Hidden, BBC Four, Saturday

A sleeper hit when it aired in 2018, the bilingual, North Wales-set detective series returned for a second series last night with episode one promising more of the same winning blend of strong characterisation and grim rural noir. Make that very grim rural noir: no opportunity is missed to juxtapose the majestic Welsh scenery with the low architecture of the area’s run-down towns and villages. The weather helps too. Rain, lots of it.

Moving on from series one, DCI Cadi John (Sian Reese-Williams) was still living in the home of her now-dead father and still dealing with the fallout from her doctor sister’s separation and her younger sister Bethan’s breezy attempts to clear the house and shift some bad memories. I don’t know the Welsh for closure, but that’s what Bethan’s after. The old man is dead, after all.

Against that background another old man has been found murdered in his bath following an anonymous tip off. The victim was a former chemistry teacher who had been forced out of a job he loved after an accusation of sexual abuse from a male pupil not known for his truthiness. As with series one, we were given an early view of the perpetrators: here it was teenage friends Mia (Annes Elwy), Connor (Steffan Cennydd) and Lee (Siôn Eifion). Mia was the ring-leader, kind of the Lady Macbeth of the trio, while Lee was the muscle and Connor the conscience (it was him who called the police to the crime scene). We don’t know exactly what happened, or why, but that’s DCI John’s job isn’t it? We’re just along for the ride. The village of Blaenau Ffestiniog has a dark and seedy underbelly and we’re going to enjoy exploring it with the intense and taciturn detective.

In a way it’s a shame the BBC has dropped Hidden (or Craith to give it its Welsh title) into its tried-and-tested Saturday night foreign language drama slot on BBC Four. The corporation did the same thing with Hinterland, another excellent detective drama filmed in Welsh and Welsh/English for S4C and BBC Cymru. But in the week that Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite became the first foreign language film to win the Best Picture Oscar, it’s worth noting that Hidden is more than capable of holding its own on BBC One or Two. Then again, it’s an instructive placing: watching Hidden in the context of its Scandi Noir stablemates you realise how good it is and how strong are the cultural connections between, say Welsh-speaking communities, and their Norwegian, Icelandic or Swedish equivalents. Dear BBC Scotland, can we have something similar in Gaelic, please?