It’s certainly a case of taking an opportunistic gap, is the "precursor" TV series.

What’s that, you ask? In a nutshell, it’s the idea of capitalising on an old but wildly popular TV show by producing a new series based on it, but set many years before.

Prime Suspect: Tennison is the latest in this genre, following the likes of Endeavour, the successful Morse spin-off.

As the name suggests, Prime Suspect: Tennison is based on the award-winning TV series of the 1990s and 2000s that starred Helen Mirren as the brilliant but complex detective Jane Tennison. This prequel tells the story of the 22-year-old Tennison, then a young police constable in the UK, investigating her first murder case.

Mirren’s shoes are big ones to fill, but Stefanie Martini plays the young Tennison — unsure, learning the ropes and handling ridiculous 1970s workplace sexism — with eagerness and innocence.

It might take you a couple of fairly slow-moving episodes to get into the series, but stick with it and you’ll be rewarded with smart and gripping viewing. It’s also a fantastic visual homage to gritty 1970s Britain, and the accompanying soundtrack is spot on.

The first series is now on ITV Choice (DStv Channel 123).

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