Tag Archives: Hinterland

My Top 5 Showcase: Welsh TV Drama: 2010-2019

Continuing this series for Get the Chance, here I select my top five Welsh TV dramas of the last decade. They are not necessarily chosen on the basis of popular appeal or critical acclaim. Instead, this is a personal list from which you are free to agree or disagree entirely. Let me know your thoughts…

Baker Boys

Broadcast in 2011, this series was my first proper encounter with Welsh TV drama. Set in a tight-knit community in the South Wales Valleys, it focused on the impact of the economic recession on its population, many of whom suddenly find themselves unemployed when the local bakery goes bust. Timely and relevant, Gary Owen & Helen Raynor’s series featured a who’s-who of Welsh acting talent, with Eve Myles (Sarah) and Gareth Jewell (Owen) heading up efforts to save the company and make it work as a co-operative.

Hinterland (Y Gwyll)

Starring Richard Harrington and Mali Harries, this crime drama was one of the first to find broad appeal outside of its nation’s borders. Running for a mere twelve episodes, Harrington played DCI Tom Mathias, a man whose troubled soul was reflected in the bleak and desolate landscape of its setting. In fact, the wild and mountainous terrain of Ceredigion was such that Hinterland/Y Gwyll was labelled as the original ‘Welsh noir’ (after Nordic counterparts The Killing and The Bridge).

Keeping Faith (Un Bore Mercher)

When I sat down to watch Un Bore Mercher on S4C in 2017, I could not have imagined how big it would become. After its English-language version Keeping Faith was subsequently broadcast on BBC Wales, it became such a hit on iPlayer that it landed a prime-time slot on BBC1. The reason for its immense popularity was largely down to the juggernaut of a performance given by Eve Myles. She put in an emotionally-raw turn as lawyer Faith Howells, whose husband Evan goes missing, leading to the uncovering of a host of secrets that cast doubt on how well she really knew him. Myles deservedly won a BAFTA for her immersive portrayal.

Parch

Ok, so maybe I’m being a bit biased here, but despite the fact that I have a soft spot for TV vicars, this surrealist drama was still a hugely enjoyable and well-written series. I may have tuned in initially to follow the crazy and chaotic life of the show’s protagonist, the Reverend Myfanwy Elfed (played wonderfully by Carys Eleri), but I stayed because of the strength of the supporting cast. Writer Fflur Dafydd is masterful in creating well-rounded, fully formed characters, the effect here being a show that was full of heart.

Hidden (Craith)

Series one of this crime series featured standout performances from Rhodri Meilir (Dylan) and Gwyneth Keyworth (Megan). Series two brought us another excellent performance from rising star Annes Elwy (Mia). Holding it all together are Sian Reese-Williams and Sion Alun Davies, who play detectives Cadi John and Owen Vaughan respectively. They are chief investigators in storylines that reveal the killer early on. But this makes Hidden/Craith no less gripping, perhaps because of its intense focus on the personal lives of all its characters.

And I haven’t even mentioned Bang, 35 Diwrnod/35 Awr, Gwaith/Cartref, Alys…. Are there any others you can think of? What are your favourites?

Written by Gareth Williams

BAFTA Cymru Awards 2015 by Lois Arcari

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Director Euros Lyn and writer Russel T Davies with the Sian Phillips award which was presented to Euros by Russel at the ceremony.

Last Sunday, our dragon roared in celebration of the talents of this country, why I hear you ask?

Last Sunday was the 2015 BAFTA Cymru Awards, a buzzing celebration of Wales’ talent, and blooming attraction to international shows and films, with the public watching amongst home grown stars.

Wisdom –easy to receive, hard to listen to – certainly when your brain has a series of buffers and filters to make the challenge of it getting in there that tad bit more exciting, the cogs and emotions of your brain cheering on the wipe out style spectacle before them. Luckily, wisdom is astronomically better fated straight from the horse’s mouth – when the ‘horse’ is another thing entirely. An institution of a show runner, a brilliant, lauded writer, Russel T Davies. The chestnut in question- “just write” Which of course, I am in the process of doing, somewhat strangely with the same, utterly euphoric glee that came over me, and all spectators during the event.

This buzz, according universally to the winners and hosts of the event, is reflected in the unlimited potential of Wales. This potential has, according to, among others, winning director Euros Lyn always been here, but is now being sought ought internationally, with shows like The Bastard Executioner recognising our well of talent.

Each and every interview, however long or short, showed this talent just as easily as the ceremony and awards themselves, with insight into special effects, saying great effects must be ‘wedded to the story’, Director Clare Sturges with her aim to humanise and to stop victim blaming in ‘Sex Work love and Mr Right’, and that tenacity and ‘keenness’ are the first essential steps to arriving in the industry, ready to work for getting to a standard for events like these – something I, as an aspiring writer, would leap at, both hands waiting, despite dyspraxia producing some (light) trauma in the form of PE flashbacks, ready to catch the chance.

No, not even turning the poor saucer of my coffee cup into a small lake could put a damper on the evening. Though slightly soggy. (I shall not, as my friends know full well, ever be up for a comedy award!)

With meeting a childhood icon, industry greats and new friends in the form of the other critics, the buzz is almost certain to remain whenever the memory is looked at, as fondly and excitedly as the night was lived through.

This is as good an incentive as any to have faith in our TV and film, to support upcoming projects and look again at ones past. Among the winners were Euros Lyn, Clare Sturges, Rhod Gilbert, Mali Harries and Gruff Rhys, with Hinterland, Jack to a King and Set Fire to the Stars some of the luckiest projects on the night.

 

The full list of winners can be found here;

http://www.bafta.org/wales/awards/news/winners-announced-british-academy-cymru-awards-2015.