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Prime Suspect 

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A female police detective investigates a series of serial murders while dealing with sexist hostility from her male comrades.
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1,997 ( 133)

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1  
1991  
12 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Prime Suspect 1973 tells the story of 22-year-old Jane Tennison's first days in the police force, in which she endured flagrant sexism before being thrown in at the deep end with a murder enquiry.

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Helen Mirren ...  DCI Jane Tennison 2 episodes, 1991
Tom Bell ...  DS Bill Otley 2 episodes, 1991
John Benfield ...  DCS Michael Kernan 2 episodes, 1991
Jack Ellis ...  DI Tony Muddyman 2 episodes, 1991
Craig Fairbrass ...  D.I. Frank Burkin 2 episodes, 1991
Mossie Smith Mossie Smith ...  WPC Maureen Havers 2 episodes, 1991
Ian Fitzgibbon Ian Fitzgibbon ...  DC Jones 2 episodes, 1991
John Bowe ...  George Marlow 2 episodes, 1991
Andrew Tiernan ...  DC Rosper 2 episodes, 1991
Philip Wright Philip Wright ...  DC Lillie 2 episodes, 1991
Zoë Wanamaker ...  Moyra Henson 2 episodes, 1991
Richard Hawley Richard Hawley ...  DC Richard Haskons 2 episodes, 1991
Mark Spalding ...  DC Oakhill 2 episodes, 1991
Tom Wilkinson ...  Peter Rawlins 2 episodes, 1991
Jeremy Warder Jeremy Warder ...  Joey 2 episodes, 1991
Andy Abrahams Andy Abrahams ...  Tilly 2 episodes, 1991
Gareth Tudor Price Gareth Tudor Price ...  Willy Chang 2 episodes, 1991
Jessica Turner ...  Pam 2 episodes, 1991
Angela Bruce ...  Helen Masters 2 episodes, 1991
James Snell James Snell ...  Arnold Upcher 2 episodes, 1991
Michael Fleming Michael Fleming ...  Major Howard 2 episodes, 1991
Daphne Neville Daphne Neville ...  Mrs. Howard 2 episodes, 1991
Ralph Fiennes ...  Michael 2 episodes, 1991
Julie Sumnall Julie Sumnall ...  Karen / ... 2 episodes, 1991
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Storyline

Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison (Dame Helen Mirren) has been passed over time and again to lead a murder investigation, so when one of her fellow DCIs has a heart attack just before he's ready to charge their prime suspect, Jane sees her chance to lead a murder investigation. But the murder squad she takes over is hostile to her, the men upstairs are eager to pull the plug on her investigation, her personal relationships suffer from her obsession with work, and the prime suspect remains elusive. Jane has her work cut out for her as she and her team work their way through computer data trails, legwork, intuitive leaps, chases, arrests, and confessions to find the killer. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Details

Official Sites:

PBS/Masterpiece Theatre

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 January 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mobil Masterpiece Theatre: Prime Suspect See more »

Filming Locations:

Liverpool, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Granada Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2 parts)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33:1 and 1.78:1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Lynda La Plante in the documentary about the making of this mini-series, when she called the Metropolitan Police (a.k.a. Scotland Yard) and inquired as to how many female DCIs there were on the force, the woman who answered her call said, "Oh, quite a number! Four!" Jackie Malton appeared on the same documentary, noting that she was one of three DCIs on the force at that particular time. See more »

Quotes

[Searching Moyra Henson's house]
DI Frank Burkin: Where's your bathroom?
Moyra Henson: [voice] This is harrassment you know! You've already been here two days on the trot! What are you looking for this time? I've got an appointment to keep you know!
[Moyra comes into camera view]
Moyra Henson: How long are you going to be this time?
[Frank picks up her laundry basket]
Moyra Henson: And you can put that laundry back, sonny! Unless your a perverted crotch sniffer. Those are my dirty knickers! And I know how many there are!
DCI Jane Tennison: How'd you feel about your boyfriend...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hot Fuzz (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Compelling British Police Drama
23 August 2013 | by freemantle_ukSee all my reviews

From the mind of crime writing specialist Lynda La Plante the Prime Suspect series was a critically acclaimed series in the UK and became one of Helen Mirren's most famous roles.

DCI Jane Tennison (Mirren) is a senior detective in the London Metropolitan Police who takes over of a murder investigation of a prostitute when the original investigating detective dies of a heart attack. Tennison soon has to prove a suspect, George Marlow (John Bowe), finds evidences that they might be a serial killer, question the work of her precedence and battle of the sexism of her police colleagues.

Police procedural are very common in the UK and can be at times formulaic as they do who done it story lines and have to become more inventive with the range of serial killers or rapists they have to find (if you read crime fiction in the UK you would think the nation is littered with psychopaths). What Prime Suspect works is instead of the usual cliché of finding a range of suspects, a suspect is already known and it is the police's job to find the evidence as well as finding more about the crimes the suspect has committed. This is much more realistic because normally the first suspect/main suspects are normally the personal who committed the crime.

The other focus is Tennison's personal life as the investigation takes it told on her personal life, particularly her relationship with her partner (Tom Wilkinson) and the look of the sexism in police force as few female detectives had reached a senior rank in the early 90s. We get to see Tennison's relationships with her officers as some grow to respect her and show competence whilst others are too loyal to the precedence. We also get to look at the private life of the suspect, getting to know him and doubt whether he really did it.

Prime Suspect is a very well-acted programme (bar an embarrassing heart attack scene). This is a programme that has top actors, including Ralph Fiennes in a small early role. Director Christopher Menaul keeps a great pace for the programme, using long takes and steady cam shots to add a naturalism to the preceding as it keeps a flow going whilst not

Prime Suspect is high quality police procedural drama that fans of these programs.


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