The sinister side of Wales – Hinterland series 3

Forget about the streets of London or Glasgow’s roughest estates. Forget Norway and Iceland too. New York and LA are not where it’s at. The most engaging crime drama in April will emanate from the eerily remote setting of West Wales. On 5 April, BBC One Wales will begin airing series 3 of Hinterland, the bilingual programme where the only thing more dramatic than the rolling landscapes is the ominous clouds above, and the morose stare of lead character DCI Tom Mathias, played by Richard Harrington.

An all-Welsh version aired in S4C late last year, but now English speaking audiences will be taken back to Aberystwyth and its environs with four new 90-minute episodes. They begin with the murder of Elwyn Jones, a local minister bludgeoned to death in his chapel with a hammer. It turns out he was a man of Biblical wrath as well as a man of the cloth, and he liked a drink too. Mathias and DC Mared Rhys (Mali Harries) have no shortage of suspects to interview.

Beauty and despair
Grief, guilt, regret, anger and revenge all surface, while the ancient hillsides glare down on the human tragedy unfolding, and waves crash in on the Aberystwyth seafront, sending froth onto the wind. Nothing’s more beautiful than hearing the Welsh spoken by the elderly Reverend Eurof Daniel in the middle of the first episode – the oldest language in Europe. Welsh scenes are subtitled and most characters flit between languages except for DCI Mathias.

Meanwhile, DS Sian Owen is investigating the assault on Mathias and the arson attack on his caravan, which closed out the final episode of series 2. Her DCI has recovered, but chief suspect Iwan Thomas is on the run. His beef with Mathias goes all the way back to series 1, and the investigation into the children’s home by Devil’s Bridge in the very first episode. There is a sinister link of some kind between the alcoholic Iwan Thomas, whose daughter was later murdered in Borth, and Chief Superintendent Prosser.

Back to the children’s home
Mathias has always had to look over his shoulder, and the nature of that connection between Thomas and Prosser will continue the overarching storyline through these four episodes. A body in a ravine, a young woman dead in the woods, and a shooting at a petrol station are three more cases the team will face, and somehow suspicion will fall once again on the tortured DCI Mathias, still grieving over his own losses.

The dramatic ending of episode one will leave you nicely gripped – we’ve seen it and the addiction has set in.

Hinterland begins on Wednesday 5 April at 9pm on BBC One Wales. UK viewers outside Wales will be able to see it on SKY channel 952, Virgin 864 or Freesat 964. The programme will also be repeated on BBC Four in May. See below for the trailer and more photography from the show.

Hinterland series 2 was among our favourite crime shows of 2016. For more crime fiction from the Celtic fringe, click here.

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  1. Eddie Hughes Reply

    Why, when SKY and the Tory party are bent on destroying the BBC, is this programme being broadcast on SKY before it it is shown on BBC 4?

    1. crimefictionlover Reply

      The channel number we have given you is the number for BBC Wales on Sky, so that you can watch it if you live in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

  2. Liz newman Reply

    I have watched all of the series but only watched the first of the new series. To much Welsh in the new series so switched off. Such a shame for them to change the format so much.

    1. Rob Reply

      I’m very pleased they speak a little more Welsh, it makes it more realistic and it is a beautiful language to hear spoken, even if I have to rely on the subtitles for meaning.

      1. crimefictionlover Reply

        I loved the Welsh. Even though I don’t speak it I could here the different Welsh accents within it. But I more or less said that in my article. Glad you enjoyed the show.

    2. Adrian Seddon Reply

      Too much Welsh? In Wales of all places! Is too much Swedish and Danish in The Bridge a problem as well? What about those Parisian cops in Spiral nattering away in French? So inconsiderate.

  3. Mike Reply

    Thoroughly gripped by the first two series and so far the first two episodes of series 3 have been absolutely up to standard. Have no problem with the occasional Welsh dialogue – love it in fact; such a beautiful lilt.

    The acting of all concerned is top notch and the photography superb. The interweaving of ‘one-off’ case in each episode an the ongoing back story is seamlessly down and never jars – few UK cop shows can match it for tension and drama.

  4. Jenny Keen Reply

    Love the increased Welsh language in the newer series…(people worldwide happy to read subtitles for the all so popular Scandi-noir…so don’t see any issue with a bit of welsh!)
    Shame the majority are south Wales though…sure there is a wealth of decent Welsh actors from up north! It is set in upper Wales after all! Loved hearing Llew and his bro speaking in good gog dialect…excited but already mourning the fact there is only one episode left! The best thing I’ve seen in years!

  5. David Roberts Reply

    Just watched the final epidsode of series 3 – superb ! The plot(s), acting, photography & musical score are absolutely top notch. Viewers raving about Line of Duty should tune into Hinterland, as in my view it’s definitely superior. The presence of slightly more welsh dialogue hasn’t remotely detracted from my enjoyment of thie excellent drama. I really hope we can look forward to a fourth series……

  6. susie crane Reply

    I’ve watched every series so pleased to see it back again. One of the best thing’s on tv at the moment. I love it being welsh lovr the actors the country side. Just everything.

  7. Louise Noble Reply

    Without a shadow of a doubt a truly gripping series with unique wonderful scenery and outstanding acting love it

  8. David Gordon Reply

    Just come to this drama a tad late on a friend’s recommendation, so starting from Series 1. Took a little while to get into the characterisation and mood, but now I’m gripped. No problem dealing with the Welsh language at all, in fact it’s necessary – just like the best of European cinema and television. Wonderful stuff. Keep it coming!

  9. Cathy Reply

    Best thing on tv. It would work as well on mainstream and deserves a wider following. It’s beautifully filmed, it has real heart and brings me to tears often. Acting superb. Please make more. I love the use of the Welsh language, it’s very beautiful and I feel we should hear it more often.

  10. Andy Reply

    I watch a lot of crime drama and IMHO Hinterland has been the best in recent years. The only other series that could compete was the first (only the first!) series of Broadchurch.

  11. Jospin Reply

    We love this programme.❤
    So pleased in welsh also.
    Living in Holland is not so strange is popular. A not widely spoken language.
    Hinterland beats most of the so called drama’s / detectives.

  12. Emily Reply

    My husband likens the pace of Hinterland to a Stephen King read—either you love it or you hate it! He loves it; I find myself somewhere in the middle wanting a faster resolve and more action, yet I can’t stop watching! I enjoy the language and sceanery and am ever interested in having the bad guys stumble due to their own demons. Happy Valley is more my pace, but can’t wait to watch the rest of Hinterland’s series 3!

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