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The Young Montalbano

Sat Sep 14, 9-10.50pm, BBC4

Series one, episode two
All TV cop shows have a basic modus operandi. They can be gritty, gentle, wry or dark. ‘The Young Montalbano’, like its fully formed and mature companion show, has gone for Italian. So lovely food, pleasant scenery, a relaxed attitude towards timekeeping and an occasional tendency towards melodramatic hysteria rules the day. The problem with this is that there’s a void at the show’s heart – Montalbano is easy company but there’s no vigour or verve to his character, no real sense of inner struggle.

The case in this second episode is intriguing enough; a hotel-room shooting, an early and obviously bogus confession and a gradually widening field of suspicion. But it takes so long to go anywhere that you’ll run out of patience long before the denouement. Languorous and not really in a good way.