Back in February, we reviewed the first episode of Inspector Montalbano, BBC4âs detective series that takes place in the imaginary town of Vigata, Sicily. We gave the pilot a luke-warm reception and commented that the subtitled series would be better if it had more action and much less fast-paced dialogue. We then hid under our desks amid a tidal wave of dissenting comments from fans..
Obviously reviewing just one episode is particularly tricky in such a series (one in which plot-arcs burn slowly and relationships develop organically) but in the following weeks and months it has become clear that you lot couldnât get enough of the Italian sleuth.
OTB reader Treveor Penrose explained that the series âgrows on youâ? and added, âYou have to concentrate in places to keep up with the plot, but that goes with the genre.â?
Many of you were quick to reply to our complaint that the episode had âunnervingly rapid subtitlesâ? and too much explanatory dialogue. Daovee1 offered his explanation, and wrote: âThe problem associated with the translation of Inspector Montalbano whether by means of subtitles or dubbing, is considerable because of the Sicilian dialect, which is almost incomprehensible to most Italians themselves.â?
So, could we have been wrong? Is that even possible? Of course technically, an opinion can never be ‘wrong’ (unless you’re in the BNP of course) as it’s all rather subjective, but the question everyone seems to be asking is ‘When will the Inspector be returning?’ After all, there’s no shortage of demand.
“Please please BBC 4 bring back Salvo, Mimi and co, Saturday night is soo dull!” said Ann Potter, and annalyzer nearly had a heart-attack when he/she found out the series had finished. “Nooooooâ¦.Iâm reeling from disappointment â¦.didnât realise there was no Montalbano tonight!”
The BBC have yet to reveal whether they will be continuing with the series, but there are another dozen episodes available if they want to renew the contract. Given the cult-success show has received, it would be a surprise if we didn’t see him return next year. Fans may also be hoping to get their hands on a prequel, entitled âIl Giovane Montalbanoâ?. In the meantime, fanatics should keep an eye out for BBC Fourâs ‘Italian Noir: The Story of Italian Crime Fiction’ – documentary profiles a new wave of Italian crime fiction that has emerged to challenge the conventions of the detective novel – next time itâs in the schedule.