Thursday, April 26, 2012

PRIME SUSPECT



Nigel Bird talks about my poem Articulating Space for the 5-2 poetry tour. He is too kind as always.


We just watched again the first series from PRIME SUSPECT (1992) and were once again blown away by how good it was. Amazing considering you were pretty sure who the perpetrator was from the first minutes of the show. It strengths, of course, was first of all Mirren, creating an iconic character from the start. It was a top-notch script that played it straight-telling the story in a linear fashion. You always knew where you were. The script gave you just enough of her personal life to bring her alive. You could see what she was up against given the times and give her personality.

It was filmed brilliantly, with lots of great shots that seem cutting-edge even now. Montages of police work were especially powerful. I can't think of a better police drama before or since. Do you remember it?

Who else seized a recurring role from the first moment?

13 comments:

F.T. Bradley said...

It's been a long time since I've seen it, but yes, Hellen Mirren is brilliant in PRIME SUSPECT.

Walter on FRINGE comes to mind when I think of a character that worked from episode one. But he's supporting cast, so that's easier.

Most leads have that awkward beginning when they're still trying to gain the confidence to embrace the role. Or maybe that's the writing on TV shows...

Al Tucher said...

I remember loving it from the first moment. In later seasons, though, I thought the character went beyond "warts and all" to "all warts."

I would like to add that Helen Mirren is hotter now than she was twenty years ago.

Anonymous said...

I agree on Prime Suspect. I would not even try the American version. All they seemed to be selling in the ads was the stupid hat.

Other shows that made a quick impression? Homicide comes immediately to mind. Andre Braugher blew me away.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Walter was terrific right off in what was an enigmatic role.
Yes, like Robbie Coltrane in Crackers, it did get way out there.
I think the US version would have worked had they let it find its own rhythm.
Michael J. Fox created one on Family Ties. He was not intended to dominate the show as much as he did. He manages to do the same on THE GOOD WIFE when he's on.

Paul D Brazill said...

Yep, a beaut series.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Cracker was an indelible character as well. And Walter is one of the best characters in years. I'm just sorry they went off the rails with their story lines.

Jeff M.

F.T. Bradley said...

Yes, the story lines on FRINGE almost make me bail...

When will these writers get that it's the people/characters we tune in for, not the outlandish plots?

Charles Gramlich said...

Excellent poem. I haven't seen the show.

George said...

I loved Helen Mirren in PRIME SUSPECT from the first episode. The later series of PRIME SUSPECT were nowhere near as good. I blame the weak scripts.

pattinase (abbott) said...

After a while, they relied too much of her problems with alcohol and bureaucracy to carry it. That also happened with Cracker.
Thanks, Charles.

Richard R. said...

Yes, an excellent show, acting, writing. The first two seasons anyway. I didn't bother with the American version.

I thought Robson Green and Hermione Norris did an excellent job from the beginning in WIRE IN THE BLOOD as well.

Ron Scheer said...

The poem hits hard. Putting together the pieces of a shattered self and the unseen presence of the assailant in nearly every line. Well done.

Anonymous said...

Good news for those of us who care - there will be one last season (of 13 episodes) of FRINGE after all.

Jeff M.