Prime Suspect prequel to tell the story of a young Jane Tennison

Lynda La Plante will pen the six hour long episodes that reveal how the detective became so crucial to the Metropolitan Police

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A prequel to Prime Suspect will focus on the young Jane Tennison beginning her career.

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Prime Suspect writer Lynda La Plante will pen the six hour long episodes for ITV, based on her book Tennison, which reveals how the detective became such a complex and crucial figure in the Metropolitan Police.

Set in 1970s Hackney, the series takes place in a time where women are starting to be integrated into the force, but there is still little acceptance of female officers. Viewers will be introduced to 22-year-old Jane Tennison, a probationary officer in a world where high-ranking police officers were notoriously sexist, and will see how she copes with the challenges she faces.

The show will see Tennison start as a WPC on the beat and thrown into a brutal murder enquiry. Viewers will also meet the character’s family and gain an insight into her personal life before her time as a detective in Prime Suspect.

The drama series will air in 2016 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first Prime Suspect series screening on ITV in 1991. Seven series of the  police drama were broadcast from 1991-2006 with Helen Mirren making DCI Tennison and later Detective Superintendent Tennison an iconic character.

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