It’s been nearly 25 years since the the award-winning crime drama Prime Suspect premiered, and seven since its last installment first screened. Since then, plenty of fans on both sides of the pond have wanted to see more of DCI Jane Tennyson. And according to series creator Lynda La Plante, more is coming…
During an exclusive interview on ITV’s This Morning program, La Plante, who also scripted several of the Prime Suspect series and authored the novels on which they are based, shared that a fan had asked her about the Tennyson character at a book signing event. Specifically, “Where did Tennyson get that aloof coldness from? What did she do when she was young?”
Although she initially dismissed it, La Plante added, “It sat in my head.”
Then came the big reveal: “So I am coming out with Tennyson, back in the ’70s, ’80s, how she became a DCI.”
As with the Inspector Morse prequel, Endeavour, the Prime Suspect prequel — as yet untitled — will not star Dame Helen Mirren, although it is possible that a clip or two featuring her could be included, as happened in the Endeavour pilot.
Enthused La Plante, “What’s going to be really exciting is to hunt for a star.”
(Kelly Reilly would have been a good choice, despite being ginger, but since she starred as Anna Travis in Above Suspicion, another La Plante series described as a “younger, sassier successor to Prime Suspect” by The Telegraph, my guess is that it will not be her.)
Even before casting the prequel, though, La Plante stated, “I’ve got to do all the research, which I’ve got to work with all the old cops.”
So, it will be a while before the prequel debuts.
Until then, the original Prime Suspect — named one of the “All-TIME 100 TV Shows” by Time magazine and voted one of the British Film Institute’s “100 Greatest British Television Programmes” — is available for streaming at Acorn TV, Amazon Instant Video and Netflix, and can occasionally be seen on select local PBS and independent public television stations.