Wales nails 'Nordic noir' as homegrown drama is snapped up by the Killing broadcaster

DR Denmark which produced the Killing believes it has found its natural successor in Aberystwyth-based drama Hinterland

It’s a case of the Welsh selling Nordic “noir” back to Scandinavia. The Danish broadcaster behind The Killing has snapped up a Welsh-language detective drama after declaring the remote landscape and supressed violence of Aberystwyth to be the “new Noir”.

With Detective Inspector Sarah Lund finally hanging up her Faroese jumper at the conclusion of The Killing III on BBC4 this weekend, DR Denmark, the channel which produced the series, believes it has found its natural successor in a remote Welsh coastal town.

DR Denmark has acquired Hinterland, an atmospheric Welsh police thriller, backed by Welsh language broadcaster S4C, which has begun shooting in the seaside resort of Aberystwyth and the surrounding Ceredigion countryside.

The series stars Lark Rise To Candleford actor Richard Harrington in the lead role of DCI Tom Mathias, who is on the run from a troubled past in London, and partners with local girl DI Mared Rhys to investigate local crimes.

DR Denmark, which followed The Killing with the acclaimed series The Bridge and political drama Borden, was attracted by Hinterland’s location, on the remote west coast of Wales.

The story, which opens with the discovery of a grizzly body, is set against a backdrop of mountainous land, isolated farms and a close-knit village.

The channel believes the landscape and scenario will appeal to viewers familiar with the nocturnal scenes of Nordic gloom in the Copenhagen-set series.

Dr Kaare Schmidt, DR series acquisitions executive, said: “Set against the mountainous backdrop of Aberystwyth, Hinterland has the suspenseful noir atmosphere of understated violence and moral ambiguity that defines the new Scandinavian wave of social crime dramas like The Killing.”

Described by its producers as “inventive and chilling”, the eight-part series will be shot separately in both Welsh and English, with the actors repeating their scenes in the alternative language, the first dual language production of its kind.

It will be screened on S4C first in Welsh, under the title Mathias, with the English version to follow on BBC Wales and BBC4, in its Saturday night imported drama slot.

The Killing has boosted tourism to Denmark and Gwawr Martha Lloyd, S4C Drama Commissioner, believes the series will have a similar impact in Wales.

“We really want this production to enable the viewer to get a feel for our wonderful area - the scenery and the people who make Ceredigion what it is,” she said.

Shooting has begun at the spectacular Devil’s Bridge waterfalls and Borth, a coastal stretch in the shadow of Snowdonia.

Like Sarah Lund, Hinterland’s hero DCI Mathias is described as an intuitive and passionate detective, compelled to find justice. But he is tortured by guilt about his past and comes to Aberystwyth in search of a new beginning. Inevitably for a TV detective, Mathias often succeeds despite his unorthodox methods.

Aberystwyth has already bred its own form of noir. Author Malcolm Pryce set his cult Raymond Chandler-inspired novels about a private detective called Louie Knight in the resort, including The Unbearable Lightness Of Being In Aberystwyth.

Local author Niall Griffiths was hailed as a major talent for his novel Sheepshagger, which depicted a group of rebellious, drug-taking Welsh youngsters, earned comparisons to Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting.

Denmark DR announced that The Killing, starring Sofie Gråbøl, which first aired in 2007, would come to an end at the conclusion of its third series. Its popularity in Britain challenged assumptions that viewers would not watched subtitled programmes and has opened the door for a wave of European drama imports.

Hinterland is a collaboration between Cardiff-based independent producers Fiction Factory, BBC Wales, All3Media International and S4C. BBC4 has taken a minority stake in the production and will benefit from international sales.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Gothic revival: artist Dave McKean’s poster for Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination
Exhibition
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard has left the Great British Bake Off 2014

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live

TV
Arts and Entertainment
TVDessert week was full of the usual dramas as 'bingate' ensued
Arts and Entertainment
Clara and the twelfth Doctor embark on their first adventure together
TVThe regulator received six complaints on Saturday night
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Arts and Entertainment
David Baddiel concedes his show takes its inspiration from the hit US series 'Modern Family'
comedyNew comedy festival out to show that there’s more to Jewish humour than rabbi jokes
Arts and Entertainment
Puff Daddy: One Direction may actually be able to use the outrage to boost their credibility

music
Arts and Entertainment
Suha Arraf’s film ‘Villa Touma’ (left) is set in Ramallah and all the actresses are Palestinian

film
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Carell in the poster for new film 'Foxcatcher'
filmExclusive: First look at comic actor in first major serious role
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Kingston Road in Stockton is being filmed for the second series of Benefits Street
arts + entsFilming for Channel 4 has begun despite local complaints
Arts and Entertainment
Led Zeppelin

music
Arts and Entertainment
Radio presenter Scott Mills will be hitting the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce performs in front of a Feminist sign at the MTV VMAs 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has taken home the prize for Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Paige and Scott Lowell in Queer as Folk (Season 5)
tvA batch of shows that 'wouldn't get past a US network' could give tofu sales an unexpected lift
Arts and Entertainment
books... but seller will be hoping for more
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

    The phoney war is over

    Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
    From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

    Salomé: A head for seduction

    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
    From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

    British Library celebrates all things Gothic

    Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
    The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

    Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

    The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

    In search of Caribbean soul food

    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
    11 best face powders

    11 best face powders

    Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
    England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
    Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
    Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

    Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

    Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
    Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

    Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

    The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
    America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

    America’s new apartheid

    Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone