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.

Arts and Entertainment

Will Poulter will play the shape-shifting monsterfilm
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Paul Hollywood

'Whether he left is almost immaterial'TV
Arts and Entertainment

game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers

Arts and Entertainment
The original Star Wars trio of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill

George Osborne confirms Star Wars 8 will film at Pinewood Studios in time for 4 May


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

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

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before