Set in and around modern day Rome and based on the best-selling novels by late Michael Dibdin, Zen is a series of three police dramas produced by the BBC, where Rufus Sewell stars as Italian Detective Aurelio Zen. In Vendetta, Zen is sent to a remote village to investigate a murder that has the ability to spark a political scandal. In Cabal, Zen investigates the death of a famous aristocrat and in Ratkin he works against the clock to rescue a rich industrialist whose been kidnapped. Through all, Zen has to negotiate the constantly changing political climate as well as a blossoming office romance.
What sounds like a few evenings of gripping BBC Police drama, turned out to be a little more sedate that expected – possibly as a reflection of the Italian way of life. The stories themselves are certainly interesting, but I felt like I was watching and old episode of Bergerac. The interweaving story-line and characters are what keeps the trilogy going, the Italian setting certainly makes to pleasant viewing.
For a sedate romp through some quality BBC drama, Zen is the prefect DVD. If you want something to get your pulse racing, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read