Hidden (Craith) is an atmospheric suspense series from Wales. A female cop and her partner hunt down a serial kidnapper of young women.
I’m seeing comparisons of this series with The Bridge, but I found it very much like The Fall, which I recapped here.
Both Hidden (Craith) and The Fall have a female cop in the lead. In both series we know from the start who the kidnapper/killer is. Both use male writers and directors to tell a story about vulnerable women in peril. Both use glacial action to build suspense. Both use repetitive musical themes to propel the story. Both make location almost a character in the story.
Hidden (Craith) is set in North Wales. A special compound was built in a remote area of the woods to be the home of the kidnapper and the basement where he kept his stolen women.
In episode 1, we see a young woman on the edge of a cliff next to a waterfall. She’s obviously running from the man who comes up behind her.
Next morning the police find her body in the river. DI Cadi John (Sian Reese-Williams) and DS Owen Vaughan (Sion Alun Davies) get the case.
We get into the personal lives of these two police officers. Cadi recently returned home to help out with her ailing father Huw John (Ian Saynor), a former police officer. She has two sisters who live in the area: Elin (Nia Roberts) and Bethan (Megan Llyn).
Owen has a pregnant girlfriend (Melangell Dolma) who is pressing to move into a bigger house before the baby comes. Owen isn’t 100% sure he’s ready to be a father and have a mortgage. Plus, he can’t stop watching every move the very attractive DC Alys Mitchell (Sarah Tempest) makes.
Cadi and Owen have a great working relationship. It brings a bit of humor and humanity to their workday.
As I mentioned, we know that Dylan (Rhodri Meilir) is the kidnapper from the beginning. As soon as he loses the girl who jumped from the cliff, he’s stalking another woman. This one is a nurse (Lois Meleri-Jones). She manages to get away.
When the police identify the woman in the river, and add in the attempted kidnapping of the nurse, they start to dig back through missing women cases. They find several that are young and dark-haired like the newest cases.
We see into Dylan’s home life. He lives with his mother, Iona (Gillian Elisa). She’s a horrible woman who scarred her son in many ways. Now she tolerates his habit of snatching women from the streets and bringing them home to his basement. She refers to them as whores and bitches.
Dylan’s 8 year old daughter Nia (Elodie Wilton) lives with them. Her mother was one of Dylan’s victims. The child is completely silent around her father and grandmother. She draws a lot. She watches everything that happens from her upstairs bedroom window. She never leaves the compound.
We meet Megan (Gwyneth Keyworth) while the police are busy following leads, watching CCTV, and checking old case files (one of which was investigated by Cadi’s father).
She’s a suicidal young university woman. He arms and legs are riddled with scars from her cutting. Much like Dylan, her scars stem from her relationship with her mother.
For many episodes there’s no connection between Megan and the kidnapping cases, but the two plot lines intersect eventually.
Dylan grabs Megan. From that point things move faster and with more suspense. The police get closer to finding a name to go with the information they’ve gathered.
A gut feeling from a young female constable (Lowri Izzard) breaks the case. I thought that was an interesting twist in the investigation, especially because she went to Cadi with her hunch and Cadi listened to her. With this new clue, there’s an exciting ending to the case.
I must mention Mark Lewis Jones, who often shows up in Welsh language series. He had a small part in this, but his performance was truly outstanding.
The team that worked on this series also worked on Hinterland.
I watched Hidden (Craith) on Acorn TV. (It’s available in several other places, as well.) On Acorn, it played with a mix of Welsh and English. The Welsh was subtitled. That is unlike the other Welsh series I’ve seen. Others were filmed twice – once completely in Welsh, once completely in English. This used characters who spoke both languages, depending on the circumstances. I rather liked the mix of both.
Wales has produced some excellent television series in the last few years. If the Welsh use both languages in their daily lives – why not do it that way with television?
Season 2 has been set for Hidden (Craith). I will be interested to see what crime Cadi and Owen investigate then.