Helen Mirren as Jane Tennison in the original series. Image: ITV
Helen Mirren as Jane Tennison in the original series. Image: ITV
ITV has given the go-ahead to a new Prime Suspect prequel which takes viewers back to the early career of Lynda La Plante’s Jane Tennison.

The original Prime Suspect debuted in 1991 and starred Helen Mirren as a no-nonsense detective who has to survive the male-dominated world of the Metropolitan Police.

Centring on the 22-year-old Jane, Tennison will be set in Hackney in the 1970s, a time when women police constables are being uneasily ‘integrated’ into the force.

The probationary officer finds herself in a world where high-ranking police officers are 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.

“I’m delighted Lynda has re-visited the iconic character of Jane Tennison,” said Steve November, ITV’s Director of Drama.

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

In addition to the series, La Plante who has written a book titled Tennison, which will be published by Simon and Schuster in September.

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.”

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