It's a crime! (Or a mystery…)

Prime Suspect – The Final Act

Hm1 Yes, it’s "The Final Act" because this is the last outing for character Jane Tennison in the wonderful and acclaimed series "Prime Suspect".  The first part aired tonight on ITV1 and the second part is a whole week away, to be screened on ITV1 on Sunday, 22 October at 9pm.

This time the script comes not from Lynda La Plante the series and character creator, but from Frank Deasy.

Part 1 this evening was excellent viewing.  The suspense comes not only from the plot but also from the crashing personal life of Tennison herself, as played by Helen Mirren.  Tennison is now one month off retirement and struggling with alcohol dependency.  Her father is gravely ill in hospital.  A fourteen year old girl is missing…

As we know, Tennison has lived her life devoted to her job.  Facing retirement, what does she have to look forward to?  Where are her friends in her hour of need?  Surprisingly, an old nemesis re-enters her life and becomes just that.  (The late Tom Bell in what appears to be his final role.)

I don’t spend much time watching the TV, but Prime Suspect was something I had to watch.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Everything that was a class act about previous episodes in the series was in evidence here.  And for once, I consider it a shame that a two parter is extended over the course of a whole week.  That’s a long wait when there’s so much suspense dished out…

12 comments on “Prime Suspect – The Final Act

  1. rose by any other name
    October 16, 2006

    Oh fantastic news CFR – am catching up on the old episodes still, have Series 3 to watch when I can get a moment with the DVD player alone.
    Wonder how long it will take to reach these antipodean shores!?

  2. crimeficreader
    October 17, 2006

    I hope you don’t have to wait too long Rose!

  3. rose by any other name
    October 24, 2006

    Any update on this CFR? After viewing Series 3 it was a surprise to hear that the Tom Bell character had settled into the role of friend. Sad to hear of his death.

  4. sheena johnston
    October 25, 2006

    My husband and I enjoyed the last episode very much and are very sorry there are to be no more.
    One question. Could you please tell me the name of the scottish actor who played dead girls mother? I remeber seeing her years ago in a play/series with David Essex on a houseboat.
    Yours hopefully
    Sheena Johnston

  5. crimeficreader
    October 25, 2006

    Hi Sheena,
    The actor’s name is Laura Greenwood and you can see the full cast list here:
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0811026/
    If you click on her name you get to the page that lists all her work – TV and film.
    The imdb.com site is good for searching on actors and programmes.
    (I’m editing your comment to remove your email address to help prevent spam hitting you. This blog carries a contact email address and it started out with about 100 per month; now it’s approaching 700 and I’m sure you don’t want to your inbox filled with that rubbish too!)
    Thanks for dropping by. I hope you might also find some books of interest here.
    Best,
    crimeficreader

  6. crimeficreader
    October 25, 2006

    One other thing Sheena, I too am sorry to see the end of the series, but I think they’ve ended it at the right time. It was a “real time” series with the main and other ongoing characters ageing along with the real passage of time. Mirren could never be replaced with a younger actor as she made the series character her own. I’m glad they didn’t flog it, but kept with the real time element, kept with the main ensemble cast and went out on high note in terms of production standard. That’s what maintains classic TV in my opinion!
    We can always watch the old episodes again and again – as I’ve done in the case of the first ever Prime Suspect.

  7. pauline cullum
    October 28, 2006

    Please can you identify the painting and artist when Tennison takes Penny to the gallery. It is of a young girl and they discuss her expression. I beleive Tennison mentions that this young girl is holding fruit within her apron.
    Excellent series – enjoyed them all as I am a detective myself.
    Many thanks
    Pauline Cullum

  8. crimeficreader
    October 28, 2006

    Hi Pauline,
    I had no idea (or decent memory of the script), but thanks to the net and some google searching I can indeed give you an answer to that one.
    The painting is “Strawberry Girl” by Joshua Reynolds, part of the Wallace Collection and housed at Hertford House in London.
    Interestingly, it was that particular scene which me to believe that Penny was indeed the “Prime Suspect”.
    As a detective yourself and a lover of the series, I take it that you find it to be realistic? It would be good to know your thoughts, if you have a moment.
    Thanks. CFR

  9. Pauline Cullum
    November 1, 2006

    Firstly thank you for the information about the painting.
    I certainly found the entire series to be realistic. In any serious/major crime the obvious is sometimes over looked and you need to take a step back and look again with fresh eyes. Forensic’s and DNA are such helpful tools! Your research of these aspects were presented at a high level.
    Thanks again.

  10. Helen Severn
    January 2, 2008

    Please! Please !let me know if you would ,what poem was the one read out by Penny played by Laura Greenwood in church at the victims funeral service. It was in the first episode of Final act. I have to obtain it as it was so beautiful and despite trying several search engines am unable to locate it.
    Yours hopefuly
    Helen from Notts

  11. crimeficreader
    January 3, 2008

    Helen,
    Thanks for the comment. I’m sorry but it’s a long time since I saw the series and I didn’t watch the recent repeat. Hence I don’t remember. Sorry!
    Best,
    CFR

  12. Judith
    August 6, 2008

    I am looking for the Prime Suspects episode regarding Barry Starr, a Bay Area methamphetamine dealer who dissapeared without a trace prior to sentencing.

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