Prime Suspect is a British police procedural television drama series created by Lynda La Plante which focuses on a no-nonsense female Detective Chief Inspector, Jane Tennison, who is attached to the Metropolitan Police division, and chronicles how she survives and thrives in a male-dominated profession.
The series aired in the UK on ITV as a series of made-for-TV movies from 7 April, 1991 to 22 October, 2006. In syndication each story typically airs as four-part seasons. There are seven seasons in the series in total.
The series originally aired in South Africa on M-Net and later aired on DStv's Movie Magic 2 (which later became M-Net Movies 2) channel, as a series of standalone movies. Broadcast dates of the original run of the series are not available.
Prime Suspect premiered in South Africa on DStv's Sony Entertainment Television (SONY) channel on Monday 18 July 2011, at 20h30. See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.
Season 3 premiered on SONY on Monday 12 September 2011, at 20h30. New episodes broadcast weekly. There are two episodes in the third season.
DCI Jane Tennison has transferred from Southhampton Row to the Soho Vice Squad. Her first priority in the new job is 'Operation Contract' - a large scale clean up of 'rent boys' and prostitutes in the area.
The scheme she inherits has already run into trouble because of a leak that appears to have come from in the force. But who is responsible and why?
When Tennison arrives to take control of her new team - which includes one familiar adversary, Sgt. Bill Otley - she finds them preoccupied.
The previous night the body of a 17-year-old boy, Colin Jenkins, known as Connie, had been found in the burnt out flat of a transsexual cabaret artiste called Vernon Reynolds (Vera).
Connie is well known at a local centre for homeless kids run by Edward Parker Jones, possibly a paedophile.
Otley brings in Martin Fletcher, one of the boys from the centre, who alleges he was beaten up by a low life, James Jackson, who was also looking for Connie the night he died.
Jackson is known to pick up young, vulnerable kids at main line railway stations. The team has its suspect.
Forensic experts reveal that Connie was unconscious but alive at the time of the fire. More facts emerge: someone called an ambulance to Vera's flat that night. The fire was certainly started deliberately. Vice squad or not, Tennison once again finds herself on a homicide case.
Loose ends lie strewn everywhere. Vera, the main informant, comes cleans and admits lying before committing suicide. In the midst of this, a former lover in town on a lecture circuit prompts Tennison to re-evaluate her life's decisions.
The lack of witnesses proves troublesome to Jane and all choices are tainted with regret, and yet, the element of truth in the messiness is, ultimately, quite satisfying.
Note: these details are for the run of the show on SONY only. Original broadcast dates for the run on M-Net and Movie Magic 2 are not available.
Season 1 (4 episodes)
Premiere: 18 July 2011 | Finale: 8 August 2011 | Mondays, 20h30
Season 2 (4 episodes)
Premiere: 15 August 2011 | Finale: 5 September 2011 | Mondays, 20h30
Season 3 (2 episodes)
Premiere: 12 September 2011 | Finale: 19 September 2011 | Mondays, 20h30
Season 4 (3 episodes)
Premiere: 26 September 2011 | Finale: 10 October 2011 | Mondays, 20h30
Season 5 (2 episodes)
Premiere: 30 January 2012 | Finale: 6 February 2012 | Mondays, 20h30
Season 6 (2 episodes)
Premiere: 13 February 2012 | Finale: 20 February 2012 | Mondays, 20h30
Season 7 (2 episodes)
Premiere: 3 March 2012 | Finale: 10 March 2012 | Saturdays, 23h00