Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison's (Dame Helen Mirren's) investigation of a murder is complicated with the unexpected participation of her secret lover in her detective unit.




Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Complete series cast summary:
Helen Mirren ...  DCI Jane Tennison 2 episodes, 1992
Colin Salmon ...  DS Robert Oswalde 2 episodes, 1992
John Benfield ...  D Supt Michael Kernan 2 episodes, 1992
Jack Ellis ...  DI Tony Muddyman 2 episodes, 1992
Craig Fairbrass ...  DI Frank Burkin 2 episodes, 1992
Richard Hawley Richard Hawley ...  DS Richard Haskons 2 episodes, 1992
Philip Wright Philip Wright ...  DC Lillie 2 episodes, 1992
Ian Fitzgibbon Ian Fitzgibbon ...  DC Jones 2 episodes, 1992
Andrew Tiernan ...  DC Rosper 2 episodes, 1992
Lloyd McGuire ...  Sgt Calder 2 episodes, 1992
Stephen Boxer ...  DCI Thorndike 2 episodes, 1992
Claire Benedict ...  Esme Allen 2 episodes, 1992
George Harris ...  Vernon Allen 2 episodes, 1992
Fraser James ...  Tony Allen 2 episodes, 1992
Ashley James Ashley James ...  Cleo Allen 2 episodes, 1992
Junior Laniyan Junior Laniyan ...  David Allen 2 episodes, 1992
Jenny Jules ...  Sarah Allen 2 episodes, 1992
Josephine Melville ...  Esta 2 episodes, 1992
Tom Watson Tom Watson ...  David Harvey 2 episodes, 1992
Cynthia Powell Cynthia Powell ...  Silver Haired Lady 2 episodes, 1992
June Watson ...  Eileen Reynolds 2 episodes, 1992
Matt Bardock Matt Bardock ...  Jason Reynolds 2 episodes, 1992
Nina Sosanya ...  Joanne Fagunwa 2 episodes, 1992
Anna Lorimer Anna Lorimer ...  Sandra 2 episodes, 1992


Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison (Dame Helen Mirren) now deals with a racially-charged murder. The long-dead body of a young black woman is discovered in a district recently convulsed by police brutality and which now is in the midst of a highly-charged political campaign. Her investigation is hampered by the hostility of the local populace, and the clumsy methods of some of her subordinates and irresponsible journalists make things worse. Can she solve the case before a race riot breaks out? Her job is further complicated when a former lover is assigned to her command as a subordinate. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Did You Know?


In a 2006 interview, Dame Helen Mirren stated that "what did shock me profoundly was we had a storyline, where a house had been bought and they're re-modelling the garden and they find a dead body and then they find another one. And in my mind I was going - that's a little bit, you know, that's pushing it a bit - and then very shortly after that the Rosemary and Fred West case came about and I thought - my god. My god. Not only was it realistic. The real world went so much further." See more »


When Burkin is questioning a band member at a studio in relation to Nadine, the music starts despite the fact that bassist hasn't finished talking to Burkin, the bass can be clearly heard. See more »


Oscar Bream: Perhaps if you were ready to model in the nude...
DCI Jane Tennison: That's sexual harassment.
Oscar Bream: What isn't nowadays?
See more »


Followed by Prime Suspect 5: Errors of Judgement (1996) See more »

User Reviews

Nearly flawless
25 June 2000 | by dbrown-4See all my reviews

Television has never been considered "high art", but this 4-hour miniseries is about as close to that as you're going to find. When I first saw this series several years ago, I said it was the finest television miniseries I'd ever seen (so, longer-running series like I Claudius don't fall into this category). I recently saw it again, and I stand by my original opinion. Virtually every aspect of this series is exception and memorable -- an intricate, intriguing detective story, finely-drawn characters, subtle probing of psychological, social, and racial issues, remarkable acting, original and impressive cinematography, incredible editing, clear direction...even great costume design and an unforgettable musical score. This series was as riveting to me the second time I saw it as the first, and I constantly noticed many nuances and attention to detail which I missed the first time. This is a remarkable film, which stands up to repeated viewing and can be enjoyed on many levels. I can't recommend it enough. You won't be disappointed. (And I really don't engage in such hyperbole often...see some of my other reviews!)

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Release Date:

15 December 1992 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Prime Suspect 2 See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Granada Television, WGBH See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(4 parts)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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