Happy Valley – Season 1 Episode 1 scene length breakdown


If I had to break this episode down into act breaks, I think I would break it into 5.

Act 1: scenes 1 – 17 (0.00 – 24.32) Act Length: 24.32

End of act: Weatherill proposes Cowgill kidnap Ann Gallagher.

Act 2: scenes 18 – 23 (24.32 – 32.02) Act Length: 5.30

End of Act: Weatherill realises he has made a mistake.

Act 3: scenes 23 – 30 (32.02 – 41.08) Act Length 9.06

End of act: Weatherill tells Cowgill he has made a mistake.

Act 4: scenes 31 – 37 (41.08 – 44.56) Act length 3.48

End of Act: Weatherill attempts to tell Cawood about the plan. (Antag and Protag 1st meet).

Act 5: scenes 38 – 47 (44.56 – 57.44) Act Length 12.48

End of Act: Weatherill learns from Nevison that the plan has been activated and Ann has been kidnapped

The final scene, (47) Catherine alone, is a hook to intrigue the audience to return.

Lockwood runs Weatherill’s number plate and gets his name and address. The protagonist is on to the antagonist.

Below is a breakdown:

What else can we notice?

We can notice that the set up (Act 1) is much longer than any of the other 4 acts. However, since this is the opening episode of a six part series this is understandable. The 24 minute set up is setting up a 6 hour story. 

Interestingly, protagonist LOCKWOOD does not meet any of the 4 male antagonists face to face until she meets WEATHERILL in Act 4, scene 37, almost 10 minutes before the end.

Lockwood’s next close shave with her main antagonist Tommy LEE ROYCE happens in Act 5, scene 42. She doesn’t meet him but almost meets him.

So, at the end of episode 1, Lockwood, the protagonist, has so far met Weatherill, without realising he is an antagonist, and has seen – but not yet met – Tommy Lee Royce, her main antagonist. 

What else can you notice about the structure of this episode?

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s