Masterpiece Mystery! Zen: Ratking
Airs Sunday, June 24, 2012 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV
Originally published July 19, 2011 at noon, updated June 21, 2012 at 4:21 p.m.
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 aired 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").
"Ratking" - When a wealthy industrialist and political party funder is kidnapped, the Ministry of Justice wants Zen to get the hostage back alive at any cost. But these kidnappers don’t seem to be playing by the rules, since they kill the lawyer who shows up with a ransom payment from the family. In kidnapping-plagued Italy, it’s illegal to pay a ransom, and Zen must skirt this issue while dealing with the bickering relatives, who seem ready to forget about their captive kinsman.
Even worse, Zen has a tyrannical new boss who is a stickler for regulations, including the one against workplace romances, jeopardizing the detective’s burgeoning affair with Tania.
Episodes of "Zen" are available for online viewing.