Hidden 9pm BBC 4, BBC iPlayer, directed by Gareth Bryn



As any of my long-term blog readers knows (which numbers about two and a bit) the embourgeoisement thesis that was used to determine whether working class folk can become middle class by becoming Luton car workers or continually watching BBC 4 programmes shows I’ve been infected by BBC values. I’m almost middle class.

Hidden on BBC 4 shines. If we use my old favourite Wallander as a benchmark (not the Kenneth Branagh shite, although it wasn’t that bad) then Hidden hits the mark without being Wallander of being Wallenderish.

We get away from the metropolis and big-time policing and here we are in Wales, a place so far from civilisation that sometimes they use subtitles as if everybody was speaking like a Glaswegian drunk.

Then we have the magnificent DI Cadi John (Sian Reese-Williams) who has to return home to the land of the subtitles because her father Huw (Ian Saynor) is poorly. He’s an ex-cop and she’s in his patch. Her sisters aren’t that impressed and give her stick.

DI Cadi’s got a bit more help on the work front. Her sidekick DS Owen Vaughan (Sion Alun Davies) is there to mope about, but we know he’ll come up (we can no longer use the word trumps) like a dog with a bloody stick.

There’s a body, of course in a rural outpost of streams and natural beauty. There’s been a murder, as they used to say in Taggert (I appeared in the Glasgow series as the back of somebody’s head in a bar as did everybody else in Scotland that voted for Scottish Independence) and it’s a young girl, Mali Pryce (Greta James) that her dad Alun (Owen Arwyn) had reported going missing in 2011. He’d been in jail and Mali had been acting up. Class issue. Alun didn’t think the authorities and the police in particular took her disappearance seriously. He’s been proven tragically correct.

DI John and her colleagues now know she’s been held somewhere local for the last few years. And in the last frame identifies a bracelet that Mali wore that another missing girl is pictured wearing. That gets the clock ticking, because there’s another Hidden girl.

All good dramas line up the suspects to be knocked over like fairground ducks. Here we have the brooding presence of backwoodsman Dylan Harris (Rhodri Meilir) and his volatile and dominating mother, Iona  (Gillian Elisa) who beats him and makes him sleep outside. He doesn’t, of course, but slips into a cell that looks suspiciously like the kind of place you’d keep a young girl.

Then there is the question of the young girl sleeping upstairs in Iona and Dylan’s house. She’s too young to be Iona’s and Dylan doesn’t look the fathering type, too socially awkward. There’s the suspicion here that Mali Pryce had a child, Dylan is the father and I might be totally wrong because there’s always red herrings.

Throw in exhibit A, district nurse, salt of the earth type Lowri Driscoll  (Lois Meleri Jones) she knows something, but the viewer doesn’t know what it is. Her boyfriend is a violent thug and seems to be stalking her. And he seems to have smashed her car window.

Hidden shouldn’t be hidden on BBC 4, it’s the best drama on telly. It should be on BBC 1, prime time. I’ll be watching this and as usual, I’ll get bits wrong and bits right. Write…