There was much rubbing of hands and excitement when Lynda La Plante announced that she would be writing a new novel that would detail the young part of her most famous character, Jane Tennison. We broke the story here over a year ago, and speculated that it was only a matter of time until ITV turned it into a TV series. (Prime Suspect was one of its best-ever crime dramas and gave Helen Mirren a role that made her into a real household name.) Now, finally, we have some details about a TV adaptation and, not surprisingly, ITV is its home. In a busy day of reviews (Wednesday has become a bit of a busy bugger when it comes to crime drama), and before they all start streaming in, let’s have a look at the Tennison details…
This is what ITV has to say about it all:
Acclaimed writer Lynda La Plante will write the new 6 x 60 minute series, which portrays the young Jane Tennison beginning her career and reveals why she became such a complex and formidable character in the Metropolitan Police.
It’s Hackney in the 1970s, and women police constables are being uneasily ‘integrated’ into the force. We’re introduced to 22-year-old Jane, a probationary officer in a world where high-ranking police officers were notoriously chauvinistic, and the rules and regulations often bent.
Single-minded and ambitious, if a touch naïve, Jane’s dedicated and instinctive approach to her career is evident from the start. Starting as a WPC on the beat, she is thrown in at the deep end, drawn into a brutal murder enquiry, and experiences first hand London’s violent criminal ganglands. She works alongside senior investigating officer DCI Bradfield, and in her first murder case, sees the devastating effects violent crime has on the victim’s family, as well as experiencing tragic ramifications herself.
With a strong sense of style and a 70s musical backdrop to the narrative, we’ll also meet Jane’s family and begin to understand the complexities of her ambition and personal life, that shape the character recognised by millions of viewers worldwide.
The drama series will broadcast in 2016 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first Prime Suspect series screening on ITV in 1991.
The prequel has been devised by Lynda La Plante who has written a book titled Tennison, to be published by Simon and Schuster in September 2015.
Tennison writer and creator Lynda La Plante said: “I have very much enjoyed writing the young Jane, creating her family background and the start of her career in the police force. I do hope my readers will enjoy meeting her in September and viewers in 2016.”
That’s all the details we have at the moment, and no casting details have been released.