Jack Driscoll is transferred from Dublin back to his birthplace in the remote west of Ireland as Garda Sergeant, the role recently vacated by his father, Gerry. Jack's first major case is ... See full summary »
DC Anna Travis joins a team on the hunt for a particularly gruesome serial killer. When the latest victim is found and doesn't fit the usual profile of the killer's victims, Travis sets out to prove herself.
Follows young Endeavour Morse in his early day as an Oxford police constable working with CID, encountering Strange for the first time, and developing the notable personality traits he would latterly refine.
'Zen' Buddhist teacher Dogen Zenji is a very important religious person during the Kamakura period, 750 years ago. After his mother died, he decides to move to China and settle as a ... See full summary »
There's always a risk when adapting the written word to a screenplay; the risk that the nuances of the one will be lost when rendered to the other. Fortunately the BBC has a fine pedigree when transferring both book & play to the screen (from 'The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy' to Charles Dickens, & any number of Shakespeare's plays), as well as when working in collaboration with international broadcasters (who could forget the excellent 'Rome'?).
Their vast experience in this field has really paid off with 'Zen', a detective series based on the novels of English crime writer Michael Dibdin. Although there are some differences between the novels & the television series, they are minor & serve to facilitate the adaptation from the written to the visual. The television characters are perhaps slightly softer than their written counterparts, a necessity of economy when one considers that each episode is only ninety minutes long. Despite that the characters are well-rounded, with Rufus Sewell doing more than enough to cement his place in what is bound to be remembered as a modern classic of television.
In addition to Sewell's excellent suitability for the role, he is surrounded by an equally impressive international cast. The direction, lighting & shot composition all contribute to producing a superb whole, & it would be remiss not to mention the wardrobe, who do a fine job of catching that Italian verve.
In essence 'Zen' is a hugely enjoyable series of tasteful whodunnits, which never reveal who really did do it until the end. At the time of writing, the real mystery is whether all eleven of Dibdin's novels will be televised - it would be a crime if they weren't.
Altogether a stylish series with a sophistication brought about by understated subtlety.
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