Scandinavian cop dramas such as The Killing, The Bridge and Wallander have got viewers hooked on noirish thrillers.
Now Britain is getting in on the act with the Welsh dark detective drama Hinterland, which has already aired on BBC1 and S4C in Wales.
Much like the Scandinavian thrillers, Hinterland boasts a dishevelled loner cop and a bleakly beautiful landscape.
Its bilingual cast filmed each scene in both English and Welsh, with the few subtitled Welsh sentences that sneak into the English version only adding to the atmosphere.
The drama stars Richard Harrington (Bleak House, Lark Rise To Candleford), as brooding DCI Tom Mathias, a former high-flying Metropolitan Police detective sent to work in Aberystwyth.
Mathias may seem like the archetypal maverick cop, but Richard points out the subtle differences.
“He’s very compassionate to the people he works with, including victims. He’s not terribly judgemental,” Richard told the Daily Express.
For reasons not clear at first, Mathias is a tortured soul.
“He’s stripped himself of any joy,” agrees Richard, 39. “He gets battered by the southwesterly winds and inhospitable terrain. They’re almost a metaphor for his psyche.”
The landscape of Ceredigion in west Wales, where Hinterland was filmed, is integral to the drama, which is made up of four two-part episodes.
With the rugged vistas of mid-Wales, a dark hero and even darker plot, Hinterland could well be Britain’s answer to Nordic noir.
Hinterland, Tuesday, April 29, BBC4
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