By Will Barber Taylor
Aberystwyth’s panoramic vistas hide a multitude of sins and sinners. It is DCI Tom Mathias’ (Richard Harrington) job to investigate and hunt down the perpetrators of crimes that jeopardise the safety and security of the local community.
Throughout Season Two Mathias comes face to face with killers, stalkers and their victims, who draw him into a world where death, drug dealing and recrimination threaten the stability of the quiet region. Whilst dealing with this dark side, Mathias must confront his own demons.
Provocative, original and cinematic, Hinterland is British television at its very best.
Hinterland is like other releases from Nordic Noir in that is knows how to use its landscape. However, Hinterland is unique in that it focuses on the divide in society, something previous releases like Trapped have touched upon but have not had at the centre of their story. In each episode of the series, the divide between the police and local residents, Mathias and DI Rhys (Mali Harries) and even the English and Welsh languages is at the heart of everything.
Hinterland really does reflect its title; the series is not only set in a “Hinterland” but Mathias himself occupies his own personal hinterland. He is divided from the rest of the native Welsh speaking police and from his wife Meg (Anamaria Marinca) because of his complex inner personality. It is because of his outsider status that Mathias is able to solve the cases in the series with such determination. Herein lies the brilliances of Hinterland – it creates a character that not only reflects its major theme, division, but also mirrors the name of the series itself.
Richard Harrington gives a great performance as Mathias. His cold, determined and naturalistic take on the role makes the series truly unique. He does appear truthful as a war torn DCI, trying to be accepted in a place he doesn’t feel he belongs. He plays well off Mali Harries’ somewhat brittle DI Rhys. The dynamic makes the series feel like other classic TV series that featured an odd couple dynamic, such as Randall and Hopkirk Deceased.
Ultimately, Hinterland is a series that truly is the product of Wales – mystic, dramatic and filled to the brim with insightful ideas about the nature of crime.
With thanks to Nordic Noir and Beyond. Hinterland Series 2 will be released on Monday the 30th of May from Nordic Noir & Beyond.