Zen (TV series)

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ALT=Series title with a picture of the character Zen
Genre Police drama
Written by Simon Burke
Peter Berry
Michael Dibdin (novels)
Directed by John Alexander (Vendetta)
Christopher Menaul (Cabal)
Jon Jones (Ratking)
Starring Rufus Sewell
Caterina Murino
Julie Cox
Callum Blue
Valentina Cervi
Catherine Spaak
Ben Miles
Stanley Townsend
Ed Stoppard
Anthony Higgins
Opening theme Adrian Johnston
Composer(s) Adrian Johnston
Country of origin United Kingdom, Italy, Germany
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 3
Executive producer(s) Andy Harries, Francis Hopkinson, Raffaella Bonivento, Rebecca Eaton, Anne Mensah
Producer(s) Michael Casey
Location(s) Rome
Cinematography Tony Miller
Running time 90 minutes
Production company(s) Left Bank Pictures, Mediaset, Masterpiece, ZDF
Distributor BBC Worldwide
Original channel BBC One
Picture format Film 16:9 Colour
Audio format Stereo
Original run 2 January 2011 (2011-01-02) – 16 January 2011
External links
BBC website
Production website

Zen is a British television series produced by Left Bank Pictures for the BBC, co-produced with WGBH Boston for its Masterpiece anthology series, Mediaset and ZDF.[1] It stars Rufus Sewell and Caterina Murino and is based on the Aurelio Zen detective novels by Michael Dibdin.[2] The series was filmed on location in Italy, but the dialogue is in English. The series, which comprises three 90-minute films, was broadcast in the United Kingdom on Sunday evenings from 2 January 2011 on BBC One.[3] The three films were based on the books Vendetta, Cabal and Ratking.[4] The series was cancelled by BBC One in February 2011; BBC One controller Danny Cohen later said there were already enough male crime-fighters on TV.[5] Left Bank, the show's producer, has been in discussions with other broadcasters about continuing the series elsewhere.[6]



Series 1 (2011)[edit]

# Title Directed by Written by Original airdate UK viewers
1 "Vendetta" John Alexander Simon Burke 2 January 2011 (2011-01-02) 6.24
Detective Zen is sent to a remote village to re-investigate a murder, which may spark a political scandal. Zen is under pressure from the politicians and the Chief of Police, but he would rather be spending time with Tania, the Chief's beautiful assistant. Meanwhile, a gangster is after Zen, seeking revenge.
2 "Cabal" Christopher Menaul Simon Burke 9 January 2011 (2011-01-09) 5.64
The death of a famous aristocrat, Umberto Ruspanti, leads Detective Zen into the shadowy world of the Cabal—an organisation more powerful and secret than the Mafia. The Ministry want a quick verdict of suicide, but Zen's not so sure. Meanwhile, things are looking up with Tania.
3 "Ratking" Jon Jones Peter Berry & Simon Burke 16 January 2011 (2011-01-16) 5.21
Detective Zen works against the clock to recover the kidnapped Ruggerio Miletti, a wealthy industrialist with political ties. The involvement of the manipulative family and a beautiful grieving widow complicate matters. Meanwhile Tania's husband does everything he can to get rid of Zen.

Series 1 was first shown in the USA on the PBS network: Vendetta, Cabal, and Ratking on 17, 24 and 31 July 2011, respectively.


  1. ^ Conlan, Tara (2 March 2011). "Zen could survive after being sold abroad". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "Rufus Sewell confirmed to play Aurelio Zen for BBC One". BBC press releases. BBC. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  3. ^ Vine, Richard (1 January 2011). "Zen and the art of Sunday night television scheduling". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "Zen". Left Bank Pictures. Retrieved 2 January 2010. 
  5. ^ "BBC One controller to cull male crime-fighters". BBC. 28 April 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Conlan, Tara (22 February 2011). "BBC1 axes Rufus Sewell detective drama Zen". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  7. ^ "Weekly Viewing Summary (see relevant week)". BARB. 

External links[edit]