In the first Prime Suspect, Helen Mirren's ballsy woman Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennyson battled the boys club and their sexist barbs to prove herself in a chauvinist department. In Prime Suspect 2, she's assigned ... more »to head a racially charged murder investigation in a largely African/Caribbean neighborhood. It's politics as usual in the image-conscious organization, so the superintendent adds to the team black Detective Robert Oswalde (Colin Salma), a sharp but hot-headed investigator who has just broken off an affair with Tennyson. Now Tennyson grapples with her own conflicted feelings while fighting political and public-relations battles both in the media and within the police system itself in the midst of investigating the labyrinthine case. Between the scant clues left to sift, a prime suspect on the verge of death himself, and divisions in her own team that result in a devastating death, Tennyson soon begins to suspect she's been hung out to dry by the department. Screenwriter Allan Cubitt dives into the murky waters of volatile racial and social relations to create an even more complex and compelling mystery in Tennyson's second appearance, and Mirren rises to the challenge to explore the contradictions of an uncompromising cop in a compromising position. --Sean Axmaker« less
"Superb series, well written. Helen Mirren is a miracle.At last, the whole series has been reissued on DVD. Worth the investment...unlike most TV shows on DVD (hello, HBO and Fox?)Beware of the old DVDs floating around from the original PBS presentations in the early 1990s. Strong language was dubbed over, rather poorly."
Absorbing Police Drama/Character Study from England
Robert Huggins | Suburban Philadelphia, PA United States | 04/01/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Helen Mirren returns in the second go-round of "Prime Suspect". The story is a superb "who dunnit" with outstanding writing and acting all the way around. In addition to being a great crime solving drama, "Prime Suspect 2" succeeds as a character study of a middle-aged, professional woman who has sacrificed much of her personal life to rise among the ranks of the police force.The rating gets only 4 stars rather than 5 for Anchor Bay's DVD treatment. Normally they have done a great job with their releases, but "Prime Suspect 2" is, unfortuantely, not among their best. I'm not sure about the source material that was available to them, but the picture doesn't appear to be as crisp as one would expect from a DVD, particularly for material that was produced in 1993. You must also flip the disk over . . . it's presented in two parts, just as it was released on PBS in America. This release also replaces some minor profanity with toned-down language. Save for 20 chapter breaks (10 on each side) and English subtitles, there are no extras on this DVD. Still, the story and characterizations merit a view."
Prime Suspect 2
Beth Scalet | Kansas City | 01/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is quite probably the best episode in what is already a very fine British detective series. Jane Tennyson is played by Helen Mirren, who gives a brilliant performance as the complex, extremely capable investigator whose personal life is rather messy and who continually struggles to be accepted by her male colleagues. This episode also explores the tense racial situation that has developed in London with the arrival of thousands of Caribbean immigrants. Colin Salmon is beautiful to look at and also gives an outstanding performance. If you've seen any of the other episodes and liked them, or if you like other BBC mysteries like Silent Witness or Inspector Frost, this is a must-have."
Savor the best police drama ever!
Snowbrocade | Santa Barbara, CA | 03/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Be prepared to love Jane Tennyson, a British police detective who is as competent and talented as the actress playing her, Helen Mirren. The story is well crafted and builds suspense while weaving a complex psychological portrait of a driven passionate women who beyond anything wants to capture the criminal. Tennyson in the tradition of the talented detective does not always follow the rules but with a combination of intuition and dogged persistence brings the criminal to justice. In addition to the complex relationships she has as a woman in a primariy male environment, she also has an inter-racial relationship. If you havent seen the first one yet, go back and watch it as well."
Prime Suspect 2 - It only gets better with age
Michael Baker | Falls Church, VA United States | 01/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The second installment of DCI Jane Tennison finds a story that pursues both the politics and the reality of race relations in Britain. Still battling the "old-boy" network, she is assigned a case that has both political and racial overtones, one that many would be happy if she failed to resolve. As usual, the messy overtones of her personal like intrude into the story. Following on the success of the first Prime Suspect, this would be just another sequel if it weren't for the compelling story and the performance of Helen Mirren. Driven to succeed against both forces outside and inside the department, she looks for the unpleasant truth against those who would use this tragedy for their own purposes. Another "must see" this second installment cemented the series as great viewing."