ITV commissions Prime Suspect prequel Tennison
Written by Lynda La Plante and co-produced by Noho Film And Television and La Plante Global.
Tennison, the much-anticipated prequel to Prime Suspect, has been commissioned by ITV.
Acclaimed writer Lynda La Plante will write the new 6 x 60 minute series, which portrays the young Jane Tennison beginning her career and reveals why she became such a complex and formidable character in the Metropolitan Police.
It’s Hackney in the 1970s, and 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.
With a strong sense of style and a 70’s musical backdrop to the narrative, 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.
Tennison has been commissioned for ITV by Director of Drama Steve November and Controller of Drama Victoria Fea. The drama series will broadcast in 2016 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first Prime Suspect series screening on ITV in 1991. Seven series of the iconic police drama were produced from 1991-2006 starring Dame Helen Mirren who brought DCI Tennison and later Detective Superintendent Tennison to life.
“I’m delighted Lynda has re-visited the iconic character of Jane Tennison,” said Steve. “The scripts are brilliantly written and she perfectly captures the sights, sounds and mood of the 70s period,” added Steve.
The prequel has been devised by Lynda La Plante who has written a book titled Tennison, to be published by Simon and Schuster in September 2015.
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 will be co-produced by La Plante Global and Noho Film and Television. La Plante, has written and produced over 170 hours of television drama including Trial and Retribution, The Commander and Above Suspicion, through her company.
Noho is an independent television drama and film production company set up in 2012 by Robert Wulff-Cochrane and Camilla Campbell who are joint Managing Directors. Previously they headed up the drama department at Channel 4 where they commissioned among others Misfits, Any Human Heart, Fresh Meat, Top Boy, The Promise and This is England.
Camilla Campbell and Robert Wulff-Cochrane will executive produce Tennison for Noho Film and Television with Lynda La Plante also executive producing for La Plante Global.
Tennison will be distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.