Prime Suspect (1991)

TV Mini-Series  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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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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Title: Prime Suspect (1991– )

Prime Suspect (1991– ) on IMDb 8.5/10

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1991  
11 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

DCI Jane Tennison 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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Release Date:

23 January 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mobil Masterpiece Theatre: Prime Suspect  »

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(2 parts)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On the documentary following the second half of Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act (2006), Helen Mirren notes that Jackie Malton and her colleagues gave the first "Prime Suspect" a standing ovation because they felt it was the first time the police had been accurately portrayed on television. See more »

Quotes

DCI Jane Tennison: So what do you think?
DI Frank Burkin: About what, sir?
DCI Jane Tennison: My voice suddenly got lower, has it? Maybe my knickers are too tight. Listen, I like to be called Governor or The Boss. I don't like Ma'am - I'm not the bloody Queen. So take your pick.
DI Frank Burkin: Yes Ma'am.
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 (United Kingdom) – See 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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