Hinterland (2013 TV – Wales)

5 Kernels

Across the pond comes more amazing television drama—this time from Wales. Now streaming on Netflix is a four-part series entitled, Hinterland. Huh, you say? Well, Hinterland means —  “the often uncharted areas beyond a coastal district or a river’s banks.”

As you tune in, you will see the breathtaking landscape of Wales back country and be treated to intriguing murder mysteries and emotionally gripping characters.

As usual, we have the damaged head detective, Tom Mathias (played by Richard Harrington), who is akin to such other troubled characters like Wallander and Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect. However, this DCI is an emotional and compassionate man with a heart toward the suspects and criminals, tempered by the will to solve the crime.

Like so many other detective shows, his senior officer is a behind-the-desk dud, who constantly questions Tom’s tactics but ends up eating his words at the end of the episode. Tom’s team is made up of three assistants who have excellent skills in digging out the facts. Our main character fights his own demons of a failed marriage and two daughters who he never sees—the reasons for which are not clearly revealed. Living a life of isolation on a windy, barren landscape that overlooks the ocean, his time away from work is filled with depression and booze in his small mobile home in need of repair. His exercise regimen consists of running along the cliffs of the rocky coastline while he broods about his life and cases.

Hinterland is filmed in Aberystwyth, Wales, and all of the crimes take place in remote areas of the region. The scenery of the coast, rolling bare hills, and forests are breathtaking. It’s a harsh life of isolation and bad weather that keeps its characters cold and in coats for four episodes.  There is no green–only bare trees and brown landscape.

This series is topnotch because of the developed characters and deep emotional stories intertwined in the search for the murderer. Richard Harrington, in his role as the brooding DCI, is a man who takes his job seriously, but with a hint of compassion even for the killers—that is if the reason for their temporary insanity comes from their own painful past. Harrington has been nominated for best actor for the Bafta Cymru awards for Welsh film and television.  The show itself has gained nine nominations, which are well deserved.

Unfortunately, only four episodes are streaming.  It’s far too short. Hopefully, this series will continue for many more seasons. The Welsh are giving the British competition.  I don’t care what anyone else says, because some of my closest friends and I agree that no one does murderous crime better than the United Kingdom when it comes to television.

If you’re looking for a deep characters, intriguing mysteries, and emotional endings, check it out.  It’s a good series.

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