5 August 2017 | TheLittleSongbird
Jane Tennison and the drug scene
The first three 'Prime Suspect' series were absolutely brilliant. 'Prime Suspect IV' changed the format from two episodes compromising of one case for each of the previous three series to three different cases and actually did it very well.
'Prime Suspect V' consists of one case once again with two episodes, aptly titled "Errors of Judgement". So back to the original format and this time dealing with murder on the drug scene. To me, "Errors of Judgement" was wonderful and the best since 'Prime Suspect III', and it was always going to be a daunting task having a series up that the first three series' level. And that is despite also loving the three cases making up 'Prime Suspect IV' ('The Lost Child', 'Inner Circles' and 'Scent of Darkness').
"Errors of Judgement" is stylishly and cleverly filmed, with slick editing and atmospheric lighting, and there is a consistently wonderful atmosphere throughout. It is very gritty, if not quite as dark as 'Prime Suspect III', and effectively claustrophobic. It is very hard to forget the music score too. The scripting, like its predecessor, is some of the best there is of any mystery/detective drama, being superbly constructed and intelligent, plus it is hard to not be impressed by the cunning subtlety of the conflicts.
Story-telling is very compelling and twisty, with an atmosphere that is gritty and harrowing but also intricate and honest. The city life and drug scene aspects really hit hard and are suitably seedy. It is a complex story that keeps one guessing right up to the end while also being easy to follow. Tennison's personal life is balanced very well and never descends into melodrama despite the errors she brought on herself in 'Scent of Darkness' and here.
Jane Tennison continues to be an interesting character, the character and the depiction of the police force was very ahead of the time back in the 90s and holds much fascination now even if not so novel.
Helen Mirren gives a typically magnificent performance in the lead. Julia Lane and David O'Hara are truly excellent also, but Steven Mackintosh's bone-chilling performance lingers long in the memory.
Overall, wonderful. 10/10 Bethany Cox