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What to know: Wonderful prequel to the series Prime Suspect starring Stefanie Martini as young Tennison.
Recommended age 14-18
360 minutes
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This PBS Masterpiece prequel to the series Prime Suspect, which starred Helen Mirren as Detective Jane Tennison, turns the clock back to give viewers a look at Tennison's start in the British police force. In 1973 London, the young Tennison (Stefanie Martini), assists in a murder case, enduring personal tragedy when a particularly close associate is killed. The backstory, along with Martini's performance, brings to life a credible young Tennison struggling to find her footing. Scenes of Tennison's home life round out her character and the police station setting provides an engrossing glimpse back at a less cynical time. The DVD set includes brief shorts about the original show and 1970s London. Being a crime show, there are some grizzly visuals and crime details. I recommended it for ages 14 to 18. As the plot is a bit stretched, I give this mini-series 3 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Michael F., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
Behind every great detective is a backstory. MASTERPIECE dials back the clock to spotlight the influences that turned 22-year-old rookie policewoman Jane Tennison into the savvy, single-minded crime fighter beloved by Prime Suspect viewers over the course of seven seasons. Starring Stefanie Martini (Doctor Thorne) as the rookie WPC (Woman Police Constable) Jane Tennison - the iconic role immortalized by Helen Mirren. A prequel to one of the most innovative crime series in television history, the program also stars Sam Reid (The Astronaut Wives Club) as Jane's mentor, DCI Len Bradfield; Blake Harrison (Houdini and Doyle) as Bradfield's volatile sergeant, DS Spencer Gibbs; Jessica Gunning (Law & Order UK) as Jane's female colleague and friend, WPC Kath Morgan; and Alun Armstrong (Little Dorrit, Bleak House) as crime family kingpin Clifford Bentley.
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