Scotland Yard is no place for the weak, and Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison finds herself having to prove her strength to both suspects and her fellow police officers in order to do her job. But even if she manages to do her job, can she maintain her relationships with her family and her boyfriend? This conflict between Tennison's work and personal life help "Prime Suspect" rise above the typical crime procedural and resonate with audiences worldwide.
Det. Chief Inspector Jane Tennison (Helen Mirren)This policewoman has fought against sexism in her mostly male division and risen up in the ranks. But when a colleague dies and she finally gets the thing she's been fighting so hard for -- the position of lead investigator in her first-ever murder case -- she must then struggle with officers ranging from less-than-cooperative to corrupt in order to uncover the truth.
Detective Sergeant Bill Otley (Tom Bell)Aside from the actual criminals, the biggest obstacle in Tennison's professional life is Otley, a hateful, sexist man who resents her position and her supposed authority. In Tennison's first case, Otley also pockets a crucial piece of evidence and makes sloppy mistakes in his policework.
Detective Chief Superintendent Michael Kernan (John Benfield)
Tennison's superior is charged with leading the police force -- both on investigations and in the office. And while Kernan is loathe cause dissent among his officers, he acknowledges that Tennison potential as a detective. He may be the best ally she has on the force, at least until the other officers learn to respect her.
DCI John Shefford (John Forgeham)Possibly the most loutish of Tennison's colleagues, Shefford is a hard-drinking, chain-smoking cop. And though he holds the same rank and Tennison, he gets the cases that should rightly go to her as well. Little does Shefford realize that his unhealthy lifestyle is about to give Tennison her biggest break yet.
Peter Rawlins (Tom Wilkinson)A male counterpart to the many long-suffering wives who appear in cop shows, Rawlins tries his best to be understanding about the struggles that his girlfriend, Jane Tennison, is trying to overcome. But as work envelops her life, Peter begins to wonder where she can make room for him and his son.