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Prime Suspect 1-5

Prime Suspect 5: Errors of Judgment

DS Jane Tennison is relocated from the Met to the Greater Manchester Police where she finds herself in conflict with her new superior, Det Chief Supt Martin Ballinger, over how to deal with the city's drugs and guns menace. Encountering a corrupt reprobate who rules over the local crime scene and believing him to be her prime suspect, Tennison finds her every move in the investigation anticipated -- but how?

Story synopsis | Cast & credits | What the press said... | Awards

Prime Suspect 5: Errors of Judgment story synopsis -
Plot Revealed Below!

DS Jane Tennison has been transferred from The Met to Greater Manchester Police where who has to do a stint as a community relations officer at local schools. When she confronts her boss, DCS Ballinger, he gives her the shooting of a young drug dealer to investigate.

She goes to the scene of the crime and meets what is to become her investigating team: DI Clare Devanney, DI Rankine and DC Henry Adeliyeka. They believe that, aside from the dead man outside the flat, known as Nazir, a wounded man is still inside the apartment, now surrounded by armed police.

The local drug lord known as 'The Street,' waltzes up to the flat with his hands in the air and brings out the badly wounded Michael Johns, a figure not known to the police. However, they are intrigued by The Street's involvement and the dead man is a known dealer who worked for him.

In the hospital neither Johns nor his girlfriend, Janice, are prepared to say who shot him; the police have a long list of potential suspects. Over dinner that night, Ballinger and Tennison discuss the shooting and, after one glass of wine too many, they fall into each other's arms and spend the night together.

The following day, Tennison and her team are presented with an unexpected confession. Campbell Lafferty, Janice's 14 year-old brother, claims he shot Nazir. Michael laughs when Tennison tells him that Campbell has confessed and both are left wondering just who the real killer is. Campbell is released, but minutes later the police discover that he probably is the real killer and they go to find him. But someone else has found him first; his mother tells Tennison that he was abducted on the way home.

The Street is responsible and he has taken Campbell to a disused old Victorian swimming pool where blood already smears the pool walls. Johns is also there and The Street, knowing that Campbell has killed his drug dealer, Nazir, expects vengeance to be meted out on the boy by the wounded Michael.

Campbell Lafferty is dead. Tennison and Rankine are called to the identification of the body and are rounded on by Campbell's mother. Returning to the incident room after removing themselves from such an uncomfortable situation, the hunt is on the find the place Campbell was killed -- his body was dumped in an old lavatory.

After an appeal on the local 'Crimewatch' program provides little additional information, Tennison calls in The Street and Michael Johns for questioning -- a decision Devanney questions. The Street reveals little, seeing the interview as a game, but Michael is caught in a troubled silence.

Rankine, meanwhile has been going through The Street's old files trying to discover how he manages to constantly be one step ahead of the police and he uncovers the fact that Devanney's father is a notorious criminal and she could be The Street's police connection.

In custody, The Street is using his right to a phone call to try and connect a friendly face -- that is revealed to be not Devanney, but Ballinger, who has left his mobile in his car and is presently in the arms of Tennison, who has no idea of his betrayal.

In the morning, The Street is released, but the police continue their questioning of Michael Johns, who is about to implicate The Street in the murder of Campbell when Ballinger rushes into the interview room and stops her. Tennison is furious and leaves the room -- only to meet Rankine who has now uncovered the link between The Street and Ballinger. Tennison is appalled -- and hurt -- and realizes that to get Ballinger she has to get The Street.

But The Street has abducted Janice in order to blackmail Michael. He needs to talk to Ballinger and in a dramatic climax in a disused railway station, the main protagonists come face to face as The Street holds a gun on Tennison and Ballinger has a choice to make -- who will live and who will die?

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Cast and credits


Jane Tennison

Helen Mirren
DCS Ballinger

John McArdle
DI Devanney

Julia Lane
DS Jerry Rankine

David O'Hara
DC Henry Adeliyeka

John Brobbey
The Street

Steven Mackintosh
Michael Johns

Ray Emmet Brown

Paul Oldham

Joe Speare

Paul Simpson
Campbell Lafferty

Joseph Jacobs
Janice Lafferty

Marsha Thomason
Louise Ballinger

Vanessa Knox-Mawer
Mr. Ahmed

Badi Uzzaman
DC Skinner

Anne Hornby
Desk Sergeant

Steve Money

Chris Bisson
DC Growse

Antony Audenshaw
Noreen Lafferty

Gabrielle Reidy

Sarah Jones


DirectorPhilip Davis

WriterGuy Andrews

Executive ProducersRebecca Eaton
Gub Neal

ProducersLynn Horsford

Associate ProducerNicola Shindler

Original MusicStephen Warbeck

CinematographerBarry McCann

EditorAnthony Ham

Casting DirectorsDavid Shaw
Emma Style

Production DesignerChris Truelove

Art DirectorRod Gorwood

Costume DesignerJohn Lindlar

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What the press said...

Helen Mirren is back as Tennison, and Prime Suspect 5 adds yet another impressive credit to one of the most impressive series, not to mention outstanding female performances, of the decade... This is a harrowing excursion through a drugged-out, morally bankrupt urban scene trying desperately to set itself right. Even our Jane's best may not be enough... (Here) is Ms. Mirren, giving us once again, and if anything more thumpingly effectively, a Tennison who is tough and vulnerable, uncompromising and sexy. Here is a performance that will loom large in television history books.
     -- John J. O'Connor, The New York Times

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BAFTA Awards 1997
Emmy Awards 1997
Golden Satellite Awards 1997

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