• The original 'Prime Suspect', and its small set of sequels, were unusually good television detective dramas, starring the incomparable Helen Mirren as a hard-bitten female investigator. 'Prime Suspect 1973', a prequel, is not however nearly as good. There are several problems: the script is clumsy, the production screams '1973' at you so loudly you might consider this a piece of historical anthropology (instead of a drama where the differences between how we lived then and how we live now permeate the background without intruding on the centre stage); and above all else that Stefanie Martini (in the lead role) resembles a young Helen Mirren not one wit: neither for looks, voice, or crucially, for the character of the person she plays. Another, more technical difficulty, is that whereas the original was praised for its procedural accuracy, an ordinary WPC (as the character is in the prequel) has much less oversight of an investigation than the inspector leading it, so the plot has to perpetually struggle to put its character centre-stage. I'm sure there is a good story that could be told about the young Jane Tennison, especially given how well Mirren realised the later version; this, however, is sadly not it.