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Prime Suspect: 1 [DVD]

16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Helen Mirren, Tom Bell, John Benfield, John Bowe, Craig Fairbrass
  • Directors: Christopher Menaul
  • Producers: Don Leaver
  • Format: PAL, Colour
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: ITV Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Nov. 2006
  • Run Time: 203 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000H8RWII
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,211 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Written by Lynda la Plante, this popular variation on the police procedural serial was winner of BAFTA's Best Drama Serial. Helen Mirren plays DCI Jane Tennison, who takes over the running of what appears to be an open and shut murder case. However, she runs into problems as her investigations lead her into the male-dominated world of policework and the hunt for a serial killer.

Synopsis

Prime Suspect 1 features the debut season of the much-loved detective drama which stars Helen Mirren ("Calendar Girls"; "Gosford Park") as the tough, chain-smoking London detective Jane Tennison. Hired into a boys' club Police Department to solve an ongoing investigation involving a police cover-up, Tennison is at first met with resentment and aggression from her male co-workers. Eventually, however, her outstanding capability wins them over.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

110 of 114 people found the following review helpful By Richard the CRUX on 8 Sept. 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this when it first came out and remembered it as being outstanding so in the absence of any decent modern TV I bought it. I watched it yesterday and felt compelled to write this review. Films & TV appear to have gone backwards in terms of quality. Whilst watching this I kept imagining how the same drama would be presented today and was saddened to realize how awful modern film techniques have become. It was a joy to follow the plot with no time-zone jumping, without endless over-complicated, fast frame-rate shots and without that annoyingly loud continuous sound track of pointless music that producers seem bent on inflicting on the viewer. This drama dates back to a time when viewers had longer attention spans and the need to constantly bombard the audiences brains with visual and audio information in order to prevent them from switching off was not an issue, thus allowing the actors to act and the plot to develop in a natural and chronological order, wonderful. Most modern dramas leave me with the impression that hoards of adolescent technicians have been endlessly tinkering with camera shots, lighting, sound effects and sound editing to such an extent as to render the actual production unwatchable by all but the most inattentive schoolchild. Prime Suspect requires none of this modern superficiality to hold your attention, it does it by employing careful execution of plot line and wonderfully realistic acting. It is like all good dramas should be, nitty-gritty and very realistic with believable characterization and thought provoking, twisting plot line. Very Hitchcockian. I will most certainly be investing in more episodes and I am sure that anyone who buys this will be doing the same.Read more ›
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By haunted on 24 Nov. 2011
Format: DVD
I bought the box set of all the Prime suspect shows and started with Series 1 (obviously).

This really is top quality police drama. At 3 hours 20 minutes in length the makers were able to take their time developing the plot and showing the nuances of the characters. For example we see a lot of the domestic life of the prime suspect, leading us to have sympathy for him and wonder if the police have the wrong man. John Bowe is superb as the charming, but possibly murderous Marlow.

We also get to study the slow but inevitable breakdown of the relationship of DCI Tennison(played by Helen Mirren) with her partner, as she becomes obsessed with her first murder case. It clear that she willingly chooses to prioritise her career over everything in her life.

Sexism in the Metropolitan Police is also a major theme in the show. There is huge resistance from the detectives when Tennisson takes over the case though are gradually won over by her by her ability.

Definitley a classic of British crime drama on TV.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cosmopolitan Element on 27 Jun. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I loved this program when I first saw it 18 years ago, and I couldn't resist seeing it again. I was, however, a bit apprehensive -- perhaps it wouldn't stand the test of time.
Happily, my apprehension was unfounded. Even knowing the plot and the outcome I was gripped -- even floored by it.
I've always been enthusiastic about so-called police procedurals, and this one really came to life through the masterful dialogue, the powerful editing, and most of all the astounding acting and depth of characterization. Helen Mirren creates a character who is sympathetic but by no means wholly admirable. Her characterization is tough, and indeed, the whole drama is tough. Her performance is a tour de force.
Can't praise it enough.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Justice Peace on 4 Jan. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Great crime drama, but here is my question? Does George Arthur Marlow fit the profile of a serial killer? Where are the clues or the insight into the psychosis that would cause him to brutally kill six women?
His mother may have been the catalyst but it was never properly explained...

It's interesting to see a crime drama before DNA profiling and before mobile phones.
Much of the story involves Tennison missing calls to the station or dodging calls from her boss, but DCI Tennison manages to hide from her bosses for 24 hours - is this credible? Can a police commander not even find his own SIO?

Despite the holes, it's fabulous gritty police procedure crime drama complete with chauvinism, bigotry and bent coppers!

A classic! JP :)
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Story line, acting, settings - all stunning. The disc itself was totally acceptable. We watched the episode without break and sat, quite shaken, at the end
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I think this was the best in the series and was glad to see it was still available. Good story and leaves you wondering who really did it for a long time.
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By Blodwyn on 12 July 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The first and in my opinion the best Prime Suspect. Excellent acting by all the cast and the only true insight into how a squad really works.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By daveyd on 6 May 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The fantastic mirren is perfectly cast here in her first outing as the tenacious DCI Tennison,battling her male colleagues at a time when a woman in the force were discriminated alot more.The great late Tom bell,and Zoe Wannamaker are very good but for me the Prime Suspect 1 is all about the brilliant John Bowe,what a performance
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