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Prime Suspect

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The Final Act Part 2
Tony and Ruth Sturdy's 14-year-old daughter Sallie is missing. Due to retire, this could be Tennison's last case, but she has more than this to contend with.

Watch Prime Suspect Season 7 Episode 2 Now

The Final Act, Part 1
Tony and Ruth Sturdy's 14-year-old daughter Sallie is missing. Due to retire, this could be Tennison's last case, but she has more than this to contend with.

Watch Prime Suspect Season 7 Episode 1 Now

Prime Suspect is a British police procedural television series that first premiered on ITV1 in 1991. The series, which ran for seven seasons until 2006, is widely recognized for its gritty realism, and for being instrumental in bringing to light many of the pressing issues surrounding gender and power in the police force.

The groundbreaking series follows the story of DCI Jane Tennison, played by the renowned Helen Mirren. Tennison is one of the first female Detective Chief Inspectors in the Metropolitan Police Service, London, who is constantly fighting to establish herself and win respect in a predominantly male environment. The developers of Prime Suspect accurately balance this intriguing character-driven drama with exciting crime-solving action, resulting in a visually enthralling and emotionally engaging show.

Prime Suspect is written by the talented Lynda La Plante, whose expertise in crafting complex, multilayered narratives, imbued with suspense and intensity, is evident in this critical and commercial television success. Additionally, the series is known for maintaining a meticulous precision to details, realistic characterisation and its darker aesthetic style, combining these elements to create a raw and authentic representation of crime and investigative work within the police force.

Tennison herself is a compelling character dealing with the challenges of her role and the many prejudices of her colleagues. She is a fiercely dedicated and capable police officer, yet also a deeply flawed individual wrestling with her personal demons, such as her struggles with alcoholism and her troubled relationships.

Each series is built around a single case that Tennison and her team must solve. Despite its procedural genre, the series is more akin to a serialized drama, as the progress of each case unfolds over multiple episodes. Each case is intricate and detailed, highlighting a variety of arduous tasks that investigators must undergo, from gathering evidence, conducting interviews, to closing in on the prime suspect.

The crimes are portrayed vividly, with a focus on heinous acts of violence, particularly against women, dispensing with the "whodunit" approach for a more earnest exploration of crime, its roots in society and the cascading effects it has on the victims, their families, and the investigators themselves. The storytelling aims for an unfiltered depiction of grim reality without resorting to any unnecessary theatrical additions.

The show places an equal emphasis on Tennison's personal struggles as on her professional challenge of solving these complex crimes. Her character arc is interwoven with each case she takes on, leading viewers to fully empathise with her resilience in surfacing victorious despite the obstacles she constantly encounters.

In many ways, Prime Suspect is regarded as a pioneer for representations of strong, complex women in traditionally masculine roles within Television. Helen Mirren's performance as Tennison is nothing short of riveting, earning her recognition at the international level. She delivers an arresting performance that is both vulnerable and commanding.

Additionally, the series also features a supporting cast of well-written and brilliantly performed characters, all contributing to the crisp narrative flow and the overall impact of the series. The cinematography is worth mentioning for capturing the essence of the series' dark and grim undertone, while the background score does a splendid job in keeping the suspense intact without overpowering the narrative.

Throughout its run, Prime Suspect also ironically reflects on society's endemic sexism, with the protagonist regularly facing belittlement from her colleagues. These social commentaries add an extra layer of depth, making the series a highly critical and socially conscious drama.

Prime Suspect, in its seven-season run, has garnered critical acclaim, leaving a lasting impact and influencing many future crime dramas. Its compelling narrative, combined with the exceptional performances of its cast, continuously engaging storytelling and its keen eye on societal norms, make it an enduring classic of British television.

Prime Suspect is a series categorized as a canceled/ended. Spanning 7 seasons with a total of 26 episodes, the show debuted on 2011. The series has earned a mostly positive reviews from both critics and viewers. The IMDb score stands at 8.3.

How to Watch Prime Suspect

How can I watch Prime Suspect online? Prime Suspect is available on ITV1 with seasons and full episodes. You can also watch Prime Suspect on demand at Amazon Prime, Plex, Amazon online.

Crime Drama
Helen Mirren, Tom Bell, John Benfield, John Bowe, Bryan Pringle, John Forgeham, Gary Whelan, Jack Ellis, Philip Wright, Mossie Smith, Andrew Tiernan
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