REVIEW: 35 Awr (E3&4/8)

It has been one of those weeks, so I’ve been a bit behind on 35 Awr, S4C’s latest Welsh-language crime drama. But I’m enjoying it and wanted to keep up with it – so far it has been an intriguing mix of a locked-room mystery and an external whodunit.

The last time we saw our jurors, they were having a spot of bother getting on with each other while holed up in a hotel (after the suspect’s brother, Leighton, had tried to hijack the transport taking Kelvin back to prison). This continued throughout most of these two episodes, and there was plenty of intrigue to go around.

We saw necklace-fondling snarkmistress, Rhiannon, take her levels of surveillance to new levels – she snuck into Lynwen’s room and hid a camera so she could watch what was going on. Why? It was pretty obvious that there was a personal connection between the two and that Rhiannon wanted to… I wasn’t sure… get closer to her? Get revenge somehow? Make a connection? My initial feeling is that they’re related in some way.

More personal connections were beginning to emerge, too. Lynwen herself was revealed to be the ex of Haydn, who had returned after his stint in hospital (panic attack) and that she was indeed pregnant. And Haydn… Shifty Steve (who had wordlessly rebuffed a frisky Val in the hotel sauna earlier) was acting even stranger than usual – he had set off the hotel’s fire alarm and then picked up a knife to hide in his sleeve, only to confront Haydn. They knew each other alright, and you got the impression that Steve couldn’t care less about the case itself and wanted to exact revenge on Haydn for a previous misdemeanour.

Elsewhere, we got to know more about Moira. Previously, she had been quiet and full of bitterness. While Val was getting hammered, she formed a bond with Taz and revealed that her husband had run off with another man.

And so the stories of the jurors finally began to tumble out. Carwyn and Peredur came to blows (Peredur really is an unpleasant, predator-like, wind-up merchant), and Nadine’s whole life was suddenly looking very shaky – she seemed to be lying not only about the existence of a husband, but her career as an optician, too. Matt, meanwhile, was still trying to play amateur detective.

Writer Fflur Dafydd is gleefully playing chess with these characters, moving them around subtly, dropping them into confrontational situations at every opportunity, and placing them in confined spaces (room sharing, saunas, hotel restaurants etc) and it’s great fun to watch. But… there was a sense that the actual case was beginning to take a back seat, so it was welcome – and slightly surprising – that the jurors were moved back into the jury room in episode four, where an almighty discussion began about the case. And this was clever, too, because the characters themselves have now formed friendships and bonds and know each other much better, so their approach to opinion making has changed. Indeed, most of them were now so sick and tired of the whole process that they were content to find Kelvin guilty and go home to their respective lives.

It really is all bubbling up nicely, and it still feels fresh and intriguing.

Paul Hirons



6 Comments Add yours

  1. Elizabeth Macpherson says:

    ‘necklace-fondling snarkmistress’ – just wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Elaine S says:

    Great review there and Awr had somewhat turned into a black comedy with some genuine lol moments. Alas, it was not to last but it’s certainly holding my attention with the twists and turns.


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