DVD Picks: 'Prime Suspect' : Monkey See Bob Mondello says that as American television prepares to try again with a version of Prime Suspect, you check out the groundbreaking original with Helen Mirren on DVD.
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DVD Picks: 'Prime Suspect'

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DVD Picks: 'Prime Suspect'

DVD Picks: 'Prime Suspect'

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LYNN NEARY, Host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Lynn Neary.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

Time again for our film critic Bob Mondello's recommendations for your home viewing queue. This week, to prepare for the start of NBC's new TV series "Prime Suspect," he suggests you order up the DVDs of the original BBC series that starred Helen Mirren.

BOB MONDELLO: 1991, a police procedural. The star - smart, forceful, assertive and a woman, which was a big deal.

(SOUNDBITE OF "PRIME SUSPECT")

HELEN MIRREN: (as Jane Tennison) Look, I am the only officer of my rank who is continually overstepped, sidestepped, whatever. Just give me the chance to prove that I can do it.

JOHN BENFIELD: (as Michael) You don't have to prove yourself to me. Let me think about it.

MIRREN: (as Jane Tennison) Well, that's not enough, Michael. I'm getting sick to death of this so-called metropolitan police survey being thrown at me.

BENFIELD: (as Michael Kernan) Now, inspector, is not the time to thrust your women's rights down my throat.

MONDELLO: Things would get better, but not right away. Detective Tennison always had to be the toughest guy in the room, even when that room was the morgue.

(SOUNDBITE OF "PRIME SUSPECT")

MIRREN: (as Jane Tennison) Excuse me. Where's the toilet?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, feeling a bit queasy?

MIRREN: (as Jane Tennison) No, but I think he is.

MONDELLO: Helen Mirren's Jane Tennison grew with the series, but from the start, was a bit of a klutz in her personal life - alienating boyfriends, drinking too much. Somehow, at home, she was in over her head with the family stuff that her colleagues assumed women were good at, though at work, she certainly got that stuff righter than the men did.

(SOUNDBITE OF "PRIME SUSPECT")

JACK ELLIS: (as Tony Muddyman) I don't know why you're so bothered. It's just another runaway, another dead prostitute.

MIRREN: (as Jane Tennison) She's someone's daughter, Tony.

ELLIS: (as Tony Muddyman) Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MONDELLO: The series must have had a really good casting director because you keep seeing faces that would later be famous - a skinny youngster in a leather jacket, for instance, who plays the boyfriend of the victim in the first episode.

(SOUNDBITE OF "PRIME SUSPECT")

MALE: (as Michael) We agreed not to see each other so much. God, I can't believe she's dead.

MONDELLO: I'm Bob Mondello.

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