Prime Suspect: 1973
Season 1 ITV Choice (*123) 20:00 Action
Prime Suspect (1991-2006) set the bar high for British procedural crime dramas thanks to Helen Mirren as Jane Tennison – one of the first female detectives and Chief Inspectors in the Greater London Metropolitan Police Service. A decade later and we’re investigating the earlier years in Jane’s career with prequel series Prime Suspect 1973 (2017-current), with Stefanie Martini taking over the role in the six-episode first season.
“I think that possibly it helped that I didn’t have knowledge of the original series until I was cast,” jokes Stefanie. The 26-year-old adds that “I didn’t realise just how important it was to society. Obviously it’s invaluable to watch Helen and see who Jane Tennison is later in her career, but my job was to find out how she gets there. She’s got this brilliance and determination and her own way of thinking about things”.
Original-series fans may feel a little uneasy with the new-feel Jane because she’s not as confident and determined as we know her, but Stefanie is quick to assure viewers that “I know there is no way that Prime Suspect: 1973 can be as groundbreaking as the original. Today Jane is one among many female detectives on TV and so many shows are tackling big issues of the kind that the first Prime Suspect did”.
So what can audiences expect? Jane is trying to adjust to adulthood, living at home with her parents, dealing with law-breaking society and depression at the workplace. The 22-year-old is also handed her first murder case and it’s Jane finding her feet that Stefanie says will “get an interest from viewers. There’s so much television out there but people will want to see how Jane starts and how she becomes ‘old’ Jane.”
Helen Mirren as Jane Tennison.