Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery | TV Mini-Series (2013– )

A noir crime drama set in Aberystwyth, Wales, where troubled DCI Tom Mathias solves murders while searching for redemption. —IMDb

Y Gwyll, (English translation: The Dusk), is a Celtic noir police detective drama series broadcast on S4C in Welsh. The main character, DCI Tom Mathias, is played by Richard Harrington. The English language version, titled Hinterland, with brief passages of Welsh dialogue, aired on BBC One Wales. When it was aired on the BBC in 2014, it was the first BBC television drama with dialogue in both English and Welsh. —Wikipedia

Hinterland is not cozy. In fact, it can be deeply disturbing, and it’s not just the villains who have a darkness in their psyche. DCI Tom Mathias (Richard Harrington) is angst incarnate. (similar to David Tennant in Broadchurch but not as cute)

Troubled characters and the tragic cases they investigate aren’t the only things that make Hinterland powerfully noir: the bleak setting, a musical score as haunting as whale song, and especially the use of morbidly fascinating close-up cinematography project the story behind the story. Using reflection, mirror images, and those incredible ultra-close-ups, the camera often tells more than the spare script. We go from a long-shot of clouds scudding in a grim gray sky to fly specks on chipping paint, a child’s toy imbedded with ash. Shadow play, odd angles, silhouettes and contrast create the surreal world of seabound Wales, the edge of the world.

Thought-provoking and insightful, Hinterland is an intelligent effort at masterpiece. I can’t be multi-tasking when I watch this gritty mini-series.



About Mollie Hunt

Loves cats. Writes books.
This entry was posted in What I'm Watching and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. I just discovered this series a couple of weeks ago, on Netflix. I agree that multitasking doesn’t work while this one is one.

  2. The Arthurian says:

    “… the bleak setting, a musical score as haunting as whale song, and especially the use of morbidly fascinating close-up cinematography …”

    Exactly: Desolation, sparse dialog, and characters whose faces and actions show us poverty and hard times… The still shots of trees, birds, door frames… And the empathy shown by Tom Mathias and especially by Mared Rhys… I cannot get enough of Hinterland.

    I think “multitasking doesn’t work while this one is on” because so much is done not by dialog but by facial expressions and quick glances. If you’re not glued to the screen you miss it.


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