I first came across Salvo Montalbano on BBC4 earlier this year when they broadcast ten TV programmes which were made in 1999. Not sure whether I missed the original showing or whether this is the first time they've screened it. Just hope they show them all again before they show the next programmes this autumn. I didn't get to see all of them so I'm reading the books & loving them. If they don't repeat the original ten programmes I might have to buy them on DVD.
Salvo Montalbano's a flawed detective, like all the best ones but you can't help liking him. He's a loner, he's moody, pedantic, bad tempered but you know he's honest even if he changes things a little to get results. You wonder why he's such a moody bloke in the telly series, there's no monologue like in Harry O where we get to know what's going on in the character's mind. However if you read the books you get a better insight into his character.
The other police characters are wonderful, my favourite is Catarella the desk sergeant whom Montalbano frequently finds unintelligible. I love the humour when Catarella is involved, what a comedy character & the actor who portrays him is exactly like the character in the book. The minor characters are also wonderful in these books & so too are those actors who portray them on TV.
The setting is Sicily in a fictional town called Vigato (actually Ragusa) & the scenery is wonderful, not the pretty Portofino stuff but very attractive to watch. I'd love to visit the locations where series this was filmed. Maybe one of these days I'll get a holiday to Sicily & I'll look them up. There's a website Sicily Tour Guides which shows you where they were filmed.
I do like the music too, it's very unusual, quite discordant & tinny but I found it really fitted the programme.
I don't normally watch subtitled programmes, they irritate the life out of me but this one was different. I'm glad they didn't dub them as the original Italian is fantastic to listen to.
Too often TV & films don't do justice to the books, one exception was Inspector Morse, Montalbano is another. I've a few more books to go in the series but I'm not rushing to get to the end. I'm dreading it! Will have to go right back to the beginning & start again!
If you haven't seen it you can get a flavour of the series here.
Brush Quills! Oh I love that Catarella. You just couldn't dub that could you.