Detective Chief Inspector (DCI)Tom Mathias (Richard Harrington) is a large-eyed, grim-lipped man. Grief chased him from a successful London career to the backwaters of Wales where he explores any crime that crosses his desk.
His partner, Detective Inspector (DI) Mared Rhys (Mali Harries), watches this newcomer carefully. She’s a worthy ally and demands the truth. She talks to him straight—rather unlike Chief Superintendent Brian Prosser (Aneirin Hughes), who is a mighty unpleasant boss.
The procedural drama ran for three seasons, 2013-2016, with a framing story that resumes with a flourish in the last season. Fine story craftsmanship, I thought. Fortunately, Netflix streaming has widened its audience.
Welsh actor Richard Harrington plays the multifaceted role with aplomb and, for his troubles, won two BAFTAs (equivalent to Emmys/Oscars). He might be familiar from shows such as Bleakhouse and Poldark. Mali Harries has acted in British television such as Foyle’s War and The Indian Doctor. Minor actors include Alex Harries and Hannah Daniel; both appear in another popular Welsh production, Keeping Faith.
Hinterland means “dusk,” and the show is dark. In fact, it’s called “Welsh noir.” The language is raw, and adult themes abound. It is not family viewing. But the fine acting and complicated characters appealed to me. I loved it. I also loved the artistic camera work and the landscape of Aberystwyth, along the west coast of Wales. It’s visual poetry and lovely.
A great deal of love went into this series—with its effort to spotlight Wales. Each episode was filmed twice—once in Welsh and then in English. Now available on Netflix and Acorn TV. (BBC One Wales)