Setting proves to be extremely integral to any story. The language of a particular production also has to do with the authenticity of the portrayed setting. The setting helps make a story unique, grounding it to a certain reality as well. BBC’s ‘Hidden‘ is a Welsh crime series that uses its setting of Wales in multiple ways to tell an atmospheric and deep tale. The show is titled ‘Craith’ in Welsh. Moreover, the show is filmed back-to-back in Welsh and English for a bilingual version that airs on BBC Four, apart from the original.
‘Hidden’ revolves around the Detective Inspector Cadi John who is forced to return to her hometown to tend to her ailing father. There, she finds herself becoming embroiled in the investigation revolving around the death of a woman which leads her to a much larger case surrounding multiple missing women. The show is part procedural and part psychological drama. However, it is NOT a whodunnit.
Is Hidden Based on a True Story?
Many viewers must have wondered whether ‘Hidden’ is based on a true story. This question would have largely surfaced because of the fact that the setting of Wales is captured extremely authentically. Viewers almost feel transported to the region. However, the story of ‘Hidden’ is completely fictional. The makers have based it on several true incidents, though, with an attempt to ground it to reality.
“Mark Andrew and I started developing the show in 2015, and knew from the outset where we wanted to set it – there is something about the north Wales landscape that draws you towards it – the danger of it, the jaw-dropping beauty – it felt like the right place to set our story,” creator Ed Talfan told BBC. This is the reason the setting feels so real. It is an attempt by the maker to ground the show to reality.
Apart from that, another attempt by the makers is to present a holistic look at the crime. That is the reason the whodunnit bit was avoided. Instead, the culprit’s character is depicted closely with the intent of portraying his psyche with depth. The idea was to have a healthy balance between a police procedural and a character-driven tone to yield a compelling slow-burn drama.
Some of the fictional sources that the makers took inspiration from include ‘True Detective,’ ‘Prime Suspect,’ ‘The Night Of,’ ‘The Bridge,’ and ‘The Fall.’ However, real cases were also looked at. “We wanted to build a grimly realistic portrait of a serial offender. To create a three-dimensional monster in the same vein as Francis Dollarhyde (Manhunter),” said series co-creator Mark Andrew.
One of the actual cases that the writers studied was that of the Ariel Castro kidnappings. Between 2002 and 2004, a man named Ariel Castro had kidnapped three women: Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Georgina “Gina” DeJesus, and held them captive in a basement in Cleveland, Ohio. He would regularly force himself on the three girls and treat them poorly. Berry even got pregnant during their captivity and gave birth in the basement. The girls were only freed in 2013 when Berry was able to contact the neighbors.
Other cases that the writers took inspiration from include the cases of Jaycee Dugard and Natascha Kampusch. The former was kidnapped at the age of eleven by Phillip and Nancy Garrido in 1991. She was not rescued until 2009. Natascha Kampusch, on the other hand, was kidnapped at the age of ten and kept in captivity in a cellar by Wolfgang Přiklopil for over eight years. She even wrote a book about it titled ‘3096 Days,’ which was later adapted to a movie in German.
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