4 Welsh Crime Dramas That Prove Wales Is The New Exporter Of Creepy Nightmares
We Brits have an appetite for a noirish thriller, and in recent years, British telly has sourced them from across the globe — Sweden and Denmark for The Bridge, the US for True Detective, and New Zealand and Australia for Top of the Lake, for example. But in recent years, a more homegrown sub-category has come to the fore. Welsh crime dramas have dominated TV screens in the past few years, winning vast audiences and critical acclaim alike. From Keeping Faith to Requiem, "Welsh noir" is captivating an ever expanding cohort of crime lovers, both in the UK and beyond.
The hunger for Welsh thrillers has brought more than the spectacular Welsh landscape to our TV screens — it's also brought the Welsh language. Many shows either feature subtitled Welsh for English-speaking viewers, or are filmed twice in both Welsh and English. Keeping Faith's Eve Myles even learned Welsh to play the title role, the BBC reports. And the shows are exporting a noirish taste of Wales overseas: Hidden is currently streaming in the US on Acorn TV, as the New York Times reports, while Requiem is available outside the UK on Netflix. The whole world's about to jump on the Welsh thriller bandwagon, people; try out one of these creepy shows to ensure you get in ahead.
Requiem, a joint BBC/Netflix venture that aired on the former in early 2018, follows cellist Matilda Gray as she attempts to solve the enigma of her childhood. After the brutal death of her mother, Matilda begins to suspect she's connected to Welsh toddler Carys Howell, who went missing in the 90s; what she begins to discover on her return to Penllynith, however, is more sinister than even her wildest theories. A side note: no matter how disquieting Matilda's discoveries, her commitment to flawless makeup, an enviable wardrobe, and that sharp, flyaway-free platinum fringe never wavers. Truly inspirational.
Wondering why lead Hidden actor Sian Reese-Williams looks familiar? She only went and starred in Requiem as well! After playing the haunted Trudy in Requiem, Reese-Williams next appeared as DI Cadi John in Hidden (or Craith, in its Welsh iteration) investigating the abduction and ultimate death of a young woman reported missing several years earlier. The claustrophobic drama tracks the efforts of the police to find a serial offender, one who keeps women in captivity to soothe his own psychological wounds. Now on its seventh episode, the series has become almost intolerably tense; catch up now, before the final episode airs on BBC One.
Keeping Faith, or Un Bore Mercher, is the real heavyweight of the bunch. The show broke records when first added to iPlayer, after screening on BBC One Wales — 9.5 million viewers streamed the series, while 300,000 watched each episode on BBC One Wales, according to the BBC. The drama, led by Eve Myles, follows solicitor Faith Howells as she investigates the disappearance of her husband and business partner, upending her seemingly serene family life. There's reason to believe husband Evan didn't vanish unintentionally, including the fake ID and wig Faith finds secreted at the back of her husband's wardrobe. Wondering, like millions of others, where the heck Evan went? Tune into BBC One on Thursdays, or catch up on iPlayer.
He's a tortured cop with torturous crimes to solve! Don't be put off by the seemingly textbook outline of Hinterland (or Y Gwyll), though. There's a reason the eerie, troubling detective drama has racked up three series. Set amongst the beautiful, evocative Ceredigion landscape, Hinterland centres on DCI Tom Mathias, played by Richard Harrington; "If there is a more darkly brooding detective on TV at the moment, I've yet to meet him," the Guardian says. Happily (an emotion pretty much never expressed in the show), all three seasons are now on Netflix.
It might be summer outdoors but if you're craving some creepy TV as you settle down for a night in look no further. These Welsh gems have you covered.