A Mind to Kill

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A Mind to Kill
Also known as Yr Heliwr
Genre Crime drama
Created by Sion Eirian
Lyn Ebenezer
Written by David Joss Buckley
Jeff Dodds
Directed by Peter Edwards
Philip John
Starring Philip Madoc
Ffion Wilkins
Sharon Morgan
Bryn Fôn
Ieuan Rhys
Huw Llyr
Elen Bowman
Geraint Lewis
Gillian Elisa
Theme music composer Mark Thomas
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) WelshEnglish
No. of series 5
No. of episodes 22 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Brian Harris
Dafydd Huw Williams
Producer(s) Mike Parker
Peter Edwards
Location(s) Aberyswyth
Cinematography Peter Thornton
Editor(s) John Gillanders
Running time 120 minutes
Production company(s) Lluniau Lliw
4L Productions
Distributor Channel 5
Harlech Television (HTV)
Original network S4C
ITV/HTV (pilot)
Channel 5 (series)
Picture format 4:3
Audio format Stereo
Original release 13 November 1994 – 6 September 2002

A Mind to Kill is a Welsh television police detective series, that developed from a feature-length pilot episode first broadcast in 1994. The series stars Philip Madoc as protagonist DCI Noel Bain. Four series were broadcast between 1994 and 2002; and first aired as Yr Heliwr on S4C, before being broadcast on Channel 5 in the UK.

The series was filmed in both English and in Welsh, with each scene being shot first in one language and then in the other.[1] The series has since been dubbed into more than a dozen languages and shown all over the world. The series is set in South Wales, and features a variety of post-industrial, rural, urban and seaside landscapes. The pilot episode was filmed in the Aberystwyth area. All twenty-two episodes are available on DVD.


Philip Madoc plays Detective Chief Inspector 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.

Despite resenting the lack of time her father spent with the family because of police work, Hannah becomes a WPC on the same police force. Bain often sees his position as not just a job; but his raison d'être; meaning that his journey is often an emotional and painful one as the personal and professional universes collide. 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.


The Windsor Public Library stated that the series drew upon "Intricate plots, strongly drawn characters, and gritty authenticity", making it a "riveting Welsh drama series".[2] Eclipse Magazine said of the series; "A Mind To Kill is a dark and twisty show... CSI's ancestor. Murder is the most extreme human action and stories sometimes play out against the most extraordinary of circumstances, e.g. a Miners' Strike, when the traditional way of life of the community is already under threat."

They continued by stating that; "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."[3]


Pilot (1991)[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by British air date
1 "A Mind to Kill" Peter Edwards Lyn Ebenezer & Sion Eirian 14 December 1994 (1994-12-14)
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 (1994—1995)[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by British air date
1 "Black Silence" Peter Edwards David Joss Buckley 13 November 1994 (1994-11-13)
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.
2 "White Rocks" Edward Thomas David Joss Buckley 27 November 1994 (1994-11-27)
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.
3 "Gameboys" Peter Edwards David Joss Buckley 11 December 1994 (1994-12-11)
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.
4 "Rest Not Secure" Edward Thomas David Joss Buckley 1 January 1995 (1995-01-01)
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.
5 "Son of His Works" TBA TBA 15 January 1995 (1995-01-15)
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.
6 "Rachel Hardcastle" TBA David Joss Buckley 29 January 1995 (1995-01-29)
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 (1997)[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by British air date
1 "Bloodline" Peter Edwards David Joss Buckley 30 August 1997 (1997-08-30)
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.
2 "Death Watch" TBA TBA 18 October 1997 (1997-10-18)
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.
3 "Game Plan" TBA TBA 25 October 1997 (1997-10-25)
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.
4 "Inheritance" TBA Michael Povey 1 November 1997 (1997-11-01)
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.
5 "Head of the Valleys" Peter Edwards David Joss Buckley 8 November 1997 (1997-11-08)
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.
6 "Strange Territory" Peter Edwards David Joss Buckley 15 November 1997 (1997-11-15)
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.
7 "Green Wounds" Peter Edwards David Joss Buckley 22 November 1997 (1997-11-22)
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.

Christmas Special (1998)[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by British air date
1 "Shadow Falls" Endaf Emlyn David Joss Buckley 29 December 1998 (1998-12-29)
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 3 (2001)[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by British air date
1 "Colour Blind" Philip John D.T. Caballo 24 March 2001 (2001-03-24)
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.
2 "Box" Philip John David Joss Buckley 19 May 2001 (2001-05-19)
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.
3 "The Inner Life of Strangers" Edward Thomas David Joss Buckley 26 May 2001 (2001-05-26)
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 4 (2002)[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by British air date
1 "Blood and Water" Edward Thomas David Joss Buckley 16 August 2002 (2002-08-16)
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?
2 "Soundbites" TBA Jeff Dodds 23 August 2002 (2002-08-23)
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.
3 "Engineer" TBA Jeff Dodds 30 August 2002 (2002-08-30)
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.
4 "The Little House in the Forest" Euros Lyn David Joss Buckley 6 September 2002 (2002-09-06)
When a 15-year-old girl is found murdered, a pedophile living alone in the forest is easy to blame. But Bain knows that simple answers aren't always the right ones, and he steps in to help a young colleague solve the case.


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