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Masterpiece Mystery! Zen: Cabal

Airs Sunday, July 24, 2011 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Rufus Sewell stars as detective Aurelio Zen in Masterpiece Mystery! "Zen: Cabal."

What does an honest cop do when his bosses are on the side of the lawbreakers? Outwitting prosecutors, politicians, mobsters, and run-of-the-mill kidnappers and killers, detective Aurelio Zen brings justice to modern-day Italy, whether the authorities want it or not, on "Zen," a trio of spellbinding cases based on the bestselling novels by Michael Dibdin.

Rufus Sewell ("Middlemarch") stars as Zen, a Roman police detective hailing from Venice, where "Zen" is a local shortening of the name Zeno. Separated from his wife and living with his mother, he is too frazzled by his job to think about romance. That is, until he meets Tania Moretti (Caterina Murino), his chief's new secretary.

Three new episodes premiered in 2011, "Vendetta," "Cabal" and "Ratking," showcase an international cast including Ed Stoppard ("Upstairs Downstairs"), Ben Miles ("The Forsyte Saga"), Stanley Townsend ("Sherlock") and Greg Wise ("Return to Cranford").

Caterina Murino stars as Tania Moretti in Masterpiece Mystery! "Zen: Cabal."
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Above: Caterina Murino stars as Tania Moretti in Masterpiece Mystery! "Zen: Cabal."

"Zen: Cabal" - In this episode, a disgraced aristocrat jumps off a bridge. Or was he pushed? As usual, Zen gets mixed signals from his scheming bosses: the Ministry of Justice wants a ruling of suicide, while a powerful and beautiful female prosecutor hints that Zen had better start looking for the murderer.

The plot thickens when it appears that the victim was trying to inform on a previously unknown group called the Cabal, with conspirators at the highest levels of Italian society.

Meanwhile, Zen and Tania are having trouble closing the book on their failed marriages, plus Zen is being pressured into an affair by the prosecutor.

Up Next: "Ratking" will air on Sunday, June 24, 2012 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV.

MASTERPIECE is on Facebook, and you can follow @masterpiecepbs on Twitter.

Video

Preview: Masterpiece Mystery! Zen: Cabal

Watch the full episode. See more Masterpiece.

Above: In "Zen: Cabal," a disgraced aristocrat jumps off a bridge. Or was he pushed? The Ministry of Justice wants a ruling of suicide, while a powerful prosecutor hints that Zen had better start looking for the murderer.

Video

Series Preview: Masterpiece Mystery! Zen

Watch the full episode. See more Masterpiece.

Above: What does an honest cop do when his bosses are on the side of the lawbreakers? Outwitting prosecutors, politicians, mobsters, and run-of-the-mill kidnappers and killers, Detective Aurelio Zen brings justice to modern-day Italy, whether the authorities want it or not, on "Zen," a trio of spellbinding cases based on the bestselling novels by Michael Dibdin.

Video

Behind The Scenes: Masterpiece Mystery! Zen

Watch the full episode. See more Masterpiece.

Above: Take the multilayered, bestselling Aurelio Zen novels of Michael Dibdin, add in actor Rufus Sewell as a character he seems born to play, film it all in the dazzling streets of Rome, and there is no denying an extraordinary new series has been born. The stars and producers of "Zen" talk casting, chemistry and scripts in this behind-the-scenes video.

Video

Video Q&A: Sewell and Stoppard

Watch the full episode. See more Masterpiece.

Above: "Zen" stars Rufus Sewell and Ed Stoppard on the cool and complex character of Zen, life on the laid-back set and the chic style of the series.