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It begins with a body: S4C's new thrilling drama series, where 35 days changes everything

26/02/2014

Following the success of detective drama Y Gwyll/Hinterland, S4C has announced details of the Channel's latest thriller drama series which will hit the screens in March – a completely new mystery series, where suburban life comes under the spotlight.

The series called 35 Diwrnod (35 Days) will start on S4C on Sunday 23 March, 2014. Over eight episodes we'll follow the thrilling mystery, presented in a new method of storytelling which will keep us at the edge of our seats, as each character comes under suspicion.

The series is written by the BAFTA Cymru winning scriptwriter Siwan Jones (Con Passionate, Alys, Tair Chwaer) and the award-winning novelist and scriptwriter Wiliam Owen Roberts (Cymru Fach, Petrograd, Y Pla). It's produced by Apollo TV, part of Boom Pictures Cymru, and produced by Paul Jones (Alys, Con Passionate, Martha Jac a Sianco).

The story begins with a body of a young woman in her home on a well-off suburban housing estate. We're then immediately thrown back 35 days, to the day the woman moves to the estate. From that day until her death, 35 days later, we'll unlock her past and get to know her new neighbours, and the secrets they keep on the estate of Crud yr Awel.

Life is not all it seems on the cul-de-sac. Sins and secrets lurk behind the manicured lawns. Gradually, as the days tick by, normal life begins to unravel and cracks appear in the perfect facades – all sparked by the mysterious young woman who has come to live among them. Who is she? Why is she here? And why do so many of the neighbours wish her ill?

Gwawr Martha Lloyd, S4C's Drama Content Commissioner, says, "This is a new drama which has an original way of telling a murder story. Siwan and Wiliam are skilled storytellers who have created a cast of characters, each with a credible backstory which will lead us to unexpected twist and turns in the plot. The secrets of the estate will keep us on our toes – as we try to piece together what happened to the young woman; how she died and who is responsible."

Award winning authors, Siwan Jones and Wiliam Owen Roberts, say that the intention was to create a drama which allows the viewers to play the role of detective.

Siwan Jones and Wiliam Owen Roberts says; "We have tried to create the traditional detective genre but have turned it inside out. The viewers are the ones who will analyse the clues and events. We will sustain the mystery about the body until the very end and let the viewers question the different motives by attempting to understand the suggestions we've planted here and there. We've also mislead and teased with suggestions and secrets which could be significant – or then again, not."

And the truth about her death is a closely guarded secret. Only a handful of people were told the result of the story, and the truth only shared with the cast and crew in the final stages of filming.

Paul Jones, series producer said, "It was vital to protect the identity of the culprit in order to maintain the authenticity of the story. The events of the drama take place before the discovery of a body, so the characters are oblivious to the tragedy that's ahead of them. In 35 days time, one of them, or even several of them, will be held responsible for her fate, but none of them know it yet! It's up to the viewers to make sense of the circumstances and interpret what they wish from the clues we lay before them."

Playing the lead role is the actress Lois Jones, who starred in Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru's Y Bont last year. The cast also features Ryland Teifi; Beth Robert; Elin Haf Davies; Aled Bidder; Olwen Rees; Wyn Bowen Harries; Martin Thomas; Ceri Murphy; Eiry Hughes; Rhys ap Hywel; Rhys ap William; Catrin Morgan; Matthew Gravelle.

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