A scene in Happy Valley’s concluding episode has been named as the Best TV Moment in 2023. The dramatic series aired its final instalment earlier this year, and the scene in question was the fiery showdown between Sergeant Catherine Cawood (played by Sarah Lancashire) and villain Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton).
Thousands voted the captivating BBC drama scene as the best in the Digital Spy Reader Awards. More than 75,000 votes were cast in the awards, which also saw Happy Valley win Best TV Finale and Most Impactful TV Death.
The three-series show saw horrors unfolding in the tranquil Yorkshire countryside, following police officer Catherine. Catherine’s family had been left torn apart by the suicide of her daughter Becky, who was driven to her death by Tommy.
When the show first began back in 2015, viewers were introduced to Tommy, who had brutally raped Becky and impregnated her, but later claimed to have loved her. The experience led the distressed teenage mum to commit suicide soon after baby Ryan (Rhys Connah) was born.
Ryan was raised by Catherine and her sister Clare (Siobhan Finneran), who had been recovering from alcoholism and heroin addiction at the time. While the family managed to lead normal lives, they were haunted by Tommy’s constant taunts.
Tommy developed an obsession with getting in touch with his son and getting revenge on Catherine.
Series two saw an older Ryan questioning whether his dad should be forgiven, but the third series shocked viewers when it emerged Clare had secretly been taking a now-teenage Ryan to visit Tommy in prison.
As the dangerous criminal was later on the run after fleeing prison, he ended up in Catherine’s house and one final showdown concluded years of anticipation for viewers.
Fans witnessed Tommy armed with potentially explosive petrol as Catherine found herself in the same room as her arch-enemy.
Bleeding from a stab wound owing to a tussle moments earlier, he gained entry to her home and looked all set to send it bursting into flames.
He and Catherine argued back and forth and as she blamed him for Becky’s death, he tearfully declared he had loved her.
Soon after, he poured the petrol over himself and it is later revealed he died.
The series ended as Catherine prepared to retire from the police and the family looked forward to a new start.
Happy Valley is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.