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Prime Suspect 1

65 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Helen Mirren (Teaching Mrs. Tingle/Gosford Park) introduces the character of Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison in the first of the series PRIME SUSPECT, which aired on PBS in January 1992. There will be five series in all, with a sixth currently set to air in the summer of 2004. When a young woman is found brutally murdered and the DCI in charge is unable to take up the case, it is passed to Jane Tennison, the first female DCI to handle such responsibility. Between a slippery suspect and resistance from her team of detectives, Tennison has her hands full. But she's got the strength to take them all on.


Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Helen Mirren, John Benfield, Tom Bell, Jack Ellis, Craig Fairbrass
  • Producers: Don Leaver, Sally Head
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Hbo Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 14, 2003
  • Run Time: 208 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AYJV5
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,367 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Prime Suspect 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 70 people found the following review helpful By E. Lee Zimmerman TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 25, 2002
Format: DVD
Helen Mirren stars as Chief Inspector Jane Tennison in this dramatic BBC miniseries.
A serial killer is at large, and Tennison inherits the mantle of investigating the lead suspect. While certain elements of the story are largely predictable, there is also an unexpected element of surprise with the way the tale unfolds. Mirren adds a definitive credibility to the vulnerable character of Tennison, struggling for any reasonable work/life balance, and she proves to be the most interesting sleuth to come out of England since Sherlock Holmes.
Time Magazine voted this, in its initial airing, the second most important television event of the year ... right behind Johnny Carson's farewell show. A must viewing for serious fans of mystery genre.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By LuAnn D D on June 25, 2004
Format: DVD
As usual the UK has produced and delivered a series that puts to shame anything that American television has to offer. Helen Mirren is ranked one of the world's best actors-and for good reason.
I have all of the DVD's in the Prime Suspect series, having watched them first on public television's ExxonMobil Theatre. If you are one of those who make deliberate choices based on quality, then do not miss this series. It is one of, if not THE best, that television has to offer.
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81 of 89 people found the following review helpful By emma on January 16, 2006
Format: DVD
DCI Jane Tennison, superbly played by Helen Mirren, is not to be trifled with. Her charging, take-no-prisoners attitude is great fun to watch. She suffers fools poorly . . . or rather they suffer from her. Why do these chauvinists love to pick fights with her? Personally, I'd give her wide berth! Prime Suspect begins the six-part series.

Full disclosure . . . I'm a flag waving, red state kind of guy. My gastritis flairs when I confess the Brits blow us out of the pond in dramatic construction. These dramas are not just good. They're awesome. Each is exquisitely plotted with three dimensional characters(maybe Jane has five dimensions). The action in the squad room has a documentary feel to it.

It is a joy to watch DCI Jane in action; a role made for Helen Mirren. She flirts with you, insults you, kicks you, and always fights for justice. Usually in a multi-part series such as Prime Suspect, I will have a favorite . . .but this is not true here: each is a gem.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By C. Burch on July 2, 1999
Format: DVD
There are very few television programs I would consider buying on DVD, but this is definitly one of them.
Watching Prime Suspect on DVD is a real treat. If you saw it in America on PBS, you don't realize how much continuity and tension are lost by all of the inevitable pledge breaks.
Helen Mirren is nothing short of brilliant as Inspect Jane Tennison, the first woman to hold the post of D.C.I. (Deputy Chief Inspector) on a major homicide investigation. She must not only solve a series of murders, but battle sexism and sabotoge within her department.
Great acting in the supporting roles and a first rate script (written by Linda LaPlante)are enough to carry this story. But what really sets it apart is how it manages to get you rooting for Jane Tennison without being cloying or sentimental. We see this woman as a human being, warts and all. Her obsession with work leads her to neglect her relationships. She is quick to anger. Sometimes her first judgement is not the right one. But through it all you want her to succeed. She gives everything to her job.
If you like mysteries or police stories, this is as fine as piece of television as you'll see.
The video and audio transfer are only so-so (by DVD standards), but this is the happy exception where the DVD is cheaper that VHS. You've got to flip the disk, but a small price to pay for an entire evening of great drama.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Movie Mania VINE VOICE on March 20, 2006
Format: DVD
Prime Suspect started what has become the best series of detective specials ever.

Jane Tennison (Helen Mirren) is a Deputy Chief Inspector (DCI) with the Metropolitan Police in London. But the Met is an all boys club. Jane is also starting a new relationship with a divorcee, Peter (Tom Wilkinson).

Episode 1 -

A woman was found brutally murdered in the bed sit (business apartment) of prostitute Della Mornay. DCI Shefford has been assigned the case. They find a rare blood type in the bed sit and are able to trace it to a convicted rapist George Marlow. They arrest and question Marlow and he admits to frequenting Della. But the quick end of the investigation changes when DCI Shefford has a heart attack and dies.

There is no available DCI's for the case, well no male DCI's. Jane makes a pitch to her boss and with some trepidation, he gives her the case. This makes her the first female DCI to handle a murder investigation. The old boys network circles the wagons to sabotage Jane, lead by Shefford's second Detective Sergeant Bill Otley.

The first thing that Jane does is confirm the victim's identity. But the victim's finger prints do not match Della's, they must now find out the victim's identity. They slim down the missing persons to two and Jane visits the family and discovers the girl's identity, Karen Howard. Now they have to connect Marlow with Karen Howard.

Episode 2 -

The 72 hours is up and Jane must make a decision, charge or release Marlow. Since she has no compelling evidence, Marlow is released. This displeases everyone and Otley uses this to his advantage.

Jane realizes something is wrong and looks through a desk and finds the missing Della Mornay file and diary.
Read more ›
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Topic From this Discussion
Ending to Season One?
I am also disappopinted but this really is how the Season One ends.
Jan 25, 2008 by LO |  See all 5 posts
language besides english?
Is it subtitled in other languages? Which one´s? Anybody knows?
Mar 18, 2010 by Juan M. Hoffmann |  See all 4 posts
Region 2 different?
I don't know about this particular DVD, but I've found other Region 2 DVD's to be a bit darker than their U.S. counterparts. Still perfectly acceptable, however.
Oct 25, 2010 by Le Vieux |  See all 3 posts
Blu-ray vs Wide screen Be the first to reply
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