Category Archives: Un Bore Mercher/Keeping Faith

REVIEW Un Bore Mercher (S3 E1&2/6)

The return of arguably the most successful Welsh crime drama of all time has been much heralded, not least on these pages, but when you see Faith Howells again in her new coat, your heart begins to sing in a way that isn’t matched by many dramas in this genre.

One of the most put-upon characters in recent memory, Faith (the superb Eve Myles) has a determination and such strength and resilience that it’s not hard to root for her. And she has been through a hell of a lot – a disappearing husband that tore apart her family, involvement in with an Irish crime lynchpin, resorting to underhand dealings to get herself out of said crime lynchpin’s clutches, police, realising her husband was a bit of a ne’er do well AND an almost star-crossed love affair with a rough and ready blast from her past.

But the real strength of Un Bore Mercher is that way these crime elements mix seamlessly with family and relationship drama. You wouldn’t really call Un Bore Mercher cosy and warm exactly, but there is a great warmth to it.

And this where we dive into series three. Evan and Faith are about to enter into what looks like tense and acrimonious custody proceedings, and their uneasy truce is entirely due to the children. And the children – one a tearaway 15-year-old and one a sensitive, younger sibling – are finding adjusting to their new normal very tough.

It’s these scenes with Evan – who’s desperate to make amends – Faith (who isn’t), and the kids that give it real, emotional depth.

Elsewhere, Faith and Cerys (who have started their own legal firm) have a new case to deal with: an old, ahem, friend of Faith’s (well, a guy who fitted her kitchen and once made a pass at her) has hired them to get involved in a complex, emotional and ethically ambiguous saga involving his teenage son, who lies in hospital with a brain tumour. His father, Mike, wants to operate, while the hospital does not because of the slim chance of survival.

Once again, this emotion – and the lovely connection Faith makes with Osian – is truly what sets her and the show apart from its contemporaries. Faith Howells has a way with people.

And she also has a way with her mother.

The big plotline in this series is the emergence of Rose Fairchild, the mother that walked out on Faith and her family when she was 15. Rose (played with menace and a fairly average Cockney accent by the excellent Celia Imrie) employs Stave Baldini (who in this series seems to be living in a log cabin and doing his best impression of Grizzly Adams) – they seem to have some previous – to rob one of Gael Reardon’s joints (she’s out of prison but owes Rose money) and then introduce her to Faith.

Their initial confrontation in episode one is quite something, their subsequent meeting in episode two is no holds barred and we see a threatened Faith once again – she (literally) bears her teeth, tells her in no uncertain terms to stay away and then is broken once again. Rose and her reemergence have taken her to a place she does not want to be, and under all that confidence, her vulnerability bubbles up yet again.

But Rose looks as though she’s here to stay – she has also started legal proceedings to let her see her grandchildren, and she’s beginning to resort to underhand tactics. She knows about Faith’s involvement with Gael, and has the photographic evidence to prove it. Furthermore, she’s willing to use it.

It looks as though there’s going to be a battle royale between these two, and already sensing stormy skies ahead, Faith reaches out to DI Laurence Breeze for help.

Add in Evan doing some sneaking around in the shadows, her best friend admitting she’s an alcoholic and Cerys hooking up with one of the male nurses at Osian’s hospital, and I’d say we’re nicely set up for the rest of this final, six-part series.

Paul Hirons

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.



S4C reveals first trailer for Un Bore Mercher

It isn’t long now until the third and final series of Un Bore Mercher (Keeping Faith).

The Welsh-language crime drama, starring Eve Myles as Faith Howells, begins on S4C on 1st November.

And now we have a trailer.

We also got a short teaser yesterday.

Although we don’t have any log-lines, we can see that Faith has a new coat (we care about such things), and that her personal life looks to be as tangled as ever.

We’re looking forward to seeing it.



S4C confirms transmission date for Un Bore Mercher/Keeping Faith

One of the shows we’ve been looking forward to this autumn is the third and final series of Un Bore Mercher (Keeping Faith).

Now we now when it’s going to be on

Welsh-language channel S4C has confirmed that Sunday 1st November is the date for our diaries.

Gwenllian Gravelle, Drama Commissioner for S4C, said; “We know it’s the last series, so everyone wants to know how it will all end for Faith.

“The last two series have been known for their plot twists, so there’s a lot of anticipation about the final farewell.

Adding to the excitement are the amazing additions to the cast. Appearing alongside Faith (Eve Myles), Evan (Brad Freegard) and Steve Baldini (Mark Lewis-Jones) are acting legends Celia Imrie and Sîan Phillips who both appear as new characters.

Un Bore Mercher was filmed back to back with the English version, Keeping Faith, which is set to appear on BBC Wales in early 2021.

Series one and two will be available as Box Sets on S4C Clic from 16th October.



Eve Myles says goodbye to Un Bore Mercher’s Faith Howells in emotional social media post

Actress Eve Myles has said goodbye to Faith Howells in an emotional social media post.

Eve, 42, is embarking on the last day of filming (Sunday 30th August) for Un Bore Mercher (Keeping Faith) after it was revealed that the Welsh crime drama resumed production. The series took an enforced production break over the summer because of COVID-19.

In the Twitter post, which sees Eve dressed in Faith’s trademark yellow rain mac, she wrote: “With a heavy heart I say goodbye to Faith… Thank you”.

It wasn’t long before her army of followers took to the site to share their thoughts.

“Faith has been one of the best female characters ever seen on television.

“I think so many of us women, have embraced her because she is empowering and instils that within us.

“She’s the woman we all want to be, or be friends with. Hwyl fawr, cariad,” one said.

Another wrote: “It’s been a wonderful watch. There’s not many that I look forward to but this is one. Sad to see it end.”

Last week, Vox Pictures, the series production company, confirmed: “Filming has commenced on series three of Keeping Faith, with cast and crew following all guidelines, legislation and protocol set out by the Welsh government to ensure a safe environment for all involved.”

Today is the last ever day of filming for the series.

Look out for a special Un Bore Mercher podcast next week.


Un Bore Mercher/Keeping Faith resumes filming in Wales

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating affect on many industries, not least film and television. But as lockdowns are eased in many countries, we’re hearing that some of our favourite series are back on schedule.

Last week we brought you news that Fargo was about to start filming again, and now we’re hearing that the third and final of S4C’s Un Bore Mercher (Keeping Faith) has also resumed filming.

Vox Pictures – the series’ production company – posted a news story on its website.

It said: “Filming has commenced on series three of Keeping Faith, with cast and crew following all guidelines, legislation and protocol set out by the Welsh government to ensure a safe environment for all involved.”

A tweet by the show’s star – Eve Myles – seemed to suggest that production was at an advanced stage.

In an emotional tweet, Myles said: “One week and I say bye bye Faith.”

We’ll let you know when S4C announces transmission details.

It was also revealed recently that Celia Imrie would be joining the cast for series three.


Keeping Faith/Un Bore Mercher to return for a third ‘and final’ series

BBC Cymru Wales and S4C crime drama Keeping Faith/Un Bore Mercher will return for a third and final series, both broadcasters have today confirmed. Fans told to get set for another thrilling series as acting royalty Celia Imrie joins the cast.

Eve Myles set to return as Faith Howells, Bradley Freegard as Evan Howells and Mark Lewis Jones as Steve Baldini. Olivier award-winning Celia Imrie is set to join the cast for series three.

Judging by this image BBC Cymru Wales tweeted out, production has already begun, which means we could see this later this year.

BBC Cymru Wales Head of Commissioning Nick Andrews says: “Keeping Faith is a fantastic show and I’m delighted that it will return for a third series. A record-breaker on iPlayer, it has a passionate following of fans and is characteristic of the high-quality drama being produced in Wales right now and enjoyed by people across the UK. Looking ahead, the pace of great made-in-Wales telly shows no sign of slowing down.”

Amanda Rees, S4C Director of Content, says: “S4C is thrilled to see the return of Un Bore Mercher in 2020. This pioneering drama is hailed as one of S4C’s Originals, and the award-winning thriller, set in the heart of one of Wales’ most beautiful landscapes, has raised the profile of Welsh drama across the world.”

REVIEW: Un Bore Mercher (S2 E6/6)

Over the course of five episodes, we’ve seen Faith Howells deal with a lot.

More than most, in fact.

She’s had to reap the consequences from all the wheeling and dealing she was forced to do after her husband Evan had done a runner; deal with Evan’s return, incarceration, release and potential affair with the woman who was mercilessly blackmailing her; deal with a smug police officer who strutted around and issued threats to her down; taking on the defence of a woman who was accused of murdering her husband; deal with her own on-off feelings for Steve Baldini; and deal with the kind of problems at home only a working mum-of-three could understand.

Make no mistake, she really has had to deal with a lot.

You always got the sense that as her world was not just crumbling, but shattering, someone – whether it be herself, Steve or even Evan – might take matters into their own hands and do something to resolve the situation.

But what of Evan? At the end of the last episode, Steve Baldini warned that Evan might well be more dangerous than anyone ever imagined.

So the pressure was on to tie all of these narrative strands up. It was a huge task, but they did it. Whether they did in a satisfactory matter or not is another matter entirely. It all happened very, very quickly.

Let’s first tackle the murder mystery side of things. Yes, we knew that Gael Reardon was trying to coerce Will Vaughan into selling his farm to her, and we knew that she had set-up the photographs of the mystery woman that were sent to Madlen Vaughan. We also knew that Gael and Evan were on the hunt for this mystery woman.

What we didn’t know who would get there first. It was Faith who found her and more pieces fell into place: Diana was a Ukranian immigrant who Faith had managed to track down (via some particularly nasty henchman, who she dispatched with a quick kick to the nethers). What Diana told Faith shook her world once again. She had come over from Ireland in the back of a truck (Gael’s people-trafficking truck) and her boyfriend had become so ill he had died soon after. He had been buried in the sand dunes by none other than Evan.

I was thinking at this stage: how on Earth could Faith forgive Evan after this?

I had also been thinking that it was Will’s son Dyfan who had murdered him. Perhaps accidentally, perhaps not. And it was looking for all the world that Cerys and Faith were beginning to believe that, too. But an interview with the youngster had revealed something I hadn’t been prepared for: Madlen was actually guilty.

This was a bold move. We’re so used to our heroes being right, and so used to the main characters being a shining light and people who fight for the truth and people who are often vindicated. So for Faith to be wrong about Madlen Vaughan was a twist of sorts. It underlined that this series is all about flawed people, and Faith is another of those flawed people. As she said to Breeze towards the end of the episode, she had just made another stupid, emotional decision.

This series had been full of them – decisions made emotionally that had consequences. Each character was flawed, and had acted on emotions.

But what of Gael Reardon? She had procured Corran Energy, but still insisted that Faith was in her debt. So I did think that either Faith, or Steve or even Evan might take matters into their own hands. Her end was about as unsatisfactory as her character (I still believe she’s a bit of a caricature) – her nephew Shane was about to bump her off in revenge for the death of his brother. Instead, Gael managed to escape his clutches and turned the tables and killed him. She disappeared off into the sunset on her private jet.

That just left the Faith-Evan-Steve triangle to sort out. Un Bore Mercher has been full of fantastic moments and terrific acting, and the moment Faith asked Evan to get out of the house was one of them. He was cooking a chilli iin the kitchen and, as the children did their homework in the living area, she sidled up to him and whispered in his ear everything she knew he had done (he had also passed the photographs onto the prosecution during Madlen’s trial). He reacted badly, pressing a knife to stomach, threatening to kill himself. Faith, again, whispered, talking him down. He collected his things and left.

It was a fantastically tense scene.

For good? Who knows. He’d had some sort of affair with Gael and had done some bad things, but they were never explicitly revealed. Or confirmed. Or explained.

What we did know was that Evan was a coward to the last.

Now the path was clear for Steve to move in and be with the woman he had coveted for so long. Except… he had buggered things up, too. It was he who had taken the photographs of Diana and Will together for Gael Reardon. He had lied to Faith.

Another man, another lie.

She forgave him (forgave him that easily after everything she had been through?) but told him it would be a while until she trusted another man.

Too bloody right.

And yet, Faith – aside from emotional wounds – got off lightly. Breeze, who seemed content to strut about and not do an awful lot, kind of let Faith off. Why? There was enough on her to put her away for a good stretch.

In the rush to tie everything up, there was a sense it was all a bit unsatisfactory. Perhaps there was too much in this series; too much to fit in.

And yet this series was not a bad one. It was extremely well acted, Eve Myles fitting the character of Faith Howells so perfectly it felt like an extraordinarily natural performance. Add in real-life husband Bradley Freegard, Aimee-Ffion Edwards as Madlen Vaughan, Hannah Daniel as Cerys Jones and Demi Letherby as Alys Howells, and you had an ensemble cast that was at the top of its game. There was always a sense that these characters’ relationships were intimate and believable, especially within the Howells family unit.

This series was about trust, and how people recover from making monumentally bad decisions. In that sense it was pure noir – one woman, in particular, trying to make order out of chaos.

But Un Bore Mercher did lose its way. Like its central characters, it had its flaws.

I hope it comes back for a third series.

Paul Hirons

READ MORE: Our episode one review

READ MORE: Our episode two review

READ MORE: Our episode three review

READ MORE: Our episode four review

READ MORE: Our episode five review




REVIEW: Un Bore Mercher (S2 E5/6)

I mistakenly thought that this second series was eight episodes long, but it is, in fact, six episodes.

To be honest, I think it could’ve done with those eight episodes because the plot is starting to become unwieldy and slightly confusing.

We have the murder of William Vaughan and his wife Madlen languishing in jail for a crime she quite obviously didn’t commit, you have the spectre of Gael Reardon hanging over everything (she’s putting the squeeze on Faith, she’s squeezing Evan every which way and Steve Baldini AND Breeze have their beady eyes on her, wanting to take her down), Shane Reardon now coming to the fore, all the shenanigans with Medwyn Croudace and HIS links to William Vaughan, and last week we were sneakily – almost quietly – presented another body had appeared in the dunes.

And we haven’t even mentioned Evan’s return to the family home.

It’s a lot to take in and a lot of figure out. So something to do with planning permission, and links back to Reardon.

It looks as though she’s behind the whole bally lot of it. Even the hit-and-run on Steve’s daughter.

A few things developed in this episode and it all seemed to revolve around Evan – that doe-eyed beefcake in which butter wouldn’t melt. But… he’s being squeezed by Breeze, and then the next thing you know he’s snogging Gael Reardon and then implicated in the ‘body in the dunes’ murder. By the end of the episode – just as Steve leaves Faith a message telling her that “Evan is more dangerous than they thought” –  he sneaks into Faith’s room and looks for all the world that he’s going to smother her with a pillow after seeing her file and realising she’s closer to the truth than he realised. Instead he settles down beside her and falls asleep next to her for the first time since leaving the family.

But what is the truth?

Evan is obviously a shady character (he was seen in this episode sneaking around in his mother’s car with his young son in the back seat meeting both Breeze AND Reardon), but something Breeze told him might have hit harder than we realised: “Faith sold her soul to Reardon for you. But what have you done?”

I have a feeling he might take matters into his own hands next week.

Or Steve – who Evan had threatened to kill earlier in the episode if he laid another hand on his wife – may do the same.

We’ll have to wait and see.

Paul Hirons

READ MORE: Our episode one review

READ MORE: Our episode two review

READ MORE: Our episode three review

READ MORE: Our episode four review



REVIEW: Un Bore Mercher (S2 E4/6)

Some of the most touching, human and impressively acted moments in Un Bore Mercher happen right at the end of each episode, during the musical montage.

In recent weeks, we’ve seen Faith struggle to deal with the impending release of Evan from jail, the Vaughan court case and the fact that Gael Reardon (and Breeze for that matter) is putting the squeeze on her. Add in her relationship with Steve Baldini, and her life seems to be in a tailspin.

But, as we know, Un Bore Mercher is, at its heart, a family drama and some of the most touching moments have been between Faith and Alys, a teenage girl growing up quickly into young womanhood.

We’ve also seen Alys finding it difficult to come to terms with her father’s return to the family unit and, in this episode, Evan’s final scene with Alys was tremendous, both in terms of emotional impact and acting quality. As Alys wept, so did Evan. As Alys hit her dad in anger and as if to say “WHY DID YOU LEAVE?”, Evan wept more.

There was some brilliant acting from Bradley Freegard and Demi Letherby on show in this scene, as there has been all throughout the ensemble cast.

Not least from Eve Myles, who has been sensational in this series right from episode one.

She has a lot to work with because creator Matthew Hall has really put Faith through the wringer.

And, just when you thought that she couldn’t have any more on her plate, tonight’s episode happened.

Madlen Vaughan was sent down for life on a reduced sentence (although I’m pretty certain we haven’t heard the last of this case), Alys was involved in a hit-and-run accident that left poor Angie Baldini in hospital with what looked like serious injuries, and Gael Reardon has seemingly taken out someone who Faith had been delivering envelopes full of money to.

Medwyn Croudace, the deceased, was part of the William Vaughan planning application… an application that Evan was involved in, too.

It looks as though the Gael Reardon/Evan Howells/William Vaughan axis has a hand in his murder. And yet… I still think Dyfan had a hand in it. Tonight, he showed more signs of psychopathy – he battered a fish to death on a rock in a stream, and he leapt into his father’s grave after his funeral clawing at the earth and shouting, “never good enough!”. Could this just be understandable grief and rage because both of his parents had been taken away? Or could this be a sign of something more?

Half-way through the series, Faith is at breaking point, especially with the discovery of Croudace’s body. Although, on the plus side, the yellow mack was back in this episode.

It was hinted here that Steve Baldini, ever the loyal, silent man waiting in the wings, is out to get Gael Reardon, who he thinks might have been behind the hit-and-run that left his daughter in the hospital.

These characters really are at breaking point, and that’s when people make drastic decisions.

Paul Hirons

READ MORE: Our episode one review

READ MORE: Our episode two review

READ MORE: Our episode three review



Woman in oink coat: Madlen