User Reviews (38)

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  • I've just finished watching this show and I was impressed with the attention to detail, it really does transport you back in time, the acting was good as was the storey line. I never actually watched the original Prime Suspect show with Helen Mirren so I watched this show with fresh eyes and can not compare it to the original show.

    I hope this gets renewed for follow up seasons.
  • Love this show. Not many shows transport me to a different time and place but this one does it in bucket loads. Love the actress who plays Jane - she's a star in the making - and the actor who plays her boss is good too. Alan Armstrong seems to be enjoying himself, playing a nasty piece of work, and Neil from the Inbetweeners is so good i didn't even realise it was him until episode 2! Love a good bit of crime and this is one of the best on TV at the moment. Came for the music and flares, stayed for the story, you could say. Love it.
  • Prime Suspect with Helen Mirren was a fantastic Crime-drama Mystery and our New and somewhat improved Prime Suspect 1973 is a nice remake notwithstanding a few tweaks in production glitches and some much needed on-site investigators to help correct police procedure. Aside from some good acting and nice locations the memorable 1970's nostalgic bits and bob's thrown in was nicely done. 70's Music was good. A couple really nice characters were introduced and hopefully a new season will bring them into the fold making them more integral to the plot. A good example would be Sergeant Harris who indeed has great potential. I see better times ahead if it gets the support. One of the better Crime-dramas so far. More mystery would be a plus. Very Groovy.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Let's set our guidelines. I'm reviewing a prequel to Prime Suspect. One that's set in 1973. What does it need to achieve? A damning indictment of sex discrimination and police culture of the period? No, that's been done. It's a stage setter, a picture of how the seeds were sown. Of how a twenty-something girl from a nice, middle-class background became the towering presence that was Helen Mirren. Job done. In ways I didn't see coming.

    As a police procedural, it's above average but no more. The portrayal of 1973 is pretty damn' good (I was there) but the lame music video intros show a serious lack of confidence. Relax people, we get it and we don't need Slade to reinforce it.

    There are some writing hiccups, as anyone watching the final episode of season one can attest. It may be inconvenient to have to explain how our heroine reaches the roof without tripping over her unconscious colleague or being shot by the armed and desperate bank robber but as writers you need to deal with it. Having our heroine magically appear on the roof isn't good enough. It's lazy and assumes that the audience doesn't care.

    The actress who plays the "Jane"character has a difficult role. Although she's cast as the lead, her role is really a supporting one (shades of 70s sexism??) and all the more difficult for that. The angle is a necessary one to set us up for the second season and it takes an actress of strength to deliver. Stephanie Martini (a seriously Ian Fleming name!) delivers a low key, contained performance of great nuance. Much as Helen Mirren might have done.

    I, for one, can't wait to see the next chapter of this story. It deserves a second season and perhaps some new recruits to the writing team.
  • I have to start out by saying I am a HUGE fan of the original Prime Suspect. I never could understand the British disdain for intelligent Police personal, the best and brightest always seem to get treated with contempt. My biggest problem with the original Prime Suspect is there wasn't enough of it, only a few hours a year.

    I am happy to say they at least gave us a full British season which is less than half of an American season. I'm happy they developed this show, there aren't really any surprises Jane talked about her past quite often but it's a pleasure to see it all unfold as it happened. I quite enjoy seeing the fashions of the 70s again and the music is great except too often they play the music way too loud like they think we're so stupid we won't get it unless the music is blaring. I hope they correct that for the second season. I hope there is a second season.

    It's a cop show set in the 70s when things were quite different. I'm not sure how it was in the UK but I know in the U.S. female officers were something new and they weren't always made to feel welcome. It is interesting to get a look at what the UK was like at that point in time although I'm sure it's not 100% realistic. The show has great writers, the cast is really good and I thoroughly enjoyed watching this series unfold. I would highly recommend watching it.
  • Porridge9021010 March 2017
    Warning: Spoilers
    Wow, wow, wow. I've just finished episode 5. I wasn't sure after the first episode. A prequel to Prime Suspect didn't seem like the best idea ITV have had, but the execution of this series has been fantastic. I so hoped it wouldn't be Life On Mars and thankfully it isn't. But it evokes the time and place just as well. By episode two I was hooked. Now on episode 5, I am, frankly, amazed that this show isn't on everyone's lips. It's brave, brilliantly written and just brilliant.

    I love the characters around the police station. Blake Harrison from the Inbetweeners is brilliant as Gibbs. Sam Reid as Bradfield is really good too, but it's Stephanie Martini who steals the show. She takes on a difficult role (talk about big shoes to fill!) but she completely owns it. Don't get me started on Alun Armstrong - how much fun is he having in this?! He's amazing!

    Loving this series. More, please, ITV!
  • I thought episode one was an excellent start to the series. It feels like a whole new show. Not the Prime Suspect we're used to. Not Life On Mars. Something new and different, which I think is the only way to go. Stefanie Martini is really good as the young Jane Tennison and presumably the first series will see her become the steely DCI Tennison we've met before (Helen Mirren). The book its based on is kind of like an origin story, so I'm sure the series is going to be great.

    What I love most is the supporting cast. They're all amazing. I wanted to see and know more about every single character. I was really intrigued by the prison story and how it links to the murder. Lots of interesting questions asked, which I'm sure the rest of the series will answer. Bravo, ITV.

    A quality, solid new crime drama. 10/10.
  • It's 1973. Jane Tennison (Stefanie Martini) is a young probationary police officer in London. She gets coffees and types up reports. She still lives at home with her parents. Her mother disapproves of her life choices. A drug-addicted prostitute is found dead and DI Len Bradfield leads the investigation. Bradfield takes her under his wing and develops a romantic relationship with her. Meanwhile, lifelong criminal Clifford Bentley (Alun Armstrong) is in prison waiting to get released as his family plans a big heist.

    Stefanie Martini looks to take over the prequel version of the iconic TV character created by Helen Mirren. The biggest question is that if she can match the legendary Mirren. The character maintains her personal flaws and superior mind. She struggles with murky ethics which leads to her later mistakes. Martini shows flashes of acting power but time will tell if she is up to the task. She's definitely plenty cute enough. There is good 70's settings with dirty earth tones. I'm glad they kept the smoking although it's a little toned down. The murder mystery is perfectly fine. Alun Armstrong holds the other end of the story quite well. This is a solid start although a second series is unlikely.
  • They trash the whole series, or movie, because it doesn't meet, "their" criteria, because a character is miscast. Prime Suspect, House of Cards, Star Trek, and on and on. Just take each version, on its entertainment value alone. I must confess, that there was but one, Sherlock Holmes! Basil Rathbone. If we are to make comparisons, is Benedict Cumberbatch better, or is Johnny Lee Miller? As I got older, I started to expand my appreciation, for The Casting Directors, that are aware of past and present, and come up with great actors, for roles based on well worn recycled fare. Cruise for Frasier! That's a stretch, but OK. I was entertained. The Mummy.

    This also applies here. All 3 actresses who have played Tennison have entertained us well. All were the right person for the part. Yes Maria Bello's, Tennison in New York version did not get a fair shake. But was perfectly cast as a NYC version. Helen Mirren in NYC? Not in my world. Bello in The UK. Tea time would have a whole new meaning! So this Tennison is perfect for 1973. I saw in the trivia section, that comparisons were made, about eye color, and the actresses actual ages, to their characters age, and they did not match, so this Tennison was not believable! C'mon!!

    This sadly short series was fantastic in all areas. Definitely a must watch for British Bobby Show fans. Cheerio Guv.

    P.S. We want more Stefanie Martini as Jane.
  • RedMars16 May 2017
    Warning: Spoilers
    When I heard there was a prequel to Prime Suspect, with Jane Tennison as a WPC, I was cautious. What made the original series so special was a female detective bettering the men. But I was really surprised with this series. Sure, the first two episodes are a bit slow (setting the scene) - though so are the first few chapters of the book which this series is based on - but then it becomes one of the most gripping series on TV this year.

    I'd even place this above the third series of Broadchurch for sheer enjoyment. It was like curling up with a good book. The last 3 episodes especially are fantastic edge of your seat drama. I hope they make more, with Jane as a detective. Get her stuck into the investigations in future. This one could run for years.
  • 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.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I had just finished binge-watching the entire "Prime Suspect" oeuvre a month or so ago, when I came upon this new series.

    The thing that astonished me most was, how Ms. Martini did such an incredible job of absolutely nailing the mannerisms and overall personality that Helen Mirren originally created with her portrayal of the middle-aged Jane Tennison. Even down to the turns-of-the-head when noticing clues or focusing on what someone was saying that was significant in putting the facts together; and the ambiguity of her coldness with members of her own family juxtaposed with how sympathetic and downright gentle she could be when speaking to witnesses and victims of crime.

    === MILD SPOILERS FOLLOW ===

    And of course, no portrayal of Jane Tennison would be complete without touching on her absolutely lousy, utterly self-destructive behavior with men. It was painful to see 22-year-old Jane throwing herself at her boss (who ends up being an unsuitable object of her affections on just about every level possible).

    As a grandfather with grandchildren in their late teens, it about broke my heart to watch it.
  • Stephanie Martini is an excellent young Tennison. I graduated tom high school in 1971, and I affirm that the sexual politics are spot on. Right down to her mom. I'm really enjoying this, and I wonder what Dame Helen thought of it.
  • CineNutty10 July 2017
    Warning: Spoilers
    The overall plot was excellent. I thought it was at first too lovey- dovey, but it fits the story line and helped explain why Jane Tennison plays it "close to the vest." Also, the tension between the baby bird leaving the nest, and the parents Tennison added some humanity to the situation. The Bentley gang and interaction between the brothers seemed realistic. I correctly guessed who killed Julie Ann and showed both the underpinnings of the Bentley Gang and reminded me in part of the "Timson Gang" in the "Rumpole of the Bailey" series. I think the BBC has a fine new prequel somewhat comparable to the "Endeavour" prequel.It is better than anything on American commercial television and "TV worth watching". I look forward to next season.
  • I have not seen any prior Prime Suspect shows probably because I couldn't understand half of the English dialog. But now with my trusty CC turned on, I really enjoyed this from beginning to end and especially the 4th episode. Stefanie Martini is a great actor in the making and I look forward to seeing her in more Prime Suspects and other shows. I love my CC. I can watch all English shows (Downton Abbey, Poldark, Broadchurch, Grantchester, My Mother and Other Strangers and the other show about the small English town in WW II) and follow the dialog effortlessly. I have discovered a new channel (PBS) and look forward to watching many more great shows. One thing though, the quality of these shows puts American network (not cable) television to shame.
  • It seems to me that the series was engaging in character and situation, regardless of what you may have read in Variety, and it was—and is—well worth watching. Having seen every "Prime Suspect" episode in real time, I found this series continuously interesting on several levels, and compelling for a die-hard "Prime Suspect" fan. Performances of the principle players and supporting cast were splendid, and I am awed in particular by the supporting cast. Production values were dependably high and convincing. The error in Tennison's chronology, reported here, is an unnecessary bit of slippage. One can hardly say too much about the skill and all-in performances of the fairly large supporting cast, and IMDb records them all. The sketchy guys and the police performances were superb, and I single out Alun Armstrong's and Ruth Sheen's performances as examples to watch; the performances of their "Bentley family" was award-winning. But so was that of Anthony Skordi, whose role as Silas Manatos, owner of a Greek café, got much less screen time. Among the supporting roles, those written for Tennison's "parents" have been negatively received, but I found them to be just what they needed to be—conventional, hovering, a counterpoint to other parents (those of a victim) presented in the series. I viewed the Tennisons as multi-dimensional and developing as the series progressed, and the roles were well-performed, certainly. The 1970s London ambiance was convincing, but that is hardly where "convincing" stops with this all-too-brief series. We hear of a creative war behind the discontinuation of the series. Sad for BBC and PBS viewers who wanted to a future for the series.
  • Talking to friends in other states (MD, FL, CA) & they loved Tennison too. The cast was a perfect mix, the time & place was perfect. Needs more exposure in the USA so people will tune in. Bring the cast on late night TV shows in USA. Viewers, wait till you see the seasons ending! You also need to release a sound track. It's great that this is the beginning of "Prime Suspect 1973" & we see how Jane evolves. Thank you for all involved in the project, great work.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The utter stupidity of the so-called detectives in this show is mind numbing. For example, despite "rumors" of their affair, Bradfield and Tennison CONTINUE to flirt with each other in plain view of the other officers. And while the bank job is going on they don't bother to cover all the exits? Or stake out Bentley's flat? Pffft. A total waste of time watching this nonsense.
  • I did not find the Jane Tennison character as portrayed in this series to be credible as the same person portrayed in her later life by Helen Mirren, either by appearance or personality. I can certainly appreciate why La Plante walked away from this production and why the show was not renewed for another series.

    I also found that there was much about the story which was not all that credible because it depended too much on a number of coincidences. In spite this shortcoming, had they not represented the story as a prequel to the later Prime Suspect, I would have given it higher marks.
  • It's excellent all the way around... But it suffers from a common problem.

    The music is louder than the dialogue. I'm not talking about the songs that are played during transition sequences, I'm talking about the "wall paper" (As randy Newman called it). The music that plays in the background in order to create a mood is just a bit louder than the exchanges between actors. When you turn it up to hear the dialogue the wall paper turns up as well.

    As I said, I notice this is a common problem in some of the programs produced for Masterpiece. I wonder if it's a translation problem between the U.S. and the U.K. Something to do with direct current vs. Alternating current in the way things were recorded... Maybe it's just bad sound people- maybe it's just me...
  • 7.9 + 8.0 + 7.9 + 7.9 + 8.4 + 8.4 = 48.5/6 = 8.08 or 8.1 average

    Episode #1.1 7.9 (182) Rate When the body of teenager Julie Ann Collins is found in the underground car park of a Hackney housing estate, probationer WPC Jane Tennison becomes immersed in her first murder investigation. Watch Now With Prime Video + 1 more Add Image S1, Ep2 9 Mar. 2017 Episode #1.2 8.0 (144) Rate The team establish that Julie Ann was last seen getting into a red Jaguar. This leads them to Homerton Hospital Drug Unit where they interview receptionist, Teresa O'Duncie. Watch Now With Prime Video + 1 more Add Image S1, Ep3 16 Mar. 2017 Episode #1.3 7.9 (127) Rate Following the revelation of the red Jaguar in George and Mary Collins' garage, the pair protest their innocence about their daughter's final days. Watch Now With Prime Video + 1 more Add Image S1, Ep4 23 Mar. 2017 Episode #1.4 7.9 (122) Rate The case escalates when Eddie Philips' body is discovered in the canal, and Bradfield suspects they're looking at a double murder. Watch Now With Prime Video + 1 more Add Image S1, Ep5 30 Mar. 2017 Episode #1.5 8.4 (120) Rate Jane plays the radio recordings to Bradfield, who diverts the whole team to carry out surveillance of the Bentleys, despite orders from his superior officer to stay focused on the murder case. Watch Now With Prime Video + 1 more Add Image S1, Ep6 6 Apr. 2017 Episode #1.6 8.4 (115) Rate In the aftermath of explosion at bank vault, the police operation descends into pandemonium and panic. As Jane arrives at the scene, she is met with devastating news.

    I wish you folks would correct the 7.5 - it is mathematically undeservedly lower.
  • t_kam20 August 2017
    Warning: Spoilers
    Before I start, this review is solely for episode five. Up to this point, I'd give the series a ten but I was to some extent disappointed with this episode which is as far as the ABC here in Australia has got to. The story line is by and large good but there are a number of points that had me annoyed. The first was that Tennison did not need to give the lie she told as witness to O'Duncie's beating. She could easily have contradicted Flowers assertion that she witnessed the events merely by truthfully saying that she had already taken Flower down and that Flower could not have witnessed the beating. If she had to lie, she could have said she did not witness the events as she was walking back up at the time. I realise that this was a plot device to make her 'one of the team' but it seemed clumsy. Secondly, was when Ashton approached the neighbour as the crime was being committed. As he knew they were under surveillance from David Bentley he could have spoken to her then walked of with her thereby appearing to know each other and to remove her from the possibility of a violent outcome. Thirdly, when the police entered the bank why was there no officers entering through the cafe at the same time to prevent any escape that way. Lastly, why wait for them to start opening up the safety deposit boxes. Bradfield said that he wanted to wait until Bentley actually broke into the bank to make his arrest in order for him to get the maximum sentence. The officers could have been waiting in the vault or have the door ready to open and as soon as the gang entered the vault that would have been enough to arrest them. Waiting only makes the damage to the vault and it's contents worse for no possible benefit.
  • Only Ruth Sheen and Alun Armstrong rescue this at an acting level. The other contributors simply don't have the skill to create convincing characters - definitely B grade. But it's entertaining enough - despite the endless 'authentic' lighting up.
  • mkd00227 May 2019
    Ms. Martini's performance, though fine if considered as a standalone with no reference to the older character made so unforgettable by Helen Mirren, in no way seems to resemble or relate to that human subject before her later career. This actress's facial expressions are so bland, so empty of expression no matter what the moment in time brings her to react to, she seems to be playing a fashion model during a photo session rather than an impassioned, committed, intelligent, probing and ambitious woman entering a demanding and highly absorbing career completely dominated by men. I know it's hard for an actor to take on a prequel-type assignment and produce work that honors prior interpretations while establishing some sense of his or her own individuality, but this time the miss is just much too wide not to be lamented. Had this production not associated itself with such a top-quality prior TV venture, I'd have been able to dwell more on its good sense of period and overall high performance standards in supporting roles.

    Never recorded comments at my first viewing but only now after a just-complete repeat on my PBS local station that confirms my first impression.
  • I thought the mysteries were interesting but it was the way it showed how Jane was caught up in the bad side of policing early on that caught my attention most. It showed how a wide eyed new recruit transitioned into the hard boiled mess she later became. The original series was excellent and it's hard for anything to compare. Still, this has been enjoyable.
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