Doctor Thorne star Stefanie Martini to play the young Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect prequel

Sam Reid, Blake Harrison, Alun Armstrong and Ruth Sheen are also cast in the six-part drama

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ITV has found its young Jane Tennison – Doctor Thorne star Stefanie Martini has been cast in the role made famous by Helen Mirren in classic crime drama Prime Suspect.

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Martini, who also appeared in the dramas Endeavour and Emerald City, will play the policewoman aged 22 and at the start of her career.

Written by Prime Suspect creator Lynda La Plante, and based on her book Tennison, the six part prequel series will reveal how Tennison became such a complex and formidable character in the Metropolitan Police. 

Set in 1970s Hackney, it will see Tennison start as a WPC on the beat before being thrown into a brutal murder enquiry. Viewers will also meet her family and gain an insight into her personal life before her time as a detective in Prime Suspect.

Tennison is expected to air towards the end of this year 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 to 2006 with Helen Mirren making DCI Tennison (and later Detective Superintendent Tennison) one of TV’s most memorable characters.

Sam Reid (Belle, The Riot Club) and Blake Harrison (Dad’s Army, The Inbetweeners) also star, as Jane’s superiors DCI Len Bradfield and DS Spencer Gibbs, with Alun Armstrong (New Tricks, Little Dorrit), Ruth Sheen (Unforgotten, Inside No.9), Lex Shrapnel (Medici: Masters of Florence) and Jay Taylor (Promise) are cast as crime family members Clifford, Renee, John and David Bentley.

Jessica Gunning (Jericho, Fortitude) is also cast as fellow WPC Kath Morgan alongside Andrew Brooke (Babylon, Da Vinci’s Demons) as Jane’s senior officer Sergeant Harris.

Nick Sidi (Silent Witness, DCI Banks) and Geraldine Somerville (Silent Witness, New Tricks) will play Jane’s parents, Andrew and Joyce, with Rosie Day (Outlander, Cuffs) as her sister Pam.

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Further cast includes Joshua Hill (Death in Paradise, Vera) as DC Edwards, Daniel Ezra (Undercover, Prey) as DC Ashton, Tommy McDonnell (Jericho, Glue) as DC Hudson, and Jordan Long (Unforgotten, The Wrong Mans) as DS Paul Lawrence.