I’m happy to volunteer that after watching episode one of Keeping Faith I immediately dived into episode two.
That’s normally indicative of must-see TV however I should qualify that it was a desire for a bit more pay-off that prompted my decision. That’s not to suggest this Welsh drama is in any way weak -quite the opposite- but the opening chapter sure set up a lot of questions.
A strawberry-blonde Eve Myles (Torchwood, Broadchurch, Merlin) stars as solicitor Faith Howells, mother of 3 and wife of solicitor Evan Howells (Bradley Freegard). Faith is on maternity leave having recently given birth when Evan doesn’t come home one day, leaving her to fend alone and even take up a few of his pending cases. Cheers for that.
Faith endeavours to keep her cool when he vanishes, digging into his past and business affairs. In the course of this she deals with various family and legal associates, plus a cop (Matthew Gravelle) married to her sister-in-law, and Evan’s parents (Aneirin Hughes, Rhian Morgan). Her own small children, notably the perceptive young Alys (Demi Letherby) also consume her.
“People just don’t go missing, even I know that,” whispers Alys.
In this idyllic village, surrounded by estuaries and picturesque landscapes, life should be far more tranquil.
But Faith discovers clues in the first episode, which hint at more complex lies…
The action never strays far from its leading lady, and why would you when you have the brilliant Eve Myles as your epicentre? She is at times magnetic in an unhindered performance.
Director Pip Broughton elicits intimate and natural performances from Myles, and it feels like some scenes have been given room for improvisation. Writer Matthew Hall offers a slow-burn to his 8 part mystery, which screened in the UK in 2017, with a second season debuting in May.
Some reviews have dubbed this a UK Big Little Lies, but based on two episodes I see it closer to The Cry. Sometimes the Welsh accents are a bit thick but it’s not enough to deter (it was actually filmed concurrently in Welsh and in English).
Keeping Faith is more personal drama than thrller, but had me intrigued and pleased to see Eve Myles in another lead.
8:30pm Friday on ABC.