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Prime Suspect

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Prime Suspect and Helen Mirren

The Museum of Broadcast Communications
The Web site of the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago provides an extensive archival section. Viewers can search for information on thousands of television programs, radio programs, commercials and newscasts.

Prime Suspect
This overview of the 1991 British series Prime Suspect explores the subtleties of Helen Mirren's character, Jane Tennison, and offers a look at the impact the series had on British television at the time. Suggestions for further reading and links to relevant sites are available.

Helen Mirren
A biography of Prime Suspect leading lady Helen Mirren reviews her career, including television, stage and film appearances. It also examines the success of Prime Suspect, the character of police detective Jane Tennison, and Mirren's performance in that role.

Lynda La Plante
Lynda La Plante was an actress before she wrote dramas for television, among them the original Prime Suspect episodes. Here, another Museum of Broadcast Communications page offers biographical information about La Plante and delves into an exploration of the dynamics of her male and female characters. Her television credits are listed as well as suggestions for further reading.

NPR: Morning Edition: Mirren Returns to PBS' Prime Suspect
On April 9, 2004, Lynn Neary spoke with Helen Mirren for NPR's Morning Edition. Despite Mirren's frustrations with playing Jane Tennison, a role she "loves to hate," she decided to take on the role again, after a 7-year hiatus, to make Prime Suspect 6. She discusses her reasons for returning to the role. Listen to the entire interview in RealAudio.

NPR: Fresh Air: Mirren's Royal Efforts
Dave Davies talked with Helen Mirren for NPR's Fresh Air on April 18, 2006, while she was filming Prime Suspect 7. They discuss Mirren's latest roles in the film The Queen and HBO's Elizabeth I, and her decision to do one last Prime Suspect. Mirren also speaks about her experience doing experimental theatre with Peter Brook in Africa and the United States and working with Robert Altman for Gosford Park. The interview includes clips from Elizabeth I, Gosford Park, and Prime Suspect 1. Listen to the entire interview in RealAudio.

The New Yorker: Profiles: Command Performance
In the October 2, 2006 issue of The New Yorker, John Lahr examines Helen Mirren's stage and film career. Lahr explores Mirren's family history, how she became an actor, past performances, and her role as Jane Tennison.

BBCi Radio 4: Woman's Hour
BBC Radio's Woman's Hour was created -- in 1946 -- as a "daily programme of music, advice and entertainment for the home."

BBCi Radio 4: Woman's Hour: Portraying real people on screen
Jackie Malton was Detective Chief Inspector with the Metropolitan Police when she became the inspiration for Lynda La Plante's female DCI in Prime Suspect. In this January 2004 interview, Malton, along with Jenny Agutter who plays Jane Clark in the series Alan Clark Diaries, discusses how an actor goes about interpreting a personality, and what it is like as that person to have an actor portray you. Malton reminisces about talking with Helen Mirren on the set of Prime Suspect and reveals her opinions on Mirren's impression of her as well as the opinions of police colleagues on her unexpected celebrity status.

BBCi Radio 4: Woman's Hour: Helen Mirren Interview
In October of 2003, BBC Radio 4's Women's Hour interviewed Helen Mirren. Listen to the interview in which Mirren talks about why she agreed to return to the role of Jane Tennison and how she thinks it has evolved since the last series. Mirren also answers questions about politics and contemplates what her grandfather might think of her title 'Dame' Helen Mirren.

La Plante Productions
Lynda La Plante, the award-winning creator and author of the original scripts for Prime Suspect has her own production company, La Plante Productions. A biography of La Plante, on her company's Web site, provides an overview of her career. Read her extensive curriculum vitae, or link to illustrated pages about her dramas, books she has written, a history of La Plante Productions and projects in the works.

Prime Crime Development, Ltd.
Jackie Malton, the 'real' Detective Chief Inspector behind Prime Suspect character Jane Tennison, has retired from the police force and currently develops and produces ideas for television drama police series. In addition to a brief outline of Malton's vocation, her Web site offers a link that provides detailed news reports on Malton and her role in the creation of the Prime Suspect series. 'Prime Crime' projects and related links are also available.

Women in the British police

British Association for Women in Policing
The Web site for the British Association for Women in Policing (BAWP) aims to raise awareness about issues affecting women in the police force. In addition to goals of creating a network for professional and social contacts, facilitating the sharing of information and raising the profile of women in the service, the site provides biographies of women officers, relevant news and updates as well as links to related sites.

The Courier: Sexism Still a Problem in Police
In this January, 2004 article, Tayside's Chief Constable John Vine addresses gender discrimination in the British Police Force after a survey he conducted signaled that sexism is still alive and well in terms of opportunities for advancement available to women in the service. Major Scottish publisher D.C. Thomson & Co.'s Internet publication The Courier is the biggest-selling daily newspaper in the Tayside and Fife areas of Scotland.

UK Police Service Portal
Are you interested in the latest news from the Derbyshire Constabulary or about Crime Prevention with the Nottinghamshire Police? The Police Service Portal provides access to every regional police Web site across the United Kingdom as well as linking to current news stories, police appeals, recruitment services and more.

Crime in the UK

BBCi Crime
On this BBCi 'Crime' Web site, find compelling stories of notorious crimes and criminals as well as general information about the police force in the UK and its history. Click on the 'Crime Fighters' link to read about a day in the life of a Hong Kong police inspector, and view profiles of police at work around the world. A wide-ranging array of other crime related topics is available, including answers to legal questions about the divorce process, crown court, police arrests and more, and an A-Z of drugs.

Guardian Unlimited/Guardian Newspapers Limited

The Guardian Unlimited: Special Report: Drugs In Britain
The Guardian Unlimited has produced a special report about drugs in Britain, with materials from its archives, including articles about government attempts to tackle drug use and drug-related crimes, the rise in drug-related crime in the United Kingdom, and links to recent related articles. (July/2003)

The Guardian Unlimited: Bosnian Refugees Suffered Trauma in UK
In this Guardian Unlimited article from November 2002, the plight of displaced Bosnians in Britain is discussed. The commentary refers to studies of Bosnians in Britain before and after the wars in the Balkans. Links are included to other Guardian articles on the topic of refugees in Britain and also to related sites.

Drugscope: Drugs and Crime: what are the links?
Drugscope is a leading resource for drug expertise in Britain. Their Web site provides comprehensive information about all aspects of drugs, including research, response to drug use, policy-making and debate. In this review paper put together by the Criminal Policy Research Unit at South Bank University, the link between drugs and crime in Britain is explored in detail.

Charter88 Unlocking Democracy: Black People and the Criminal Justice System
This essay examines the relationship of blacks in Britain and the criminal justice system, noting in particular the disproportionate number of ethnic minority arrests and the prevalence of police brutality in relation to these incidents. Steps that need to be taken to eliminate rights violations such as these are discussed. A 'violations' link provides numerous papers covering topics of civil, political and human rights abuses in the UK. Author Yasmin Alibhai-Bown writes on race and cultural issues for the Guardian and Independent.

The Home Office: Racist Crime & Harassment
The Home Office is responsible for internal affairs in England and Wales. Their Web site presents 'Research Development Statistics' searchable by subject and with a page dedicated to 'Racist Crime and Harassment.' Information is provided here on race relations, racial equality and cultural diversity, as well as relevant documents such as the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry of 1999, the Crime and Disorder Act of 1988 and the British Crime Survey (BCS) research findings on ethnic minorities and racial harassment.


Helen Mirren

Rennert, Amy, ed. Helen Mirren : Prime Suspect : A Celebration. San Francisco, CA: KQED Books, 1995.

Waterman, Ivan. Helen Mirren: The Biography. London: Metro Publishing, Limited, 2003.

Britain, Crime and Justice

Bowling, Benjamin. Racism, Crime and Justice. Harlow, UK; New York, NY: Longman, 2002.

Brown, Jennifer and Heidensohn, Frances. Gender and Policing: Comparative Perspectives. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK; New York, NY: St. Martin's Press, 2000.

Collison, Mike. Police, Drugs and Community. London, UK; New York, NY: Free Association Books, 1995.

Dummett, Michael. On Immigration and Refugees (Thinking in Action). London, UK; New York, NY: Routledge, 2001.

Silvestri, Marisa. Women in Charge: Policing, Gender and Leadership. Cullompton, UK: Willan, 2003.

Wilson, David, et al. What Everyone in Britain Should Know About the Police. London UK: Blackstone, 2001.

Lynda La Plante

Lynda La Plante established her prestige as a crime writer when she first created and introduced Prime Suspect and DCI Jane Tennison to television audiences. As the following selection from her prolific collection of work can attest, this British former actress has an extensive repertoire, including many international bestsellers.

Prime Suspect novelizations:
Prime Suspect III (1993)
Prime Suspect II (1992)
Prime Suspect I (1991)

Novels of other television programs:
Trial & Retribution VI (2002)
Trial & Retribution V (2002)
Trial & Retribution IV (2000)
Trial & Retribution III (1999)
Trial & Retribution II (1998)
Trial & Retribution (1997)
The Governor II (1996)
The Governor (1995)
She's Out (1995)
In the Firing Line (1994)
The Lifeboat (1994)
Comics (1993)
Seekers (1993)
Framed (1992)
Seconds Out (1992)
Civvies (1992)
Hidden Talents (1986)
Widows II (1985)
Widows I (1983)

Above Suspicion (2004)
Royal Heist: A Novel (2004)
Like a Charm (2004)
Royal Flush (2002)
Sleeping Cruelty (2001)
Cold Heart (1998)
Cold Blood (1996)
Cold Shoulder (1994)
Entwined (1992)
Bella Mafia (1990)
The Talisman (1988)
The Legacy (1987)

Prime Suspects by other authors:
Prime Suspect VI: The Last Witness (2003) - Writing credit: Peter Berry
Prime Suspect V: Errors of Judgment - Writing credit: Guy Andrews
Prime Suspect IV: The Lost Child - Writing credit: Paul Billing
Prime Suspect IV: The Scent of Darkness - Writing credit: Guy Hibbert
Prime Suspect IV: Inner Circles - Writing credit: Eric Deacon, Meredith Oakes (story)

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