Prime Suspect 1-5
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A box set of 5 series' of Lynda la Plante's BAFTA-winning variation on the police procedural serial. In 'Prime Suspect 1' 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. 'Prime Suspect 2' sees DCI Tennison called in to head an investigation into the death of a young black woman, whose body is found in the back garden of a house in London. As she begins to investigate, she finds that she is having to deal with a whole web of issues surrounding racism and sexism within the police force, as well as tracking down a killer still on the loose. In 'Prime Suspect 3' Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison is back on duty, transferred from Southampton Row to the Soho Vice Squad. Ordered to clear out prostitutes and rent boys in the area, Tennison is soon embroiled in another murder case when the corpse of a 17-year-old rent boy is found in a transexual's flat. In 'Prime Suspect 4 - Inner Circles' the murder of a country club manager in an affluent commuter suburb of London is quickly blamed on youths from a nearby housing estate. Tennison is not so sure, and soon finds herself caught up in local politics. 'Prime Suspect 4 - The Lost Child' sees newly-promoted Detective Superintendent Jane Tennison investigating a missing child case at London's Southampton Row. The trail leads to a serial sex offender recently released from a custodial treatment centre. When an arrest attempt backfires, Tennison finds herself caught up in a siege situation. In 'Prime Suspect 4 - The Scent of Darkness', when a series of copycat killings take place that resemble those in the first 'Prime Suspect', Tennison is suspended from duty. Can it be that George Marlow is innocent, as he insisted all along? And how will this development affect Jane's blossoming relationship with psychologist Patrick Schofield? Finally in 'Prime Suspect 5', with a transfer to Manchester, Tennison (Mirren) finds herself lecturing school children on law and order. She demands something a little more up her usual alley, and is soon investigating the murder of a drug dealer. When a 14-year-old boy confesses to the killing, Tennison suspects that someone else is responsible.
This box set contains the first five Prime Suspect crime dramas, which star Helen Mirren as detective chief inspector Jane Tennison. The original story, first aired in 1991, was written by Lynda La Plante and established a compelling template--grisly murders, fascinating operational details, well-written characters and believable domestic drama.
The feature-length titles in this box set are also available individually:
Prime Suspect (1991)
Prime Suspect 2 (1992)
Prime Suspect 3 (1993)
Prime Suspect 4: The Lost Child (1995)
Prime Suspect 4: Inner Circles (1995)
Prime Suspect 4: Scent of Darkness (1995)
Prime Suspect 5: Errors of Judgment (1996)
In 2003, Mirren reprised her role for Prime Suspect 6 (not included in this box set).
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Each one is a long and carefully woven story which always manages to draw you in.
The frustration Tennison (Helen Mirren) feels everytime a 'man' tries to tell her how to lead an investigation or goes behind her back is tangible. Everytime she lights up her ciggarrette (though she's constantly trying to quit) you can see the strain getting to her as she fights not only to find and arrest her Prime Suspect, but also fights to hold together her team.
She starts off in the first Episode (arguably the best) in the early 90's. She's a woman in a man's world. She's a woman in a job which is mainly made up of men, especially the higher you get in the chain of command. After a colleague (not a close one) dies, the unpopular Tennison takes on the case that he was working on. Someway through the investigation she implicates the dead officer in the crime. This does not make her any more popular, but she doesn't care. Getting the job done is her priority with the bickering and politics left on the sidelines.
Jane Tennison is a no-nonsense officer.
Helen Mirren portrays a strong, loyal, dedicated woman who's ruthless in her search for her 'Prime Suspect' but along the way is pushed to show compassion as well.
This boxset is worth every penny. Each episode is like a film. The acting throughout is superb. The storylines are well thought out and original.
Prime Suspect is a must own.
This is truly Police Drama at its best. No Hollywood explosions, or tanned/musclebound/siliconed actors, simply gritty drama that feels as real as it can get. The plots are gripping and not plagued by too many Dickensian twists or coincidences. The actors are a combination of the famous and the not so famous, some indeed went on to bigger things at a later date. Sometimes Jane does not get her man and sometimes the obvious suspect (hence title) turns out to be the killer, however the path to get there, even at some of the 3.5 hour films keeps you riveted to the end.
Limited extra's, a commentary from Mirren would have been a great addition but then it would only serve to remind you that this is fiction afterall..probably better to keep the illusion of reality alive.
You want proof? Watch the very first one. The eventual culprit can outcreep Hannibal Lecter any day...
Highly, highly recommended. And when you have seen them all, get the Cracker DVD boxed set too :)
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