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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 8 September 2007
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. I cannot understand why modern film makers praise films of this nature and hold directors like Hitchcock in such high regard and yet go out and totally ignore what they should have learned and churn out the same old cliched garbage that everyone else is producing. When will they come to their senses and return to creating compelling dramas such as this which people can watch and be engulfed in without having to endure the bombardment of distractions of what has become modern film production techniques. Give yourself a treat, buy this.
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on 24 November 2011
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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on 28 August 2015
This is a very enjoyable crime drama. The first Prime Suspect does a good job of setting the tone for the rest of the series. Helen Mirren is brilliant in the lead role and the other characters are all very well cast as well. I like that the story explores the relationships and interactions between the characters as well as focusing on the murder mystery storyline. This way, we get to know the characters. It has a realistic plot that is not too far out there, being written by the excellent Lynda La Plante. While I like some other Prime Suspect series more, the first is solid. Recommended.
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on 27 June 2009
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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on 12 May 2014
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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on 7 June 2014
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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on 12 July 2012
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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on 18 February 2016
Best police drama ever! The first one is Helen Mirren's finest hour!
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on 6 May 2011
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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on 26 July 2015
Helen is good,very good, what ever she embarks on
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