherine Cawood and Richard Cawood. Catherine has never been able to get over the death of her daughter which is the source of constant grief in her life. Becky was a rebellious teenager who got involved with a dangerous and woman-hating man who r*ped her and impregnated her. She was scared to tell her parents about that and when she began showing, she lied to them that it was just a one-night stand. After she gave birth to a baby boy, she couldn’t bond with him because it only reminded her of the man who r*ped her and so, she wrote a note revealing everything and killed herself.
Tommy Lee Royce
Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton) is the r*pist of Becky Cawood. When he sexually assaults her, he gets her pregnant and fathers a child who he is unaware about. When he finds out that he has a son eight years later, he aggressively seeks to form a relationship with him. He even tried to kill his son along with himself in a murder-suicide revenge mission against Catherine.
Ryan Cawood (Rhys Connah) is the son of the dead Becky Cawood and Tommy Lee Royce. He was born out of r*pe. When he was six weeks old, his mother killed herself because she was unable to deal with him, her constant reminder that she was sexually assaulted. Nobody except Catherine and her sister wants anything to do with him. Though he wants a relationship with Richard, he is iced out.
Daniel Cawood (Karl Davies) is the only son and also the only living child of Catherine Cawood and Richard Cawood. He, like his father, broke the relationship he had with his mother after she decided to raise the grandson, who he deems as the cause of her sister’s death. He eventually comes around after his own marriage fails.
Clare Cartwright (Siobhan Finneran) is the younger sister of Catherine Cawood who lives with her. She is an ex-drug addict who is left homeless by her addiction. So, she moves in with her sister after she seeks help with her addiction and helps her raise Ryan.