Last year I went to the Radio Times festival and enjoyed the panel session featuring Lynda La Plante, who told the audience that she would be taking an active role in the search for her young Jane Tennison, in her eagerly awaited prequel to Prime Suspect, Tennison. Now the search is over and ITV has announced who will be stepping into those legendary shoes, once frequented by Dame Helen Mirren.
Before we get to who’s playing who, this is what we know so far about Tennison:
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.
Stefanie Martini (who’s appeared in Doctor Thorne, Endeavour, Emerald City) takes the prized, plum role as the young Jane, while Sam Reid and Blake Harrison also star in the six-part series. Sam Reid and Blake Harrison are cast as Jane’s superiors DCI Len Bradfield and DS Spencer Gibbs.
Alun Armstrong, Ruth Sheen, Lex Shrapnel and Jay Taylor are cast as crime family members Clifford, Renee, John and David Bentley.
Jessica Gunning is also cast as fellow WPC Kath Morgan alongside Andrew Brooke as Jane’s senior officer Sergeant Harris.
Nick Sidi and Geraldine Somerville are cast as Jane’s parents, Andrew and Joyce. Rosie Day will play Jane’s sister Pam.
Further cast includes Joshua Hill as DC Edwards, Daniel Ezra as DC Ashton, Tommy McDonnell as DC Hudson, and Jordan Long as DS Paul Lawrence.
The series has started filming in London now, so I wonder whether we’ll see this in 2016 (early 2017 is more likely). More news as we get it…