ITV commissions Prime Suspect prequel Tennison

ITV explores early years of Jane Tennison

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ITV has commissioned Tennison, a prequel series to Lynda La Plante‘s Prime Suspect.

Written and based on La Plante’s book released in September, Tennison is a six-part drama series that will portray the young Jane Tennison in 1970s, Hackney, when 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.

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.

ITV by Director of Drama Steve November said: “I’m delighted Lynda has re-visited the iconic character of Jane Tennison. The scripts are brilliantly written and she perfectly captures the sights, sounds and mood of the 70s period.”

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.”

Tennison is co-produced by Noho Film And Television and La Plante Global. The series will broadcast in 2016 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first Prime Suspect which aired for seven series between 1991-2006 starring Dame Helen Mirren.