Hinterland, BBC 4 - TV Review
Ellen E Jones
Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.
Tuesday 20 May 2014
Now that Wallander is back on BBC4, Welsh tribute act Hinterland seems a bit redundant, doesn't it? Especially since this column's Cwmbran correspondent (my cousin's fiancé) reliably informs me that everyone in Wales much prefers MTV reality show The Valleys.
To be fair, the ostentatiously Welsh aspects of this S4C production are probably more of a treat for those resident in other parts of Britain. The cinematography pays such glorious tribute to the Ceredigion region, that even the odd rotting corpse can't diminish the view. It's also been fascinating to learn about Welsh folklore via Hinterland's gimmick of basing each plot on a different traditional story. In this week's finale it was the myth of Blodeuwedd, the maiden conjured from flowers, which appeared to have influenced both victim and murderer.
There was plenty of time to consider Blodeuwedd's metaphorical significance as the mystery unfolded at the usual ponderously slow pace. Partly this is because DCI Tom Mathias (Richard Harrington) is such a terribly disorganised detective, but also, if they'd only cut all the lingering looks, the many extended silences and that cringy sex scene, the whole story could have been wrapped up 60 minutes, instead of 90.
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