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Prime Suspect 3
Format: DVD|Change
Price:$39.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on June 25, 2009
I have all seven Prime Suspect films in their HBO-produced DVD release, which replicates the original UK broadcast language and technical quality. (Yay!) Why? I consider this series to be on the same plane as The Sopranos in quality, style and substance. It gets brought out regularly for viewing because of the compelling story lines, intriguing characters, fine ensemble acting, and Helen Mirren's multi-layered development of her character, DCI (later Detective Superintendant) Jane Tennison, as she matures during her long career.

Full disclosure: I too was a female who worked hard and struggled for decades to be promoted within a traditionally male profession, long before women became accepted and respected members. So, Jane's professional competence and occasional brilliance, workplace struggles and personal failings resonate with me.

IMO Prime Suspect 3 is the best but most disturbing film in the series. It's not for everyone. This is the very dark and graphic depiction of the abuse of disturbed and homeless boys by pedophiles who have operated unchecked for years, and of one underage male prostitute's murder that threatens to expose the coverup of some high-ranking officers' complicity and crimes. Tennison's dogged pursuit of Connie's killer is the only uplifting thing about this sordid subject.

What truly distinguishes PS3 is a plethora of brilliant and unusual guest star turns. In particular: Peter Capaldi as an empathetic gay drag queen; Ciaran Hinds as an oily operator of boys shelters; David Thewlis as a savage prostitution ring recruiter; and Tom Bell as an old-school detective and Tennison's one-time nemesis. IMO the casting directors for this entire series were geniuses, but they outdid themselves in this episode.

In my view, PS3 may be too rough an introduction for the first-time viewer of Prime Suspect, but the entire series should not be missed by people who enjoy watching intelligent crime/action programs. I also think that like The Sopranos, Prime Suspect episodes are best appreciated when seen in chronological order. So is Ms. Mirren's work as Jane Tennison. Like good wine, they all improve with age.
7 helpful votes
8 helpful votes
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This is the first episode of the series I ever watched when I was first introduced to this show. I was immediately hooked. Every actor does a outstanding performance in it, especially by Helen Mirren. If you're a fan of Prime Suspect, British TV, Crime Drams, etc. I'm sure you will enjoy this episode. The quality of video and audio is well done.
Personally, all seven episode of this series are well done, but this one is probably one of the best.
1 helpful vote
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on February 23, 2008
This deals with the uncomfortable subject of pedophilia. The mystery is uncovered slowly, which is good, but the uncovering of the mystery happens in fits and starts, which I felt inferior to the steady pace (with a final surprise discovery) a good mystery should have. We know long before the end whodunit, but have to spend a third of the movie undoing the coverup. Thus the last third becomes a different kind of movie - more like a legal case. While that isn't bad, I think the change from requires a shifting of the viewer's expectations while following the plot.
I also felt that the authorities-are-hiding-the-truth aspect was depicted as indecisive, which detracted from suspense, a needed attribute.
Having said all that, the acting was well done - a standard for the series. The internal departmental wrangling and backstabbing were true-to-life, thoroughly believable, and the best parts of the episode. And the ending was credible.
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
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on February 25, 2004
The only Prime Suspect installment (other than the original) to be authored by Lynda La Plante, Prime Suspect 3 once again displays the hallmarks of La Plante's journalistic research base for creating fictional characters. In this case, "rent boys" are the fuel: young male prostitutes/street kids, and in particular one heartbreaking interview where a rent boy had told La Plante that he couldn't have AIDS, because he was only 15.
Tennison finds herself investigating the burned body of a murdered rent boy found in a drag queen's flat, and begins to discover criminal ties from a community center that lead up into the highest ranks of the police, and she doesn't know whom to trust. Also, her old nemesis from PS1, Bill Otley, is part of her new team. With the amazing Helen Mirren, and an extraordinary support cast including Tom Bell, Ciaran Hinds, David Thewlis, and Peter Capaldi, this is, after the original, the strongest installment in the series.
43 helpful votes
44 helpful votes
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on September 29, 2012
We decided to watch Prime Suspect, beginning with Season One. The series naming and numbering system is a bit confusing so we double checked online to make sure we were watching them in cronological order. In season 3, Jane is once again has to worked through and around the good old boy network. Racism plays a part as well, [Good Old White Boy Network]. We watch Jane pursue her career but at what cost to personal life (if you can call it that). Jane is more jaded than earlier episodes, but not quite the bitter, hostile woman we meet at the end of the Series. The storyline is okay, but the more interesting part is observing the societal changes.
1 helpful vote
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on December 25, 2016
This is the best cop show I've ever watched. It's the fastest moving most complicated police procedural I've ever watched. It is the best cast best acted most realistic police show I've watched. Helen Mirren.
1 helpful vote
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on March 28, 2003
Happy day! All of the Prime Suspect movies have made it to DVD.
I saw these in the early 90s on A&E and was astounded by how good Helen Mirren was, working inside an organization that did not always want her to succeed (apparently she is too good a detective to ignore, but as a woman - and her own woman - her flaws get her in trouble with her superiors).
All the flaws of society and of the police in her part of the UK visit her. Like the rest of us, she tries the best she can to do her job, in this case, to lead a team of detectives and ordinary police to solve the violent crimes she faces in post-Thatcher England.
Riveting stuff. Incredibly well written, but occasional strong language may put some off. (Older DVDs released by PBS had the expletives dubbed over, badly done. I've reordered these in DVD and am hoping it's the original UK version, bad language and all. Hardly gratuitous, though)
For TV, only the Sopranos comes close to the level of these five mini-series (ok, maybe some other Masterpiece Theatre productions are this good, but this one's contemporary).
Some of Mirren's best work is here. See them if you can!
Thank you for doing the right thing, media moguls, and getting these to DVD!
27 helpful votes
28 helpful votes
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on February 12, 2017
I wish American TV had actors and directors like English TV. So concise, mostly non
-violent and truly depicts the way police forces should be conducting themselves. They
show the infinghting
1 helpful vote
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on November 15, 2016
This entire show is wonderful! Helen Mirren is so talented, making the character Jane Tennison someone you get to know well. The other characters are also well formed and acted through interesting plot lines.
1 helpful vote
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on April 7, 2017
the show is a little breathless at times, but the performances are first-rate and the story is compelling.
1 helpful vote
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