In April 1991, Lynda La Plante created the show Prime Suspect starring Helen Mirren and quietly but forever changed the landscape of crime drama. There had been hard drinking, chain smoking, all-consumed-by-the-job-at-the-expense-of-their-private-lives detectives on television before but Prime Suspect offered us the first vision of such a character as a woman, a revolutionary idea at the time.  

Mirren’s detective chief inspector (DCI) Jane Tennison — based on real police officer Jackie Milton — was in her 40s, placed in a position of some authority but ignored in the male-dominated world in which she found herself and tolerated as a diversity hire at best...

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