Skip to main content

Cometh the Awr

Sorry Vera and Les Mis. There’s a spanking brand new exciting Welsh language kid on the block to occupy our Sunday nights. Set in a bland courtroom and an eerie hotel in Bridgend County, 35 Awr (35 Hours, 8x60’, S4C) works its way back following the trials (boom! boom!) and tribulations of a jury thrown together to decide the fate of a troubled young man accused of killing his neighbour. Personally, the case itself plays second fiddle to the delicious mixture of members of the jury - an OCD librarian, randy accountant,  scarily silent fireman, gay travel agent, a student with a fuck y’all attitude - who wouldn’t normally look twice at each other, but who are forced to cooperate in Her Maj’s name. Here’s hoping that the wonderfully blunt Val (Gillian ElisaTaz (Iestyn Arwel) and Moira (the evergreen Christine Pritchard) get their own spin-off show. Fflur Dafydd’s dialogue is utterly believable, flows like the Taff after a storm, and peppered with knowingly cultural references and jokes (Glan-llyn! Dodoma!) that only Cymry Cymraeg would appreciate. A rare series that isn’t constrained by the recent de rigueur in Anglo-Welsh collaboration, where English scripts are translated into Welsh and therefore more awkward and less natural to native speakers. But more about that in the future.

The beauty of 35 Awr is its format. We open with a body and rewind our way with the ticking clock to the dirty bloody deed, weaving our way through a myriad murderers-elect. This is the fourth instalment of the hugely original and popular series, with minor amendment this time, as all the action happens within 35 hours, whereas previous series were set over 35 days. The first (and best in my humble ol' opinion) 35 Diwrnod was set in a swank cul-de-sac in Anywheresville, the second (less successful – I jibbed quarter way through) in a Cardiff high rise office block of an insurance firm, and the third (starring Siân Reese Williams of Craith/Hidden amongst others) surrounds a feuding farming clan in Carmarthenshire.

The humour is as dark as the set’s diffused lighting, the characters intriguing and utterly believable, flaws and all, and it also has a fantastically atmospheric opening music and credits – a rarity in modern dramas. Another hit from the author of Parch, easily my best TV drama of 2018 in any lingo. Beat that, Bodyguard!

Cymru Noir is on a roll and its high time S4C sells this Welsh language only drama and more to other nations, Walter Presents et al. 

After all, bendigedig subtitled dramas knows no bounds.

Sundays 9pm, S4C - catch up on S4C Clic or iPlayer with English subtitles

Popular posts from this blog

35 Diwrnod II

Am sgwp. Ar ôl tri-chwarter gobeithio y byddai S4C yn gweld sens ac yn comisiynu cyfres arall o lwyddiant dramatig y Sianel y llynedd wnaeth danio brwdfrydedd gwylwyr a'r twitteratis fel ei gilydd gyda chyfres murder mystery prin yn y Gymraeg, mae'n ôl! Neu, o leiaf mae Siwan Jones a Wil Garn wedi cael sêl bendith i ddechrau sgriptio yn barod ar gyfer ffilmio ym mis Mehefin. Fel y tybiwyd, stori, cymeriadau a marwolaeth newydd fydd sail yr ail, gyda chwmni yswiriant yn y brifddinas yn lle swbwrbia Caerffili. Croesi bysedd, gweddio, gobeithio y cawn nhw hwyl arni. Mae dilyniant i premiere anhygoel o lwyddiannus yn dalcen di-ddiolch o galed. Dw i'n deud dim (Broadchurch). Datganiad yma.

Losing Faith

“A critical acclaim and social media buzz” – The Times“A TV trailblazer… a delight to watch” – Grazia“Big Little Lies relocated to rural Wales” – The Guardian“A tale of organized crime and domestic strife” – The New York Times
She’s back!
"She" being our yellow mac’d mam-slash-sleuthing solicitor, who spent much of the first series driving back and forth along the stunning Carmarthenshire (and Southerndown) coast in search of errant hubby Evan, whilst singalonging with her kids, downing prosecco with the girls, being pursued by a dodgy cop straight outta Line of Duty and lapswchin’ with Mark Lewis-Jones. The rest of Britain know her as Faith Howells off Keeping Faith from last summer’s network hit (and smashed iPlayer as the 5th most popular TV programme of 2018) now with an added duck egg blue coat and killer heels.

We, however, are more familiar with Faith from Un Bore Mercher (One Wednesday Morning) on S4C starring a plethora of familiar faces like Rhian Morgan and Aneurin H…