Hinterland Series 1 Episode 4

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Richard Harrington strides the mean streets of Aberystwyth like a colossus. This episode of Hinterland opens with the haunting image of a dead body being found on marshland by two boys. So the investigation begins and the plot gathers together a suitable ensemble of suspects and red herrings. Alys, the victim’s family life plays a major part with her father a former policeman and her mother a moody damaged individual.

Alys was a student in the university and the team start the task of building a picture of her relationship to identify the killer. From the aggressive boyfriend and lecherous professor the various suspects all add a new dimension to the plot. Although all crime fiction is cliché – police chase the bad guys – the success of any drama is the way that the reality of human relationships is cast. Hinterland does this with confidence.

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Some of the photography in this final episode is the best of the series and the shots of the railway station in Borth stick in the mind as does the quietly spoken character who works there. But Mathias is the key to the success of this drama with the intensity of his character. The production has to get him to say little to portray the man with a damaged past. I had the benefit of watching the original Welsh language versions and I think a little of the intimacy is lost but an urgency is added with the English language versions. The acting in this episode is excellent and the producers are able to portray a rural community adjacent to the urban background of a university town with precision and understanding. This is the best drama to have been made in Wales for years. Dragon Noir is now unstoppable.