Hidden - Cracking crime capers from Cymru

A few years ago, the big new trend on TV was Scandi-noir.

Friday, 15th June 2018, 3:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 6:07 pm
Owen (Sion Alun Davies) and Cadi John (Sian Reese-Williams) in Hidden, the new Welsh police drama on BBC4
Owen (Sion Alun Davies) and Cadi John (Sian Reese-Williams) in Hidden, the new Welsh police drama on BBC4

The Killing had made Nordic jumpers briefly fashionable, The Bridge was hailed as a classic drama and Scandi drama was popping up all over the place, from Borgen to Dicte: Crime Reporter.

Well, that’s all water under the, ahem, bridge now, and there’s a new slow-moving crime drama kid on the block. A maverick cop patrolling the mean streets of London? A tough ‘tec cleaning up the sink estates of Manchester? Miss Marple? No. The new trend in crime drama comes from an unexpected place – Wales.

Cymru Noir really kicked off with Hinterland, a crime drama that moved so slowly I had to check I hadn’t inadvertently paused the TV. But it’s hit its stride now, with the excellent Keeping Faith breaking records on iPlayer – and coming to BBC1 later this summer.

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And this week Hidden (BBC4, 9pm, Sundays) aired. While Keeping Faith pelted along at a decent clip, Hidden is clearly much more in debt to its Scandi cousins.

The photography is terrific, with troubled people looming out of the shadows, and the mountains of Snowdonia looming over them.

Lead cop DI Cadi John (Sian Reese-Williams) is basically The Bridge’s Saga Noren, down to the blonde hair, clumpy boots and long coat. And she’s teamed with a pale, bearded male sidekick. It even has subtitles, as much of the dialogue is in Welsh.

But it’s not a pale copy – it’s made with care, the performances are terrific, and so far the plot – girls going missing and dark goings-on on the woods – grips.

New police dramas often just seem by-the-numbers – I’m looking at you Bulletproof – so I’m swapping my comfy jumpers for some laver bread and a Welsh cake.

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