Jane Tennison set for return to television in Prime Suspect prequel

Helen Mirren as Jane Tennison
Helen Mirren as Jane Tennison
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Viewers will get a glimpse into the formative years of one of the small screen’s most popular detectives in a prequel to the award-winning Prime Suspect.

The six-part ITV series shows the character of Jane Tennison, as a young constable starting out in the Metropolitan Police in the 1970s.

Dame Helen Mirren’s portrayal of Tennison in the 1990s earned three Bafta awards and made her one of the best known television characters of the era.

There are no details about who will play the title character in the show, which is called Tennison.

However, fans are promised an insight into how her experiences in a world of corrupt chauvinist police and ruthless gangsters made her the women she became.

The show, written by Prime Suspect creator Lynda La Plante, will be broadcast next year on the 25th anniversary of the first series.

She 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.”

The original show made Dame Helen a household name on both sides of the Atlantic for her portrayal of the troubled detective and was a major stepping stone on to her hugely successful film career.

ITV’s director of drama Steve November said he was “delighted” the character of Jane Tennison was returning to the small screen.

He said: “The scripts are brilliantly written and she perfectly captures the sights, sounds and mood of the 70s period.”