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TOP 50 REVIEWERon July 17, 2010
UPDATE: This set is rumored to be released on Blu-ray in fall (Aug or Sep) of 2013.

Now, "PRIME SUSPECT" is available, boxed as "The COMPLETE COLLECTION". A bargain compared to individual segments. If you are just finding Prime Suspect, you WILL want all 7 years. 9 stories. Not just tales of cops and murder, but in-your-fact realistic cop activity, which was done with so much realistic detail, it was the show to change British (and world) crime shows forever. It is the gritty type of show that all mystery film and TV now try to duplicate. Police drama was changed forever by Helen Mirren and her role as Jane Tennison.

Be aware, the cases may not always end to your satisfaction--just like real life crimes and punishment. But you will be on the edge of your seat while you watch. 6 stories last over 3 hours each. The other 3 are about 1 1/2 hours long. Each is compelling viewing, ruthless in the detail, definitely not for children and the squeamish, blatantly course visually and in dialogue, but oh, so realistic.

Helen Mirren makes the show as Tennison. Obsessed, work-driven, feminist attitude, course, in-your-face drive, compellingly believable, more man-like rather than the occasional romantic which does exist, she's a drinker, and she almost never smiles.

Subtitles for series 1-6. CC for 7. Even subtitles on the bonus features. Stars in every segment, and plenty of them. A list too long to post.

1-Brutal murders, & DCI Tennison gets promoted to head of the murder investigation team after the present leader dies. She takes on a botched investigation, a slippery suspect, a home-front relationship, and proves to have more than what it takes, even being a woman, to male surprise. Loads of blood, mutliated bodies, bare chests (including star Zoe Wanamaker), graphic scenes and language. It's unrated-but be warned. Introduces the woman-at-the-head cop and makes you glad you own "THE COMPLETE COLLECTION."

2-DCI Tennison gains her staff's acceptance but all is not as conciliatory with the murder investigation of a black corpse found in a black neighborhood. London's citizens and police force have some race issues. Then there's Jane's hot new "sleep-with."

3-A murder turned arson to cover the death, becomes DCI Tennisson's first case in her new job after a transfer. The department tries to steer her away from the murder case. Is there a department connection? And her love life is messier than the arson victim. A good mystery involving disgusting crimes.

4-three 90 min. stories: A--Supt. Tennison exits a hospital after receiving a voluntary procedure and must face an abducted baby case. B--A club manager is killed in his own home, and defiled. Suspects are caught, but the why is yet unanswered. C--Tennison finds home life better than work-evidenced by a naked bath with her beau. New murder cases suggest past cop errors in crime cases.

5-DS Tennison's 1st crime investigation is a drug related murder that moves into another level of heinous crime. And Jane finds a different married copper colleague to sleep with. Tossed in is a police leak (Brits must love bad cops.)

6-A tortured and murdered female body leads an investigation through Bosnian illegals. There is a prime suspect but no convicting evidence. Will the truth be known prior to another murder? (Bonus: 23 min "behind the scenes of this segment with subtitles)

7-Tennison is 60, a month from retirement, drinking heavy, her father dying of cancer, and determined to find the killer of a teenager. It will be Jane's last case. A very emotional, suspenseful, final 3 hours. (Bonus: 50 min series behind the scenes, with subtitles, filmographies & photos.)

Started in 1991 and ending in 2007, every series was a hit, and done with perfection. A female cop show will never be this good again. But be warned, for language, and gritty gruesome graphic content. Tennison not only colors outside the box, she makes the box.
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on April 16, 2011
If you're looking for something different in the police drama category... this is it. Completely unlike anything in the American cop show format, the first thing you'll notice is that these are all 1-hour-40-minute movie length features as opposed to the American format of 42-44 minutes. With only two of these features in each series broadcast a week apart as a part 1 / part 2, this must have been more like an annual event on British televison as opposed to a "season" on American TV. And what an event it must have been... wonderful story development with some really gritty subject matters, and Helen is marvelously brilliant in what could have been a very stereo-typed role. She plays it with a flawed humanity that is totally engrossing and even a little uncomfortable at times. There are also some fine performances by her fellow actors, particularly a couple of the "suspects". Very emotional and gripping. One other big difference from American cop shows... for the most part the officers are not armed and there was very little gunplay. This was at times a refreshing change and other times it was like "are you crazy going into that situatuion without a gun?!!" Just shows you what we Americans are conditioned to.

Series 4 was the only one expanded to three parts (wish all them had been three), and there was a gap of seven years between Series 5 & 6, and three years between 6 and 7, the final one. A minor complaint: the outer box is on the flimsy side and mine arrived a bit damaged even though it was still shrink-wrapped.

Highly, highly recommended.
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VINE VOICEon September 6, 2010
Arguably the best of all televised criminal procedural series, UK's PRIME SUSPECT is now available as a complete series from Acorn Media. Oscar© winner Helen Mirren is Detective Jane Tennison. Obsessed and profoundly flawed, we follow her through the ranks of England's Metropolitan Police as she solves gritty, ghastly crimes while battling personal demons and inter office prejudice and pointed sexism.

Much more than a gripping murder mystery, Mirren's Tennison is one of the truly great character creations of our time. Universally praised, the series received more than 20 significant international awards.

It's so rare when a TV series finds the right mix of on-screen actors and behind-the-scene talent to create not only gripping murder mysteries but also indelible characters that ring true in the real world that we recognize. The who-dunits work as crackling stand alone dramas but when seen as a whole they are amped to another level as we watch a tough but insecure woman attempt to prove herself in a literally bloody, cut-throat man's world.

Created by crime writer Lynda La Plante, the series features some of Britain's biggest stars including Ralph Fiennes, Tom Wilkinson, David Thewlis, Frank Finlay and many others. If you missed the original broadcasts in the US on "Masterpiece Theatre" and "Mystery!" in the early 90s, you can see it as a massive linear novel. Mirren's Tennison hunts serial killers and investigates police corruption and is moved around as she steps on toes and battles alcohol. The seventh series comes to a fitting close: Jane Tennison makes a big mistake in the murder case she in which she is involved, deals with her approaching retirement and realizes her father is dying.

What I most like about this incredible show is that Tennison's personal life falls apart as she rises higher in her career. She smokes, drinks, sleeps around and reflects the male culture in which she competes - and survives. The stories pull no punches and contain graphic content and coarse language. It doesn't get much better than this. Nine mysteries on nine discs. Almost 25 hours, plus bonus material.
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on November 3, 2010
The original productions are outstanding in all respects; Mirren, above all, an example of towering excellence. However, those who produced the DVD's inexplicably omitted subtitles in the final two discs. This omission diminished my enjoyment because ever-present arcane British slang was much harder to pick up, much less understand, particularly when coupled with broad British accents. END-
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on September 17, 2013
The series was one of the best UK police series ever produced and whilst all the cast can and should take a lot of credit the lion's share must go to Helen Mirren who was just magical. 10 out of 5 for Helen Mirren! Much has been written about the video transfer which was recut for this release. This was no top and tail job, the in frame material is much wider than the original 1.33 release with only a minor amount missing from top and bottom and it looks so much better. The transfer is brilliant and once one compares with the original there should be no argument. Yes there some odd bits here and there that have serious source related faults but they are not frequent and one rapidly ignores them. One program is still in 1.33 as the original material has been lost but it looks surprisingly good nevertheless.
This is just so much better than the old DVDs and you should not hesitate. The whole series is mesmerising and despite having seen it all before I could not turn this off watching late late into the night. Brilliant. It is A locked so no good for the UK and Australia which is a pity but the subtitles are quite excellent.
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on January 31, 2011
I tried for months to get this dvd collection, even with Amazon. I was getting frustrated because I had put in a future request and no one could get this collection. When it finally came out, the price was ridiculous. But good "ole" Amazon finally came through with the best price for my money. I am very happy with it. I was disappointed with the case that it comes in. It is too cheaply made for the price and in no way compares to the case that Sherlock Holmes Granada Collection came in. But the dvd's are very good.
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on October 19, 2010
One of my favorite British Series. Helen Mirren at her gritty best. What more can I say? The British, once again, have given us real down to earth characters who function in all their pain and glory; drawing the viewers into experiences where the decisions are not so black and white. No obvious white night coming in with the expected bit of flash and dash magic tied up into a neat little formula box. This is my third time to watch this series, and it just gets better.
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on November 28, 2011
I watched all of this series on TV, and again it was very hard to understand without subtitles. I bought the series and it is wonderful I now could read the subtitles and it brought out the story. I have the same problem with the Inspector Morse, dvd. I can recommend this as a must buy with the subtitles. It is so nice to be-able to understand the UK stories. Buy and have fun.
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VINE VOICEon February 20, 2010
Several years ago, I saw part of the first episode on PBS and was sorry I had not caught the whole thing. Recently, I found out it was out on DVD, and there were 7 or so episodes in all. WOW, I was not disappointed with any of them.

I have never seen a British crime drama series that was this gritty - well at least in comparison to what I have seen from Britain before this. I mean, this is not like Agatha Christie and genteel murders in country estates. There are child molesters, vicious drug dealers, serial killers and stuff like that.

Helen Mirren plays the main character, Jane Tennyson. She is great in this role, and she usually is in anything she plays in what I have seen. If you have not seen her in "The Queen", you should after watching this series.

The writers do not make her into any kind of saint or perfect detective by any means. She makes moral mistakes and is not always dead on when solving the cases - well, by the end she gets it right. But, they let you wonder for a while sometimes. Adds to the experience in a very good way.

The earlier episodes have a large subplot on how female detectives got a hard time in the London police which might seem a little odd today to many viewers, but I guess it was seen as more of a problem then. It does add an element of tension to the episodes where present which makes for a more interesting show in any case.

The series is very British, so you might have to pay close attention to figure things out now and then, but it is not that hard. I did really enjoy the Manchester accents when she did the episode with the Street - that was a character's name.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
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on October 7, 2010
Helen Mirren shines in this series of great detective stories and great acting. There is plenty of sex and violence and graphic scenes, but the superb casting and acting overcome even the most grisly scenes. Social issues such as male chauvinism, racisism, alcoholism and class inequality are tackled head-on and thrown back in your face. Amazing that this credible, gritty Police Inspector could also have played Queen Elisabeth well.
The sound track is weak in this recorded version of a TV series. It's not only the rapid-fire British accents but the muffled way it comes through on speakers that require a high volume setting to get the drift of what is being said. Sub-titles are offered, and sometimes necessary.
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