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Prime Suspect 1
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Generally, I prefer British TV series to all else. Not this one. Way, way too graphic and explicit for my tastes. Way too much swearing. Bought a set of three, wasted my money. Read morePublished 4 months ago by B. L. Swoverland
We LOVE Helen Mirren, but this series wasn't at all complimentary to her, the story line is very weak and drawn out. Anyone interested in buyting this used DVD (watched it once).Published 6 months ago by Irish
The phenomenon that is Helen Mirren.. she never disappoints. The best crime drama ever.Published 16 months ago by Michael Carey
I never was around i worked nights then when it was shown on PBS and I missed a treat. Wonderful acting and great story that fully allowed development of characters and situation. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Carrie Louise Hames
One of the best shows from England. Helen Mirren is the best.Published 23 months ago by Shawn Weedman
Helen Mirren ~ British filming ~.Excellent writing. Need I say more. Extremely well done.Published on July 22, 2014 by traveler2009