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Masterpiece Mystery! Zen: Ratking

Airs Sunday, June 24, 2012 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Rufus Sewell stars as detective Aurelio Zen and Caterina Maurino stars as Tania Moretti in "Masterpiece Mystery! Zen: Ratking."

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 as detective Aurelio Zen as seen in the episode "Zen: Ratking."
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Above: Rufus Sewell as detective Aurelio Zen as seen in the episode "Zen: Ratking."

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.

Video

Preview: Masterpiece Mystery! Zen: Ratking

Watch the full episode. See more Masterpiece.

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.

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