Masterpiece: Prime Suspect – Tennison

PBS is to North American television what BBC is to the UK. You know you are going to get mature, high quality stuff when you tune in to one of their series. Some might hate this new series right from the get go on principle. It is a new version of the series made famous starring the wonderful Helen Mirren. How could it be any good without her in it? How dare they make another one without her? Please take the time to watch it and judge it on its own merits. You will find yourself having to eat crow.

81pMPaeUBxL._SL1500_Yes, the lead is a lot younger and yes, it is a more “modern” series. Move on. Because past those petty biases you will see that Prime Suspect – Tennison is successful in its attempts to being to the small screen an accurate portrayal of a young female officer and her problems dealing with working in largely male dominated arena. Plus she is working in a big city with all the challenges that brings with it.

Jane Tennison (played by Stefanie Martini) is 22-years-old and embarking on a career in law enforcement. She is obviously smarter than your average bear but is vulnerable and might have a little bit of a problem with alcohol.

She has joined the police force against the wishes of her parents. Plunged into a murder of a prostitute on her very first case Tennison uses her wits to get ahead but is sometimes deterred by her impatience and lack of familiarity with police procedure. Soon a bank robbery and drugs become part of the picture. Tennison is getting a crash course in investigative work.

Each of the episodes works like a small film in that there are six 45 minute episodes. It is set in the early 1970s in London. Martini brings a certain confidence to the daunting task set before her. I was convinced of her as a young Tennison.

Unfortunately despite a decent first season there were creative differences and the show’s creator Lynda La Plante pulled the plug. So there will be no follow up. Savour it while you can.

Special Features:

-The Legacy of Prime Suspect

-Cars of the 70s

-Fashion of the 70s

-Hair of the 70s

-Policing at the Time


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