Prime Suspect 5 – tape 2252

Oh dear, this is the first Prime Suspect I’ve come up against in this project, and it’s number 5. I hope I don’t get lost n all of the series’ dizzying continuity.

This is the first image on this tape. Presented without comment.

under-aged drinking Robson and Jerome

There’s a brief LWT weather bulletin, then we get a remarkably long bumper for the show sponsor, Midland Bank.

Then, Prime Suspect 5: Errors of Judgement. It’s written by Guy Andrews, not series creator Lynda LaPlante.

Jane Tennison has been transferred from the Met to Greater Manchester Police, and all she’s been doing so far is going to schools giving speeches, which she hates doing. The first conversation we see between her and her superior, he actually says “This is the North, you know, in my day Lasses stayed at home, mangled the kids and fed the washing.” So five series in, and they’re still playing the ‘woman finds it hard to make her way’ story. Is it too much to ask that we have police detectives who are competent at their job and whose team works well together?

Steven Mackintosh plays a local ‘mover and shaker’ called ‘The Street’. he keeps his diary on a Psion Organiser.

The Street uses a Psion Organiser

Someone has shot and killed one of his dealers, and Tennison has to find out who. She’s not helped in this by the suspicion that someone in her department might be leaking information.

Neither is she helped by  her decision to sleep with her immediate superior, a married man.

The case isn’t quite as twisty turny as the original, it’s more of a cumulative set of events which eventually leads to the discovery of who the leak in the department is.

It all leads to a nailbiting confrontation between Jane Tennison in her comfy cardy, and ‘The Street’

Jane Tennison's Cardy

Of course her radio doesn’t work, despite them being somewhere in the centre of Manchester.

It’s a good, gritty crime drama. Not quite up to the best of the genre, but Helen Mirren is always watchable, and the supporting cast is good too. Mackintosh makes a convincing gangster, and David O’Hara gives a good turn as the grizzled DS Rankine.

David O'Hara

Credit Spot: Assistant Producer Nicola Schindler – who would go on to form Red productions, and make a lot of Russell T Davies drama shows.

After this, there’s the very start of Prisoner Cell Block H, then the tape ends.

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