Prime Suspect 1973 divides viewers as Stefanie Martini takes on Helen Mirren’s iconic role

The younger version of Jane Tennison appealed to some viewers – but others were put off by historical inaccuracies and a “slow” plot

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Last night saw the debut of Prime Suspect prequel Prime Suspect 1973, with the younger version of Helen Mirren’s DCI Jane Tennison (here a WPC played by Stephanie Martini) starting out her career in the force in a fug of sexism and cigarette smoke.

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However, despite the programme’s pedigree (or perhaps because of it) the new series seemed to divide viewers. Some praised the promising storyline and music, as well as the casting of Martini in the lead role.

However, others were unconvinced, calling out various historical inaccuracies and disagreeing that the younger years of Tennison were interesting enough for a prequel among other complaints.

And a few couldn’t help comparing it to another 1970s-set policing drama – time travel mystery Life on Mars, as well as its sequel Ashes to Ashes.

And overall, even if people did like it there was one crucial element missing – Helen Mirren, who last played the character in 2006.

In fairness, we can’t help but suspect there are few that could fill her shoes.

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Prime Suspect continues on Thursdays at 9.00pm