Inspector Montalbano (TV series)

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Il commissario Montalbano
Luca Zingaretti 2010.JPG
Created by Andrea Camilleri
Starring Luca Zingaretti, Katharina Böhm, Cesare Bocci, Peppino Mazzotta
Country of origin Italy
Original language(s) Italian, Sicilian
No. of seasons 9
No. of episodes 26
Original channel RAI
Original airing 6 May 1999
External links

Inspector Montalbano (Italian: Il commissario Montalbano) is an Italian television series produced and broadcast by RAI since 1999, based on the detective novels of Andrea Camilleri. The protagonist is Commissario Salvo Montalbano, and the stories are set in the imaginary town of Vigata, Sicily. In 2012 the series generated a prequel, Il giovane Montalbano (English: The Young Montalbano).


Series and episodes[edit]

Series Italian airdate Italian TV title English novel title English TV title UK airdate UK ratings
Series 1 6 May 1999 Il Ladro di Merendine The Snack Thief The Snack Thief 11 February 2012 640,000
13 May 1999 La Voce del Violino The Voice of the Violin The Voice of the Violin 18 February 2012 721,000
Series 2 2 May 2000 La Forma dell'Acqua The Shape of Water The Shape of Water 25 February 2012 744,000
9 May 2000 Il Cane di Terracotta The Terracotta Dog The Mystery of the Terracotta Dog 3 March 2012 664,000
Series 3 9 May 2001 La Gita a Tindari Excursion to Tindari Excursion to Tindari 13 December 2008 680,000
16 May 2001 Il Tocco dell'Artista Telescript only The Artist's Touch 17 March 2012 628,000
Series 4 28 October 2002 Il Senso del Tatto Telescript only The Sense of Touch 24 March 2012 719,000
4 November 2002 Gli Arancini di Montalbano (Short story) Montalbano's Croquettes 15 December 2008 629,000
11 November 2002 L'Odore della Notte The Scent of the Night The Scent of the Night 7 April 2012 773,000
18 November 2002 Gatto e Cardellino Telescript only The Goldfinch and the Cat 14 April 2012 677,000
Series 5 22 September 2005 Il Giro di Boa Rounding the Mark Turning Point 25 August 2012 937,000
29 September 2005 Par Condicio Telescript only Equal Time 1 September 2012 926,000
Series 6 7 March 2006 La Pazienza del Ragno The Patience of the Spider The Spider's Patience 8 September 2012 681,000
13 March 2006 Il Gioco delle Tre Carte Telescript only Find the Lady 15 September 2012 713,000
Series 7 2 November 2008 La Vampa d'Agosto August Heat August Flame 22 September 2012 790,000
3 November 2008 Le Ali della Sfinge The Wings of the Sphinx The Wings of the Sphinx 29 September 2012 821,000
10 November 2008 La Pista di Sabbia The Track of Sand Track of Sand 6 October 2012 701,000
17 November 2008 La Luna di Carta The Paper Moon Paper Moon 13 October 2012 810,000
Series 8 14 March 2011 Il Campo del Vasaio The Potter's Field The Potter's Field 3 November 2012 898,000
21 March 2011 La Danza del Gabbiano The Dance of the Seagull The Gull's Dance 27 October 2012 838,000
28 March 2011 La Caccia al Tesoro The Treasure Hunt Treasure Hunt 10 November 2012 874,000
4 April 2011 L'età del Dubbio The Age of Doubt The Age of Doubt 20 October 2012 867,000
Series 9 15 April 2013 Il sorriso di Angelica Angelica's Smile Angelica's Smile 19 October 2013 910,000[3]
22 April 2013 Il gioco degli specchi Game of Mirrors Hall of Mirrors 26 October 2013 960,000[4]
29 April 2013 Una voce di notte Not translated yet A Voice in the Night 2 November 2013 980,000[5]
6 May 2013 Una lama di luce Not translated yet A Ray of Light 9 November 2013 1,080,000[6]


Offices of the Commissioner
Montalbano's house in the fictional Marinella; actually in Punta Secca, a district of Santa Croce Camerina

Given the success of the novels Rai commissioned a television series, in co-operation with Sweden's Sveriges Television, of most of the novels and short stories. Each closely follows the plot of the novels, in some cases joining several short stories. Alberto Sironi has directed the entire series. Luca Zingaretti had to adjust his accent to Sicilian having been born in Rome. Camilleri was teaching at the time when Zingaretti was studying at the Accademia Nazionale di Arte Drammatica Silvio D'Amico. Austrian actress Katharina Böhm plays his girlfriend Livia, dubbed by Claudia Catani, while Cesare Bocci plays his deputy, and Peppino Mazzotta plays his most trusted detective Fazio.

Although Camilleri set his books in a fictionalized version of the province of Agrigento, much of the show is filmed in the province of Ragusa. The exteriors in some episodes, such as de la Mànnara (Fornace Penna) were actually filmed in Sampieri, while Montalbano's headquarters are in Scicli, as are the offices of the Quaestor Bonetti-Alderighi (actually that of the mayor of Scicli). Other scenes were filmed in Ragusa Ibla, Modica, Donnafugata castle, the port of Donnalucata, Marina di Ragusa, Comiso, Santa Croce Camerina, and other sites in south-eastern Sicily. The opening shots of the programme also show the Irminio bridge, which links the towns of Modica and Ragusa. It is one of the highest bridges in Europe.

The show was initially launched on Rai 2, but moved to Rai 1 from the third series onwards based on viewing figures.

Music for the soundtrack was composed by Franco Piersanti.

International transmission[edit]

The BBC holds the United Kingdom transmission rights. "Excursion to Tindari" and "Montalbano's Croquettes" ("Gli Arancini di Montalbano") were first shown in the UK on BBC Four in December 2008[7] and[8]"Montalbano's Croquettes", episode 8, was repeated in December 2010 and "Excursion to Tindari", episode 5, in August 2011. On 11 February 2012, it broadcast "The Snack Thief", the first of the existing 10 episodes, in its 9 p.m. Saturday evening slot, previously occupied by both series of The Killing and, more recently, Borgen. The first ten episodes were shown in order.[9] BBC Four on 25 August 2012, started showing a second series of 12 Inspector Montalbano episodes – subtitled in English - in its Saturday evening imported drama slot.[10] BBC Four broadcast the four series 9 episodes on Saturdays from 19 Oct to 9 Nov 2013, calling them "Series 3".[11] Episodes were available on the BBC's iPlayer.

In Australia the series was shown on Special Broadcasting Service in Italian, subtitled in English by SBS staff. The DVD region code Region 4 DVDs available were produced and subtitled by RAI Trade. A DVD region code Region 2 DVD of "Inspector Montalbano: Collection One" was due for release on 5 March 12, 2012. Episodes featured would be "The Snack Thief", "The Voice of The Violin", "The Shape of Water" and "The Terracotta Dog"

In France, it was shown on France 3 on Sundays as Commissaire Montalbano in winter 2013, whereas in Spain, on La 2 on Saturdays (Spring 2013).

In the United States, it is broadcast on MHz Networks' Worldview Channel.

DVD releases[edit]

In the UK, the earlier episodes are currently available in both a collection and series format. These titles are distributed by Acorn Media UK.

DVD Title Discs Year Episodes DVD release
Region 2
Collection One 2 2012 4 5 March 2012
Collection Two 3 2012 6 3 September 2012
Complete Series One 5 2012 10 8 October 2012
Collection Three 2 2013 4 7 January 2013
Collection Four 2 2013 4 4 Mar 2013
Collection Five 2 2013 4 8 July 2013
Complete Series Two 6 2013 12 4 November 2013
Collection Six 2 2013 4 3 February 2014

In the Nordic Countries the first 18 films are available as Box 1 (1-6), Box 2 (7-12) and Box 3 (13-18). All were released in 2009 (*) with Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish sub-titles. They were released by AtlanticFilms AB on license from RAI Trade. (*) The boxes state 1999 but this is the start date of the series not the release date of the DVD sets.

In Spain there is a confusing situation with films (dubbed in Spanish as well as the original Italian with sub-titles available in Spanish) available in both box sets containing 6 films each and overlapping mini box sets containing 2 films each. Both types of box are labelled as Coleccion Montelbano in identically designed boxes to add to the confusion. (Issued by Track Media SL)

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ «Pippo Ragonese, notista politico di Televigàta, era dotato di due cose: una faccia a culo di gallina e una contorta fantasia che lo portava a immaginare complotti. Nemico dichiarato di Montalbano, Ragonese non fagliò l' occasione per attaccarlo ancora una volta» from Il gatto e il cardellino
  3. ^ BARB
  4. ^ BARB
  5. ^ BARB
  6. ^ BARB
  7. ^ "BBC Four - Inspector Montalbano, Series 1, Excursion to Tindari". 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  8. ^ "BBC Four - Inspector Montalbano, Series 1, Montalbano's Croquettes". 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "BBC Four - Inspector Montalbano - Episode guide". 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  10. ^ Inspector Montalbano, BBC Four website, undated.Accessed: 5 September 2012.
  11. ^ "BBC Four - Inspector Montalbano, Series 3,". ].accessdate=25 June 2014.

External links[edit]