Television: Inside the Mind of a Killer; Karen Price Welcomes Philip Madoc Back as Chief Inspector Noel Bain in S4C's World-Record-Breaking Series

Article excerpt

Byline: Karen Price

SOME of the greatest fictional murder mysteries have been solved by the most unlikely characters over the years, especially on American TV.

A man in a dirty mac (Columbo), a mystery writer-turned-super sleuth (Murder She Wrote) and a glamorous American couple and their elderly housekeeper (Hart to Hart) have all managed to capture the villains and make the world a safer place to live.

In Britain, TV producers have tended to chose more traditional detectives for programmes such as A Touch of Frost, Bergerac, The Professionals and, of course, Inspector Morse.

While all of them have been good, solid dramas with some clever plots, they have not necessarily been challenging.

That is where Yr Heliwr/A Mind to Kill differs from your average murder mystery. The psychological drama is much more gritty, taxing the mind of the viewer as well as the ingenuity and resources of the programme's central character Detective Chief Inspector Noel Bain (Philip Madoc).

The series is produced in Wales and filmed back-to-back in Welsh and English.

It was first screened in 1990 and, 12 years later, it is still only on its third series.

Each two-hour episode is like a mini film, taking viewers on a complete journey from the initial act of crime, through the painstaking investigation and on to the arrest of the murderer.

Yr Heliwr/A Mind to Kill is a coproduction deal with HTV, S4C and Channel 5. The entire third series is due to be screened on Channel 5 later this year. The first three episodes have been broadcast by HTV during the last year and now S4C is screening the remaining four.

Merthyr Tydfil-born actor Madoc has been labelled Wales's answer to Inspector Morse but although John Thaw's character may be better known, Madoc's Chief Inspector Noel Bain, has been seen by a wider audience globally. …