May 14

bardic noir (aka every planet has a borth)

FT3 comments • 387 views

very quickly (since i am DEFINITELY meant to be doing something else: writing a project proposal on quite a fierce deadline), i just wanted to scribble this about HINTERLAND/Y GWYLL. Much anticipated since it first ran last year on SC4 — round the time I was re-visiting that very part of wales with friends — I have been combination drawn to and disappointed by it so far (3 of 4 eps).

(image = beermat snapped in aber pub frequented by student piratemoggy)

1: i love the sheer slowness and sense of the mundane crappiness of much of actual rural life in a superpassingly beautiful landscape
2: i love love love hearing welsh spoken on TV (i grew up close to the welsh border and we visited often: i don’t speak it sadly except for a few words — araf! — but the sound of it, esp.mid-wales welsh, is very familiar and comforting to me)
3: the “cabinet of curiosities”/svankmajer/owl service-style weirdness — of abandoned houses, decaying tools, toys etc — is a bit over-amped and mannerist
[3a: total side-issue, the “cabinet of curiosities” has become such a cliche in present-day exhibition-curating circles that at work — where we have to field info about and review many such exhibitions — we have taken to calling it the “cupboard of rubbish”]
4: the lead is over-angsting by factors of ten, but i am enjoying his utterly matter-of-fact crew and their muted exasperation at his unprofessional emo-gothy shenanigans
5: his boss — who does nothing but gaze on everything via TV screens, looking as if he’s about to explode over who-knows-what but never doing so — is great
6: the stories have all been a bit “magical land of childhood terrors” so far, though i think many of the minor characters peopling them have been pretty good
7: so it’s getting some things right and some things wrong


  1. 1
    Kat but logged out innit on 13 May 2014 #

    I have enjoyed the lovely bleak landscape and the spoken Welsh immensely, but the pacing seems a bit off – great for the first half hour then ramped up so quickly and intensely (lead detective in particular) that you just want everyone to calm down and say ‘dim broblem, dude’ again. Agreed that PC Fringeface (it is not her), Elliott the geeky dude from Hollyoaks (it is not him) are great.

  2. 2

    trufax re pace:


    every ep so far has involved some sudden related emergency intruding into the investigation — viz a disappearance, a kidnapping, a stop-unknown-b4-they-kill-again — which EMO-GOTHY LEAD solves in record time by gazing out across the marshes and hills regretting the bad life-decisions he’s made and then driving around a lot v quickly


  3. 3
    Paul I on 14 May 2014 #

    That’s interesting about the cabinet/cupboard stuff. I actually tend to like those parts of museums but hadn’t thought about the reason they get put together (i.e. “here’s a bunch of weird stuff we haven’t quite researched yet”). But then the Grant museum is pretty much cabinet AS museum, and I think that place is fantastic.

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