The Young Morse? Well, ‘Endeavour’ was pretty good. The Young Lund? Crying out to be made. But ‘The Young Montalbano’? Neither especially troubled nor notably enigmatic, the Sicilian detective has never been one of television’s more intriguing characters, with the appeal of his show limited to the spectacular scenery and guessing which actor would chew through it the most during the course of that week’s investigation.
As origin stories go, this isn’t exactly ‘Batman Begins’, although we learn that he did once have a full head of hair. In tonight’s opener, Montalbano (Michele Riondino) gets posted to a remote mountain village in the early ’90s. He solves a crime. He gets promoted and moves to a seaside town. He solves another crime which may or may not be connected to the previous one. He uncovers institutional corruption. He tolerates the pratfalls of comical colleagues. He enjoys a contented domestic life. Dull, dull, dull – for two hours.