Bilingual detective drama comes to BBC

Richard Harrington in Hinterland Richard Harrington stars as a detective on the run from his past

A detective drama series will be the first to prominently feature dialogue in both English and Welsh on the BBC.

Hinterland stars Richard Harrington as DCI Tom Mathias, a man on the run from his past. Having abandoned London, he takes up a new life on the outskirts of Aberystwyth. Against a backdrop of mountainous terrain and close-knit villages with dark secrets, he forms a partnership with hometown girl DI Mared Rhys.

Executive producer Ed Thomas says the two languages are integral to the plot. 'In Hinterland, Mathias is not a Welsh speaker, but most of the other characters we encounter do speak the language. The dialogue therefore reflects the natural way people adapt their language use to suit the situation they find themselves in.'

Conversation in Welsh - which accounts for about 10% of the drama - will have on-screen subtitles.

BBC Cymru Wales director Rhodri Talfan Davies said in April that he wanted programmes that better reflected Welsh language, life and culture.

Speaking at the Celtic Media Festival, he said: 'I think we have to spend more time finding bridges that can connect different audiences to cultures, viewpoints and experiences they might not normally encounter.

'On BBC One Wales I want us to think creatively about how we allow Welsh language voices and experiences to be heard and experienced a little more.'

The drama - made by indie Fiction Factory - was first broadcast as Y Gwyll on S4C. The English-Welsh version will be aired on BBC One Wales in January.


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