Zen (TV series)
|Written by||Simon Burke
Michael Dibdin (novels)
|Directed by||John Alexander (Vendetta)
Christopher Menaul (Cabal)
Jon Jones (Ratking)
|Opening theme||Adrian Johnston|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom, Italy, Germany|
|No. of series||1|
|No. of episodes||3|
|Executive producer(s)||Andy Harries, Francis Hopkinson, Raffaella Bonivento, Rebecca Eaton, Anne Mensah|
|Running time||90 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Left Bank Pictures, Mediaset, Masterpiece, ZDF|
|Original network||BBC One|
|Picture format||Film 16:9 Colour|
|Original release||2 January– 16 January 2011|
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. It stars Rufus Sewell and Caterina Murino and is based on the Aurelio Zen detective novels by Michael Dibdin. 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. The three films were based on the books Vendetta, Cabal and Ratking. 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. Left Bank, the show's producer, tried to find other broadcasters to fund another series but were unsuccessful.
- Rufus Sewell as Aurelio Zen
A smart and honest detective in Rome who struggles to maintain his integrity amongst the bureaucracy and political interference in the department. He is in love with Tania Moretti, but long odds in the betting for who will sleep with her first.
- Caterina Murino as Tania Moretti
Office support worker for the squad. She is beautiful, smart and compassionate. She likes Zen and is trying to divorce her husband.
- Ben Miles as Amedeo Colonna
The Minister's fixer. He is a powerful, connected and amoral man who believes that Zen is working for him, something that Zen encourages.
- Stanley Townsend as Moscati
Zen's boss. He is a gruff, no nonsense man who does not suffer fools gladly. He is fond of Zen and Tania.
- Francesco Quinn as Gilberto Nieddu
Zen's ex-partner who now runs a private security business. The two have remained friends and Zen asks Gilberto for help when he needs advice or to go outside the department.
- Catherine Spaak as Donata
Zen's mother who was widowed when her husband was shot on the job. Zen moved in with her after he separated from his wife. She is wise, caring and concerned for her son.
- Vincent Riotta as Giorgio de Angelis
A colleague whom Zen trusts.
- Ed Stoppard as Vincenzo Fabri
A detective with a powerful and wealthy uncle who is more interested in playing politics to advance his career than solving cases.
- Anthony Higgins as Eduardo Guerchini
The Minister, who leaves all the dirty work to Colonna.
Complete Main Cast
|Pepe Spadola||Gregg Chillin|
|Fausto Arcuti||Adrian Hood|
|Francesco Pirotta||Franco Maria Salamon|
|Ana Bini||Katrine De Candole|
|Alessandro Antonioni||Rocky Marshall|
|Rossella Nieddu||Yasemin Samino|
|Ernesto Heuber||Michael McElhatton|
|Sister Anna||Katy Murphy|
|Arianna von Falkenhayn||
|Avel Vasko||Francis Magee|
|Jdg. Corrado Bertolini||Roberto Nobile|
|Maria||Nathalie Rapti Gomez|
|Luca La Guardia||Paolo Mazzarelli|
|Donatella Pirotta||Zoe Tapper|
|Carlo Fagioli||Callum Blue|
|Tito Spadola||Peter Guinness|
|Fellini||Enzo Squillino, Jr.|
|Giorgio de Angelis||
|Cinzia Miletti||Sarah-Jane Potts|
|Michelangelo Gattuso||Allan Corduner|
|Renato Favelloni||Greg Wise|
|Massimo Colanna||Hilton McRae|
|Oscar Faso||Alessandro Cica|
|Silvio Miletti||Sebastian Armesto|
Series 1 (2011)
|#||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original airdate||UK viewers
|1||"Vendetta"||John Alexander||Simon Burke||2 January 2011||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||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||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.
- Conlan, Tara (2 March 2011). "Zen could survive after being sold abroad". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
- "Rufus Sewell confirmed to play Aurelio Zen for BBC One". BBC press releases. BBC. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
- Vine, Richard (1 January 2011). "Zen and the art of Sunday night television scheduling". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
- "Zen". Left Bank Pictures. Archived from the original on 18 October 2010. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
- "BBC One controller to cull male crime-fighters". BBC. 28 April 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
- Conlan, Tara (22 February 2011). "BBC1 axes Rufus Sewell detective drama Zen". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
- "Weekly Viewing Summary (see relevant week)". BARB. Archived from the original on 8 November 2008.