A Mind to Kill

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A Mind to Kill
Also known as Yr Heliwr
Genre Crime, drama
Format crime fiction
Created by Sion Eirian
Lyn Ebenezer
Written by David Joss Buckley
Jeff Dodds (season 4)
Directed by Peter Edwards (seasons 1-3)
Philip John (season 4)
Starring Philip Madoc
Ffion Wilkins
Sharon Morgan
Bryn Fôn
Ieuan Rhys
Huw Llyr
Elen Bowman
Geraint Lewis
Gillian ElisaThomas
Theme music composer Mark Thomas
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) Welsh
English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 21 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Brian Harris
Dafydd Huw Williams (both season 1)
Producer(s) Mike Parker (seasons 4-5)
Peter Edwards (season 1)
Editor(s) John Gillanders (season 1)
Location(s) Aberyswyth and Ceredigion, Wales
Cinematography Peter Thornton (season 1)
Running time 120 minutes
Production company(s) Lluniau Lliw/4L Productions (seasons 1-2)
Distributor Channel 5 Television
Harlech Television (HTV)
Broadcast
Original channel Channel 5
HTV
S4C
Original run 27 November 1994 – 6 September 2002
Chronology
Related shows A Mind to Kill (1991)

A Mind to Kill is a police detective series set in Wales, UK. It was developed from a 1991 pilot which starred Philip Madoc as DCI Bain, and Hywel Bennett. The series ran from 1994 to 2004 and first aired as Yr Heliwr on S4C, the Welsh language TV channel, before being broadcast on the UK Network channel, Channel 5. The series was filmed in English and in Welsh, with each scene being shot first in one language and then in the other.[1] It has since been dubbed into more than a dozen languages and shown all over the world. The 21 episodes have been divided into 3 series which are now available on DVD. The pilot episode is also available on DVD.

DCI Bain[edit]

Philip Madoc plays Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Noel Bain, a man who looks back fondly to the days when policing involved chasing villains, playing rugby and drinking beer. However, he has come to realise that contemporary policing imposes dilemmas that no training manual could ever anticipate. He is a man out of time and seeks to protect the old way of life, and what he believes are important traditional values. Bain is a widower who has a tempestuous relationship with his daughter, Hannah, (Ffion Wilkins). Despite resenting the lack of time her father spent with the family because of police work, Hannah becomes a Woman Police Constable (WPC) on the same police force. This is not just a job for Bain but his raison d'être which means that his journey is often an emotional and painful one as the personal and the universal collide.

Other Characters[edit]

DCI Bain has a close friendship with police pathologist Professor Margaret Edwards (Sharon Morgan) but his true feelings for her remain ambiguous. Other regular characters include Gillian Elisa Thomas and Geraint Lewis. Joining the regulars in the last series were Bryn Fôn, Ieuan Rhys, Huw Llyr and Elen Bowman. The series also featured guest characters who were played by, among others, Margaret John, Ioan Gruffudd, Sue Jones-Davies, David Warner, John Rhys-Davies, Archie Panjabi, and Siân Phillips.

Style[edit]

'Intricate plots, strongly drawn characters, and gritty authenticity mark this riveting Welsh drama series'.[2] A Mind To Kill is a 'dark and twisty show... and CSI's ancestor',[3] which has occasional graphic violence and nudity. Murder is the most extreme human action and stories sometimes play out against the most extraordinary of circumstances, e.g. a Miners' Strike (Black Silence), when the traditional way of life of the community is already under threat. There is a strong psychological element and as the series proceeds the stories begin to dig deeper into Bain’s subconscious. The unresolved death of his wife causes great mental anguish and torment, and his dealings with the people he meets and the crimes he investigates are not always as straightforward as they should be.

Location[edit]

The series was set in South Wales and featured a variety of post-industrial, rural, urban and seaside landscapes. The pilot episode was filmed in the Aberystwyth area.

List Of Episodes[edit]

  • Pilot
    • The Pilot Episode (1991) - A young girl is found brutally murdered in a small seaside town. The police are baffled; the town's inhabitants are panic-stricken. A serial killer is on the loose, and as yet more horrific murders take place, the search for clues becomes a desperate race against time.
  • Series 1
    • Black Silence (20 November 1994) - During a strike at the local coal mine, Bain investigates the murder of a 17-year-old prostitute. He suspects that the powerful, intimidating strike leader Roderick Tate is involved, but the evidence points to another man.
    • White Rocks (27 November 1994) - A young mother is beaten to death at a run-down holiday camp, and her 7-year-old son - who may have witnessed the crime - disappears. Racing against time to find the boy before the murderer does, Bain uncovers secrets worth killing for.
    • Gameboys (18 December 1994) - When the charred body of a young man is found in a peaceful farming community, Bain's investigation leads to a series of shocking discoveries: drugs, rent boys, and a town elder who's not as respectable as he seems.
    • Rest Not Secure (8 January 1995) - A gang war is brewing, but Bain is preoccupied with troubles at home: his teenage daughter, Hannah, has moved out, resentful of his job as a policeman. When Bain retreats to a remote cabin for some privacy, he is taken hostage by an escaped prisoner bent on revenge.
    • Son of His Works (22 January 1995) - A gruesome killing in the woods links a secretive religious cult to a troubled urban neighbourhood and a heroin dealer to a prominent married judge and his lover. Bain must untangle a web of clues to learn the truth behind the murder and expose a fraud.
    • Rachel Hardcastle (5 February 1995) - Bain is flattered by the romantic attentions of Rachel Hardcastle, a successful concert pianist and sophisticated, attractive woman. Then her husband turns up dead, and Bain becomes the prime suspect in his murder.
  • Series 2
    • Bloodline (30 August 1997) - What looks like a suicide pact between brothers gets complicated when another body is found. Bain uncovers a family saga of blackmail, abuse, and revenge and also copes with disturbing news from his daughter, Hannah.
    • Death Watch (18 October 1997) - When the charred remains of a body are found inside a burned-out car, Bain travels to a town where vigilante justice prevails. Despite the locals' disrespect, he attempts to unravel an unsettling chain of events that led to murder.
    • Game Plan (25 October 1997) - Bain goes undercover at a seedy seaside resort to investigate a young woman's murder. Then Hannah shows up for her own holiday, much to her father's chagrin.
    • Inheritance (1 November 1997) - A wooded sanctuary in a small rural village has become a battleground between big business and local environmentalists. Investigating a string of violent killings, Bain is caught between two militant and potentially dangerous groups.
    • Head of the Valleys (8 November 1997) - Called in to investigate a five-year-old corpse found beneath a parking lot, Bain suspects a local crime dynasty and their ruthless matriarch. While tracking down leads, he confronts his own attitudes towards wealth and power.
    • Strange Territory (15 November 1997) - When a teenager turns up dead in a Celtic burial ground, the top suspects are her scorned boyfriend and the local psychic who discovered her. Inconsolable with grief, the victim's family decides to take justice into their own hands.
    • Green Wounds (22 November 1997) - Plagued with nightmares about the death of his wife—killed 12 years earlier by a drunk driver—Bain takes a leave of absence to seek revenge against the man who ruined his life.
  • Series 3
    • Shadow Falls (29 December 1998) - Investigating a suspicious suicide in a tightly knit community, Bain wants to close the case and go home. Prompted by his daughter, Hannah, he digs deeper, unearthing a dark secret that binds three couples together.
  • Series 4
    • Colour Blind (24 March 2001) - The death of a young Pakistani man looks like a hate crime, but is it? Racial tension is the last thing the community needs, and it's up to Bain and his team to keep the situation from escalating into full-scale violence.
    • Box (19 May 2001) - Bain tracks a sexually disturbed killer who holds his victims captive. At the same time, he copes with a new constable at the station: his daughter, Hannah, whose courage and inexperience soon put her in danger.
    • The Inner Life of Strangers (25 May 2001) - When a successful pop singer suddenly retires and comes home to Wales, not everyone applauds her decision. Then two of her closest business associates are murdered, and unless Bain can stop the killer, she may be next.
  • Series 5
    • Blood and Water (16 August 2002) - A young pregnant woman is killed by her jealous foster brother. A witness to the crime won't come forward, and the killer's brother is a policeman who covers for him. With this kind of stonewalling, will Bain get his man?
    • Soundbites (23 August 2002) - Abandoned by his ambitious father and left to care for his mentally ill mother, the son of a local politician vows revenge. Bain follows a trail of fire to learn the truth about the family's past.
    • Engineer (30 August 2002) - A couple commits a desperate act when their only daughter falls into a coma after a routine surgery. All they want is a public admission of guilt from the surgeon; all Bain wants is to prevent another tragedy.
    • The Little House in the Forest (6 September 2002)
  • NOTE: The 'A Mind To Kill Series 3' DVD comprises TV series 3,4 & 5.

References[edit]

External links[edit]