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New offbeat crime drama ‘Tree on a Hill’ starts this spring

22 Mar 2024 4 minute read
Tree on a Hill

A brand new offbeat crime drama series boasting a stellar Welsh cast that was filmed on the edge of the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park is set to hit TV screens this spring.

Acclaimed Welsh writer, Ed Thomas, renowned for his gripping narratives and atmospheric storytelling, is set to captivate audiences with a new production – Tree on a Hill – set to air on BBC One Wales and BBC iPlayer on 2 April

“Ambitious project”

Following the tremendous success of his previous global hit “Hinterland,” Ed Thomas returns with what promises to be his most ambitious project to date.

Pren ar y Bryn / Tree on a Hill

Tree on a Hill follows the very ordinary and long married couple Margaret and Clive Lewis (Nia Roberts & Rhodri Meilir) who, after a series of events, find themselves in the middle of a mystery and on the wrong side of the law.

With Thomas at the helm, viewers can expect narrative rich in suspense and mystery mixed with a sprinkling of mischievous dark comedy and a touch of the absurd.

According to Ed Thomas who wrote, produced, and directed the series: “It’s a darkly off beat crime drama about characters accepting change in a world that’s changing all around them.

“These are ordinary people in an ordinary town who come face to face with seismic change. They are not master criminals, just ordinary people like you and me forced to make bonkers decisions.”

Filmed at the top of the Swansea valley in and around Ystradgynlais and Abercrave, it boasts a stellar cast including Rhodri Meilir,  Richard Harrington, Hannah Daniel, and Nia Roberts whose performances promise to breathe life into Thomas’ vision.

Pren ar y Bryn / Tree on a Hill

Ahead of the series coming to our screens, Thomas added: “Filming in our hometown in the Upper Swansea Valley where I grew up has given the series a real sense of place.

“As we found out with Hinterland, a sense of place really roots it in the local – with a story and themes which hopefully have universal appeal”


Yet according to Thomas, the show’s stars extend beyond the cast to include the breath-taking craft and design, carefully fashioned to capture the almost surreal essence of Penwyllt, the show’s fading frontier town.

This includes a miniature model world, complete with a fully functioning winding train track, symbolising a character’s steadfast wish for their life and town to remain unchanged, set against an era that’s hard to define.

Costume designer Ffion Elinor said: “When Ed first described ‘Penwyllt’ as a place ‘Out of time’ and ‘waiting for change’, it sparked my vision for the series’ costumes.

“They needed to reflect the theatricality of the scripts and the heightened nature of the characters. Each costume is unique, not bound by a specific era but rather an extension of the character’s personality, contributing to the series’ off-beat charm.

“They’re a blend of my experiences and inspirations over the years, sourced mostly from vintage or second-hand shops to achieve a timeless and eclectic aesthetic.”

Nia Roberts and Rhodri Meilir who play Clive and Margaret Lewis in Pren ar y Bryn/Tree on a Hill. Photography: Warren Orchard / BBC Wales /S4C/ All3media Int

Production designer Gerwyn Lloyd said: “It’s giving each location and each character a slight twist so we’re not looking at them straight down the lens, everything is slightly off kilter.

“We have a model railway in the show which was quite a complex build. All the houses were made to measure, and 3D printed.

“It’s basically a 3D map of the world and gives the audience a geographical sense of the town and how it’s all connected – a ‘Penwyllt’ that we do and don’t recognise all at the same time.

“It was a great project to work on and I can’t wait to see how audiences respond.”

For fans of gripping drama and immersive storytelling, Tree on a Hill promises an unforgettable journey into the heart of Wales, where mysteries abound, and the truth lies waiting to be unearthed.

The series will air on 2 April on BBC One Wales and the whole series will be available to watch on iPlayer on the same day.

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17 days ago

Odd that you fail to mention this has already been screened on S4C in Welsh.

14 days ago
Reply to  Stephen Price

That doesn’t really explain why the last sentence can’t read “The series will air on 2 April on BBC One Wales and S4C, and the whole series will be available to watch on iPlayer on the same day.”

Two extra words? I think it’d just be useful for people to know. Although I found out by reading Erisian’s comment so I guess that helps now. Diolch 😆

robert lewis
robert lewis
11 days ago
Reply to  Erisian

Very few people in Wales watch S4C , a costly channel for the minority Welsh speakers, paid for by the license fee.

7 days ago

Started watching tree on the hill yesterday 2/4/24 I think it’s amazing funny,sensitive, mysterious with a sprinkling of creepiness. Brilliantly filmed. Such a memory jerker of charecters living in the Welsh valleys. Well done 👍

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