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 6 premiered on SONY on Monday 13 February 2012, at 20h30. New episodes broadcast weekly. There are two episodes in the sixth season.
Jane Tennison is a Detective Superintendent now leading a murder squad in London. At 54 years old she must pass a medical exam to see if she's fit enough to continue serving as a police officer.
But it's not just her physical fitness that is in question. She has to appear in front of a police review board made up of her boss, Chief Superintendent Larry Hall, the head of personnel and Commander of Crime Charles Evans.
At the review board she is made to feel that it might be time for her to retire.
Meanwhile, Tennison's high flying junior colleague Detective Chief Inspector Simon Finch arrives at a building site where the unidentified body of a young woman has been found.
Detective Sergeant Alun Simms and Detective Constable Michael Phillips tell him that the property developer found the body. Simms speculates that the dead woman might be an Eastern European prostitute as there are similarities to another recent case.
Detective Constable Lorna Greaves turns up, disgruntled after having had a difficult interview with Tennison who had questioned her ability as a working mother to be a fully committed member of the murder squad.
It becomes clear that the team is less than impressed by Tennison although Finch defends her.
Back at her flat, Tennison turns on the TV and sees that Finch's case has suddenly got very big - the Shadow Home Secretary George Giblin was going to buy into the property where the murdered woman was found and he's linking her death to illegal immigrants.
The next day, Tennison unexpectedly joins Finch at the victim's post mortem. Prasad, the pathologist, tells them that the victim was tortured before she was murdered - and not only that - she'd been tortured many years previously and the new torture wounds mimic the old ones.
Outside the post mortem, Tennison tells Finch that she is going to take over the case on the grounds that she thinks the publicity means an officer of senior rank is required. Finch is astonished but toes the line.
Later, at their weekly football game, Finch complains to Hall but Hall says Tennison will come to regret her decision as it's likely to result in another failed case.
Back at the murder squad, Tennison learns at a team meeting that the dead woman has still not been identified but her photo is being distributed.
Finch thinks that the murder could be linked to Eastern European organised crime; Tennison counters that he is making too many assumptions.
Finally, they get a break. Someone called Stephen Abacha rings in to identify the dead woman - she is Samira Blekic, a Bosnian Muslim, who worked with him as a cleaner in a hotel.
Abacha tells them that Samira had a sister called Jasmina, a cleaner in a hospital - he's surprised that she hasn't come forward. He doesn't know her address and he doesn't think that the hotel will have the correct one - they are all 'ghosts.'
Stephen is the last person to have seen Samira alive; he says that when he said goodbye to her she seemed fine.
Tennison swallows her pride and visits an old flame, Robert West, who is a journalist with experience of Bosnia. He increasingly becomes her source of information about Bosnia and their relationship begins to rekindle.
The search begins to find Jasmina Blekic but it is a long and difficult job for the police.
Finch looks up Jasmina on the database and finds that she's connected to Kasim Ibhrahimavic, who is involved with the Balkan Mafia and cigarette smuggling.
Finch decides to pursue this line of inquiry without consulting Tennison and pursues leads of his own in Customs and Excise.
Greaves' marathon session through CCTV footage finally pays off when she spots an OCB van driving near the site where the body was found. OCB is a security firm that Lane employs to do his security work.
Philips goes to OCB to check it out and finds out that Duscan Zigic, a Bosnian Serb who had no reason to be near the crime site, was the driver of the van.
Tennison joins Philips and they go to where Zigic is currently working. They find wire and wire cutters in his toolbox and decide to bring him in for questioning.
Zigic asks for his lawyer, Rosemary Henderson, to be present and she brings along an interpreter, Milan Lukic. Tennison puts Finch in charge of the interview but he fails to turn up anything concrete and Zigic is let go.
Tennison and Finch are disagreeing about whether Zigic is a possible suspect when Finch gets a call - his contacts have come up with a possible address for Kasim - and Jasmina.
Finch, Simms and Tennison go to the address - it is a house full of bedsits. They knock on a few doors until they're finally directed to the correct one. It is dark and apparently empty inside.
Simms and Finch go off to see if anyone knows where they are and Tennison is left alone. Suddenly she's aware of a figure emerging from under the floor with a knife - it is Jasmina.
Tennison has just started to calm Jasmina down when Kasim appears - he is less than welcoming. They take Jasmina and Kasim to formally identify Samira's body.
When they come in for questioning, Tennison shows Jasmina Zigic's picture and asks her if she recognises him. She asks to go to the toilet and Tennison shows her where it is, leaving Finch and Kasim alone together.
In the toilet, Jasmina breaks down and says that Zigic was supposed to kill Samira in an atrocity ten years ago in Bosnia but he spared their lives. Kasim doesn't know anything about this.
Back in the interview room it has become very heated between Finch and Kasim as Finch has started to question him about his involvement in cigarette smuggling. Kasim comes to find Jasmina and tells her that they're going home.
Zigic is re-arrested at a Serb centre. Under pressure he admits that he was in a paramilitary unit but he insists that he was only a cook - he didn't have a gun.
They decide to keep Zigic in custody and check out all the sites that he had access to as a security officer for OCB - one of them might be where he murdered Samira.
A witness comes forward and says he saw Stephen Abacha arguing with Samira shortly before they parted company on the night of her disappearance.
They re-interview him and he admits that contrary to what he'd previously said, she had been frightened and had asked him to walk her home but she thought he'd misunderstood and had made a pass at her. He was offended and they parted on bad terms.
They question him about the fact that he appears to have called Jasmina on the night of her disappearance - but he says that the call must have been made by Samira without his knowledge.
They return to Jasmina's address - the phone is in a shared hallway. They ring the number and a little girl, Haweeya, comes out of the flat to answer it. She tells them that she answered the phone when Samira called, and Samira told her to tell Jasmina that she had seen "the devil" that morning.
Haweeya was too scared to say anything to anyone.
They question Zigic about what he was doing at the time that Samira was on her way to work and he says he was working miles away. Despite having a good alibi, Zigic is nervous and defensive.
Tennison asks Jasmina about this devil and she finally tells her about how they were tortured and raped by this devil. But he wasn't Zigic.
Without any new leads, Tennison has to take the decision to release Zigic but she decides to have him followed. She is now convinced that there is a second man involved in the murder of Samira - someone who told Zigic to kill the girls all those years ago and who has discovered that failed to obey his instructions.
She thinks that Samira saw him on her way to work. She hopes that Zigic will lead them to the devil.
Meanwhile the police discover that the property developer has kept one of his sites secret from them because he didn't want them to delay the completion date.
He has just put down a new floor - the team tell him they'll have to pull it up. While they're waiting on the forensic results, Tennison decides to act on a hunch.
Zigic seemed ill at ease in the last interview and the only different thing about it was that the interpreter wasn't Milan Lukic. She goes to Lukic's place of work, an optician's, and he gives her an eye test. It is an unsettling experience for her.
The forensic results come through - the newly discovered site was the scene of the murder and they can now link Zigic with it and with the wire that was used to bind Samira's hands.
They go to arrest him but he's given them the slip. A desperate hunt begins for him - and for Jasmina who they realize might be in danger. They go to the hospital where she works but they are too late.
She is executed minutes before they arrive...
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