'The Mallorca Files,' Series 1 - TV Review

For those not aware (a huge split in North America, where many have no clue, and many others assume everyone knows about Ibiza and Mallorca), Mallorca is an island in the Mediterranean, a hugely popular tourist destination for all of Europe and most of the world. This first series consists of ten episodes of 50 minutes each.

The primary corporate entity involved appears to be the BBC, but a fair bit of the funding came from the island of Mallorca, and the episodes milk every square kilometre of the island for gorgeous views and tourist sites so the scenery is as pretty as the leads. The island residents are probably sick of tourists ... but the island funding body apparently thinks they need more. And it sure is pretty ...

The series opens (in an episode named "Honour Among Thieves") with a British cop (Miranda Blake, played by Elen Rhys) escorting a handcuffed criminal to the airport - where he's assassinated, and she's saved by German cop Max Winter (Julian Looman) who's attached to the Mallorca police. Blake wants to stick around to help figure out how a secure operation (her delivery of the criminal witness) was compromised. The head of the Mallorca police (Inés Villegas, played by María Fernández Ache) pairs her with Mallorca's other foreign police man, Detective Winter.

The up-tight Blake and laid-back Winter are both very good-looking, and by the end of the first episode I'd concluded I'd bet a healthy sum of money they'd be a romantic couple by the end of the series. Blake and Winter are both intelligent, and they make a charming team. The mysteries were, for the most part, to my liking (having recently watched three seasons of "Midsomer Murders" and the first season of "Whitstable Pearl" I'm well up on what I like in a mystery). And it would be hard to accuse them of the kind of structure found in "Midsomer Murders" or "Death in Paradise" (with its many obvious parallels to this series) - events are quite different from one episode to another. Although there's one thing you're guaranteed: a clear knowledge of who was behind the crime(s). In most episodes they get a full, un-coerced confession. In a couple cases that isn't needed, you know what happened.

The series as a whole is goofy fun. They're not big on continuity between episodes: they don't break it, but they almost never reference events of past episodes in the current episode. This was a point of frustration for me: Blake stays in Mallorca - after having stated a dislike for the place - with the express intention of finding the cause of the security breach in the department that led to the problems in the first episode. That problem is never mentioned again. Yes, a revelation related to that assassination within the episode may have explained the breach ... but then why did she stay?

I spotted a couple more logical problems: the boat break-in in "The Oligarch's Icon" would be illegal in most jurisdictions, but it's never mentioned again because ... what, Blake and Winter were right so it's okay? Also Blake is supposed to be the rule-follower, but this was her idea? And (SPOILER ALERT, stop reading now, etc.) in "King of the Mountains" three people were declared dead in car crash, but only two corpses found, there would have been no trace of third and that wasn't noticed?

A few logical problems aside (apparently I really needed to air them out), I've actually really been enjoying the show. You'll have to watch it to find out if I was right about the developing romance.