The second series of Hidden finds Cadi John (Sian Reese-Williams) conflicted, promoted to Detective Chief Inspector for her work in the first series, but in mourning over the loss of her father. On the other side, her deputy DS Owen Vaughn (Sion Alun Davies) faces new life, as he struggles to balance his job and his new child. Amidst all this domestic turmoil, they have a new case. An anonymous call from a phone booth leads officers to the body of an old man, laying dead in his bathtub for weeks.
Trapped in homes where neglect and abuse fester, three teenagers (Steffan Cennydd, Annes Elwy, Siôn Eifion) find each other. Their collective trauma combines into misdirected violence and in this compellingly performed tragedy, the trio deal with the consequences in different ways. From crippling remorse to recklessness, they each tackle the reality that they’ve become what they despise.
Originally titled Craith, with the Welsh subtitled for English viewers, this bilingual noir earns its place alongside its Scandinavian predecessors and BBC counterparts. Like its first series which dealt with layers of misogyny within every character, the writers aren’t interested in glorifying their protagonists. Nor do they bother concealing the killers, instead investing time into exposing how the monsters were made. North Wales makes for an isolated Gothic landscape to accompany this Frankenstein story, conjuring an eerie, inescapable air with its endless cold hillside. Emphasised by its title sequence, the spaces inhabited feel abandoned, decaying and rusting— but alive, teeming with secrets, unrest coming out of the cracks like weeds.
As the lead actress attests, Hidden is “more of a personal drama than a crime series”, through every character: the detectives, the killers, the victim, the surrounding families, tension spreads outwards like a cracking window. The case from the previous series has left its mark, and here, we uncover more bruises left by unseen emotional ordeals, until guilt and grief push this community to breaking point.
What’s left behind after a death? Like the best British shows, Hidden knows how long it needs to answer that central question, and uses its six episodes to build up this spider’s web of layered, confused characters. Make no mistake, there’s no excitement or reprieve, just a carefully engineered, heightening sense of dread, with a compulsion to see this story through to drive you to the finale.
Hidden is available on BBC iPlayer in the UK and on Acorn TV in the US from the 12th June
by Fatima Sheriff
Fatima (she/her) is a biomedical sciences graduate and aspiring science communicator. Literary adaptations with beautiful soundtracks call to her, but she enjoys anything with an original concept, witty writing, diverse casting or even the briefest appearance of Dan Stevens. Her favourite films do fluctuate but her love for Paddington 2 is perennial. She can be found on Letterboxd @sherifff and on Twitter here.