Hinterland is set to captivate a new audience thanks to a distribution deal with online streaming company Netflix. The first series of the Aberystwyth-based show will be broadcast across North America and Canada in a move which will bring Welsh programming to the international stage.
The online streaming company has seen huge success recently from original programmes such as House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, and the resurrection of Arrested Development.
Filmed simultaneously in English and Welsh, the strength of Hinterland was proven before production even started, when distribution rights were sold to DR Denmark, the Danish public service broadcaster behind The Killing. Hopes are now high that the Netflix agreement will bring new interest to Welsh programming from an even wider global audience.
"Our intention with our partners has been to create a gripping and exciting drama and create a platform which would allow people across the world to experience Wales and the Welsh language," Director of Content Dafydd Rhys commented.
"From the beginning we knew that Y Gwyll/Hinterland was going to be a special project," said Gwawr Martha Lloyd, Drama Commissioner at S4C. "And the series has certainly captured the imagination of viewers in Wales and beyond, and continues to do so as the series is broadcast on other Channels."
Starring Richard Harrington as DCI Tom Mathias, Hinterland is a home-grown take on the gritty Scandinavian drama that has proved popular with UK viewers. But, says Swansea-born playwright and Hinterland creator Ed Thomas, the idea came before the European shows hit UK screens.
We were aware of Wallander," Thomas told The Independent. "But The Killing and The Bridge hadn't been aired. But [when they did] it certainly made it easier raising the finance, because people would think, 'Ah, okay, this is that kind of drama...' People liked that it had a sense of place."
The English language version of Hinterland will be repeated on BBC 4 from 28 April. Filming of a second series will take place in Ceredigion in September this year, with broadcast set for late 2014/early 2015.