“Prime Suspect,” the British crime series that made Helen Mirren a household name and unflinchingly explored institutional sexism within the police ranks, is returning to TV.
But don’t expect Mirren to resume her role as Detective Jane Tennison, the gifted, no-nonsense detective dealing with a London PD rife with chauvinism. “Prime Suspect” creator Lynda La Plante is bringing back the series as a six-episode prequel set in the ’70s. “Tennison” will “portray the young Jane Tennison beginning her career and reveal why she became such a complex and formidable character in the Metropolitan Police,” according to a press release from ITV.
Here’s the rest of the PR summary:
“It’s Hackney in the 1970s, and women police constables are being uneasily ‘integrated’ into the force. We’re introduced to 22-year-old Jane, a probationary officer in a world where high-ranking police officers were notoriously chauvinistic, and the rules and regulations often bent.
“Single-minded and ambitious, if a touch naïve, Jane’s dedicated and instinctive approach to her career is evident from the start. Starting as a WPC on the beat, she is thrown in at the deep end, drawn into a brutal murder enquiry, and experiences first hand London’s violent criminal ganglands. She works alongside senior investigating officer DCI Bradfield, and in her first murder case, sees the devastating effects violent crime has on the victim’s family, as well as experiencing tragic ramifications herself.
“With a strong sense of style and a 70’s musical backdrop to the narrative, we’ll also meet Jane’s family and begin to understand the complexities of her ambition and personal life, that shape the character recognised by millions of viewers worldwide.”
“Prime Suspect” ran on and off for seven seasons between 1991 and 2006 and collected a slew of awards, including multiple BAFTAs, Emmys, Golden Globes and a Peabody Award.
“Tennison” will debut in 2016, on the 25th anniversary of the original show’s premiere.