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S4C: Keeping Faith – S01 E05


Keeping Faith (Welsh: Un Bore Mercher) is a Welsh thriller television series, created by Matthew Hall and produced by Vox Pictures, that was first broadcast on S4C on 5 November 2017. Pip Broughton directed six of the series’ episodes, and Andy Newbery the other two. The series stars Eve Myles as Faith Howells, a solicitor whose husband Evan, with whom she works at their family-run law firm, disappears whilst she is on maternity leave following the birth of their third child. The eight-part series is the second in a season of bilingual dramas set to premiere back-to-back on S4C.

The series co-stars Hannah Daniel, Matthew Gravelle, Bradley Freegard, Mark Lewis Jones, Mali Harries and Aneirin Hughes. Initial S4C broadcasts carried entirely English subtitles, while repeat airings carried encoded English subtitles for scenes spoken in Welsh. The series has concurrently been available on the BBC iPlayer as part of the BBC’s ongoing relationship with S4C The series was filmed concurrently in both Welsh and English. The English-language version premiered on BBC Wales on 13 February 2018.

The show was extremely popular in Wales, with an average of 300,000 viewers per episode, making it the most popular show on BBC Wales for over 25 years. It also became the most downloaded non-network show on BBC iPlayer, with over 8.5 million downloads as at May 2018

The series has generally received favourable responses and was described in The Guardian as, “a bit like Big Little Lies relocated to rural Wales”. As Un Bore Mercher, the Welsh version of the series gained strong reviews..Gary Raymond, in Wales Arts Review, wrote: ‘…particularly interesting to see a genuine diamond emerge from the coalface in the form of Keeping Faith’ and ‘Social media opinion has been a little more approving’ [than the limited publicity surrounding the series].[ Lydia Morris at the UK Daily Post wrote that the programme ‘has already proved a hit with TV audiences’A review (under ‘Show and Tell’ by Paul Flynn) in Grazia magazine was headed ‘Like Broadchurch when it was good, Welsh production Keeping Faith is a TV trailblazer’ and was generous with its praise. Writing in The Times, Nicole Wynne described it as ‘the dual-language drama that has got box-set Britain gripped’ On 2 May 2018, referring to the series’ imminent removal from iPlayer access, Stuart Heritage wrote in the ‘Watch this game-changing thriller while you still can’  In the Daily Mail, Benji Wilson wrote that Keeping Faith ‘…looks set to take Broadchurch’s crown’. Jon Coates in the Express wrote ‘Keeping Faith’s unprecedented success… has led to a primetime run on BBC One starting on Thursday [12 July 2018], with a second series due to begin filming this autumn.

As of 16 March 2018 the series rates 7.7 out of 10 on IMDB. The yellow coat worn by ‘Faith’ during the series has become something of a fashion statement

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