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Prime Suspect 4

210 customer reviews

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(Apr 20, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Helen Mirren is Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison who is promoted to Detective Superintendent. In this Fourth series three two-hour episodes are included: The Lost Child, Inner Circles, The Scent of Darkness.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Helen Mirren, Thomas Russell, James Laurenson, Helene Kvale, Jill Baker
  • Directors: John Madden, Paul Marcus, Sarah Pia Anderson
  • Writers: Eric Deacon, Guy Hibbert, Meredith Oakes, Paul Billing
  • Producers: Brian Park
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Hbo Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 20, 2004
  • Run Time: 312 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001ADB5K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,257 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Prime Suspect 4" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Movie Mania VINE VOICE on February 13, 2006
Format: DVD
Prime Suspect 4 was different from the prior three series as this had three stories and three episodes instead of one story presented over 3 episodes. Superintendent Jane Tennison (Helen Mirren) is the no nonsense head detective that sees through the muck to find the killer despite her superior's lack of support.

The Lost Child - Directed by Shakespeare in Love's John Madden. In the usual Prime Suspect twist, Jane has just had an abortion and on her return she is assigned a child abduction case. The Prime Suspect is a man that physically abused his stepdaughter, Chris Hughes (Robert Glenister) but his current girlfriend has given him a solid alibi. When the baby is found dead in a sluice, Jane puts the investigation into overdrive. But when an overzealous police officer shows Hughes' girlfriend a therapy tape, she recants her alibi. This sends the team after the wrong man.

Inner Circles - After a pair of intruders are caught, the owners dead body is found. When the local DCI is "otherwise engaged," Jane is brought in and she is more interested in who did it than keeping the peace of the quiet town. The country club inner circle wants the murder to be charged on the intruders but the facts do not support this. In fact, the victim had financial problems and was involved in a notorious counsel land deal. When Jane figures it out, the killer himself has been murdered. Now she has to prove who was behind it all.

The Scent of Darkness - A woman's body is found and everything points the killer to be Marlowe. But Marlowe is in jail (see Prime Suspect 1). Now Jane has to figure out who is the copycat killer. And is there an additional motive behind the killing.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By tjdinvt on July 21, 2005
Format: DVD
The three stories in this installment of the Prime Suspect series are intense, absorbing, beautifully done. As mentioned in other reviews, the re-casting of the George Marlowe character in 'The Scent of Darkness' is strange, but not fatal to the telling of the tale.

Warning: there are no extras whatsoever in this DVD set (which is why I give it four instead of five stars) -- no commentary, no language/subtitles options, no additional features re: the making or the people involved in the making of, nothing. Just three excellent Jane Tennyson stories.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Miss Otis on February 11, 2004
Format: DVD
Another reviewer at Amazon was exactly right in pinpointing the weakness of this entry in the series as being the decision to revisit the Marlowe character from Prime Suspect 1 but with a different actor playing him. The first Marlowe had such an interesting ambiguity, a likeability and seeming sympathy, that this one, albeit a good actor, unfortunately can not match. That said, however, that the actual crime being investigated is the least convincing part of Prime Suspect 4 doesn't lessen the episode's impact. Prime Suspect's "not as good" is still loads better than most other crime dramas, the reason being that Jane Tennison is such a compelling character and she is surrounded with equally complex supporting figures. Several of the key cast members in Prime Suspect 4 are detectives and superior officers that we've gotten to know in the preceding episodes. The fact that the case necessitates a re-opening of the Marlowe case, the case upon which Tennison's career as a D.C.I. was established, makes this an even more intimate look at her personality, how she works with her colleagues and how that, combined with departmental politics, impact on her approach and effectiveness in her work. Her private life takes on more significance here for her current lover, a psychologist, has participated in a book written on the case. The intelligence of the series, however, is that we are seeing more of her personal life not to make this into a chick flick melodrama but to examine more closely the workings of her professional world and her particular place in it both as a woman and as the very individual woman she is.
And yes, Jane is still having some issues with smoking.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By maskirovka VINE VOICE on October 7, 2007
Format: DVD
I think that the Prime Suspect series of police procedurals are some of the best ones I've ever seen (the Inspector Lynley series is also great but those are a bit different than the PS ones). This particular season has three stories:

"The Lost Child": This is probably the most intense and disturbing. A child is apparently abducted and events conspire to finger a man who had a past record of sexually abusing a child...but did he kidnap this baby? (special warning: there is a scene in which this character is shown in a therapy session discussing his fixation on a young child that some people might find extremely tough to watch) The story ends with a real extraordinarily tense hostage situation.

"Inner Circles": The former manager of a posh country club is found brutally murdered. The upscale denizens of the club are eager to see the crime blamed on juvenile delinquents from a poor housing estate. Yet Tennison senses that the killers are from somewhere else. This episode features one of the most ice cold villains in the series (right up with George Marlow from the first --the pleasant sociopath).

"Scent of Darkness": This was the one that I didn't think was as strong as the first two (but certainly worthwhile entertainment). A series of killings hauntingly similar to the ones George Marlow committed in PSI are taking place. People are beginning to doubt that Marlow was the real killer. Can Tennison find the truth?

If you are looking for cozy British mysteries where murder comes across as a sort of game, Prime Suspect is not for you. But if you are looking for some very tense and realistic police dramas, this is well-worth watching.
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