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Inspector Montalbano review

Sat Oct 19, 9-10.55pm BBC4

Aerial shots of medieval hilltop villages and gently shelving beaches lapped by frothy waves can’t compensate for the turgid dialogue and languorous-to-the-point-of-soporific pace in this return to old Montalbano. Added to which, hot on the heels of hirsute, sexy young Montalbano, a bald-headed ageing Salvo is an unwelcome shock, but not as unwelcome as the tortuously unfunny scenes with bumbling court jester Catarella and the slightness of the storyline; a series of daring burglaries taking place among the wealthy Vigàta community, centred around the mysterious and beautiful Angelica of the episode’s title.

But it’s an opportunity to spend two hours gazing out to sea with Salvo from his gorgeous Marinella terrace and explore some sumptuous palazzo interiors and a broad array of luxurious, shabby chic country/seaside houses, not to mention some imaginative sexual practices that may or may not be linked to the crimes. All of which probably makes it sound way more interesting than it actually is – unless your coffee table groans under the weight of myriad luxury lifestyle and interiors magazines. It’s a shame, because the outcome, infused by a melancholy Chandleresque tone, suggests this could have given us so much more.