Keeping Faith analysis – a ablaze Welsh acknowledgment to Broadchurch

Faith (Eve Myles) needs help from her husband Evan (Bradley Freegard, Myles’s real-life spouse) to squeeze into a dress. She has recently had a third child, and is about to go back to work as a lawyer. But tonight she is going out on the lash, with the girls, to celebrate someone’s – not Faith’s – divorce coming through. Evan – Mr Dependable (or is he?) – stays at home with the kids

It’s a big night out. When Faith totters home, slurring and lurching, Evan puts her to bed in the “drunk bunk” (might have to adopt that one). She really has got herself the perfect man … or has she?

In the morning, he makes the kids breakfast while she fumbles about looking for orange juice and headache cures. Then he gives her a kiss, gets in the car and drives to work. Evan is also a lawyer, at the same practice as Faith. Except today he never gets there; he disappears into thin air.

Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it, officer? He has just had enough of his annoying, chaotic wife, and family life, and small-town Wales. He has probably flown to Brazil and is starting again. But then Faith finds his passport. Not in Rio. Tenby then, where his other family is?

Faith also finds a bag with a wig, and a pair of glasses, and a driving licence with Evan’s face on it but a different name, Alec Fenton. And now she is wondering not just where her husband is, but who he is as well. Hang on, though, wouldn’t he have taken his disguise with him, if Alec Fenton is his alias? Maybe he is lots of different people.

For now, Evan’s more of a device, the missing husband, than an actual character. It is all about Faith, and how she deals with the situation. She is a bit annoying – wobbling around town (and country) in her heels, having another glass of chardonnay with her pal Lisa, lying on the floor a lot. But she is also very convincing, a captivating performance from Myles, warm and loud and human and believable, and a bit annoying.

And that is pretty much symptomatic of the whole thing. Keeping Faith is not subtle. After Evan helps to shoehorn Faith into the blue dress, a daughter has a pop. “Let’s face it, there’s no room in that for a pizza,” she tells her mum, before suggesting a maternity dress instead. OK, we get it: Faith has put on a couple of pounds, she has just had a baby. Same with the hangover: it goes on – and we’re reminded of it – throughout the episode (episodes last a day); she has yet another glass of water, groans, lies on the floor again. Is it time for the hair of the dog? Faith’s definitely got a hangover.

But like the rest of it, she does hangover well. The dialogue is real, the premise intriguing, even if it is not super-original. It has that sense of community seen in Broadchurch (which Myles was also in). Faith knows the GP well enough to get from her that Evan was stressed and had had counselling. Everyone knows everyone and everything. Well, until now. I like her yellow raincoat, even if it has yet to reach the iconic level of Sarah Lund’s knitwear.

Keeping Faith is an awful name, though. Is that why she is called Faith, so they could do a punny title? What does it even mean? Who is keeping her? Will she forsake the pub for the Anglican church, turn to Him for help in finding him, and so introduce a third meaning? Anyway, its Welsh title is much better, Un Bore Mercher. Which – as you know – translates as One Wednesday Morning, also much better than Keeping Faith.

It was shot in both English and Welsh (which Myles learned for the role; respect). It has already been out on S4C, and has become an iPlayer hit. Chances are, if you’re Welsh you’ll probably have seen Un Bore Mercher already.

That is the other star of the show: Wales. It does for Carmarthenshire (where most of it was filmed) what Broadchurch did for Dorset. Not airbrushed, too picture postcard or twee – so there are bungalows and caravans, as well as historic castles, guildhalls, the estuary and beach. Nor is made to look bleak and dark – this is not Cambrian noir, if that is a thing. It looks real and brilliant and Welsh.