Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act (TV Mini-Series 2006)

TV Mini-Series   |    |  Crime, Drama, Mystery


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Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act (2006) Poster

Approaching retirement, Jane Tennison investigates the murder of a missing girl. But the cracks soon begin to show as Jane struggles with an alcohol problem and the death of her father.

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8.3/10
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23 October 2006 | paul2001sw-1
9
| Don't call me "Ma'am", I'm not the bloody Queen
The original 'Prime Suspect', an unusually tough police procedural thriller, was a landmark in early 1990s television, immediately making other hits series like 'Inspector Morse' appear tired and out-of-date. Since then, the series has retained some quality through its relatively infrequent outings, but still, the writing has not always been as good as in the first episode and in some cases has lapsed into the melodramatic cliché of the standard crime show. Gradually, I lost interest (I think about the fifth time that the whole direction of central character Jayne Tennyson's life was on the line if she didn't solve some murder in the face of the scepticism of her colleagues). But the series has always featured great acting from the incomparable Helen Mirren in that role, and in this final part she has arguably never been finer, there is some longer-term narrative development from the earlier episodes and Mirren exploits the character's growing history as the basis for a harrowing, wholly three-dimensional performance that almost seems out of place in a crime drama. Behind her performance, there's a nicely executed but less extraordinary tale of murder that could have come from any other cop show.

What's amazing about Mirren is how she truly inhabits the parts she plays: having recently seen her in Channel Four's 'Elizabeth', one can say the two series constitute a masterclass of televisual acting, ancient and modern. The series may be done; but the prime of Helen Mirren is far from over.

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