It need hardly be said that I greeted the news that the BBC were broadcasting a new detective drama set in Rome with immense enthusiasm. Anything based in Rome could only be a feast for the eyes, and the fact that the eponymous detective would be played by God’s gift to women Rufus Sewell only served to heighten my anticipation.
And the series certainly did not disappoint. An entertaining mix of mystery, crime, comedy and romance, the three programmes were filmed in numerous stunning locations in and around Rome. If, like me, you harbour a substantial obsession with Rome, you’ll definitely enjoy this series. It’s always wonderfully sunny, and we’re often treated to scenes of the suave Aurelio Zen strutting about the streets of Rome in a sharp suit and downing his morning espresso. Of course we do also see a lot of the darker side of Italy – the corruption, bribery, ‘favours’ etc, and I felt that this was conveyed well.
Rufus Sewell – playing a good guy for a change – was delightful as well as smouldering, turning him into an instant sex symbol. My Grandad commented that his voice isn’t manly enough, but personally I didn’t find this an issue ;-).
The three-part series was based on a set of eleven books by the late author Michael Dibdin, so let’s hope we see the rest of them appearing on our screens in the not-too-distant future.
In the meantime, the DVD of Zen is released on Monday and is available for pre-ordering from Amazon. If you missed it, I highly recommend it – even if detective dramas aren’t usually your sort of thing (I don’t watch many myself). Rome, Rufus and romance are a winning combination if you ask me!