Could this Welsh language drama be the next Squid Games?
Netflix is set to broadcast its first Welsh language drama series with S4C’s ‘Dal y Mellt’.
Gwenllian Gravelle, S4C’s Drama Commissioner thinks it will make the Welsh language versions of S4C dramas, often filmed back-to-back in English, “more palatable for viewers and possibly in the future we won’t have to make two versions but that we can still collaborate with broadcasters and streamers to help with the budgeting because things are quite tight all round the industry at the moment”.
‘Dal y Mellt’ is a crime series which was released last October on S4C Clic and BBC iPlayer. The series is set to appear on the streaming powerhouse this April and will join the likes of popular drama series Squid Games and Money Heist.
An adaption of Iwan ‘Iwcs’ Roberts’ novel, ‘Dal y Mellt’ is set in Cardiff, Porthmadog, Soho and Holyhead. It follows the story of main character Carbo as he embarks on a journey of crime, gangs and danger. The cast includes Gwion Morris Jones, Mark Lewis Jones and Siw Hughes.
Gwion Morris Jones, who plays the main character, is still “on cloud nine” after hearing the series will appear on Netflix, and says it’s “about time” a Welsh language series is put on a streaming platform without being filmed in English as well.
“It’s incredible. When you produce a drama in Wales, in Welsh, for a Welsh audience and for that to be recognised by such a big platform is fantastic.”
“At its heart, it’s Welsh characters speaking Welsh to each other. A lot of the humour comes across so much better in Welsh.”
“I think if Squid Games can do it, if 1899 can do it, all these shows on Netflix can do it, why can’t the Welsh do it.”
S4C recently sold their series Yr Amgueddfa to Britbox International and series 35 days / 35 diwrnod’s format to an Indian production company.
In 2020 S4C drama Byw Celwydd (Living a Lie) was streamed to audiences in Germany, Austria and Switzerland after an agreement between its producer and English sales house Videoplugger and ContentScope.