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When I was younger, I took it for granted that my friends would always be available for hungover brunches and emergency threesomes.But now, seeing my friends usually means being the one single person amid a mob of couples, who treat me either like hired entertainment (“tell us a funny Tinder story, clown! For instance, for years now my friends and I have spent summer weekends at a shared beach house on Fire Island.The kindness of these professional strangers had the weird effect of cushioning the viewer from her ordeal.ut the one thing no one could offer her was protection – a panic alarm had to suffice – and in Hesmondhalgh’s terrific performance we saw anger and fear slowly eat into Trish’s bones as the shock subsided.Architects’ offices are not, it seems, a natural arena for drama.“I’ve got a problem with the fuel sourcing,” said Paula (Mc Clure delivering the line with heroic conviction). “It’s no big deal.” But that’s about all we gleaned from her – this was not the young Jane Tennison, but a millennial who had raided her local vintage shop.
But the epitome of professional decency and intuitive sensitivity was Olivia Colman’s DS Miller. Or more specifically, how do you play Helen Mirren playing Jane Tennison as a young woman?That was the daunting task facing Stefanie Martini, the 26-year-old actress who starred as Tennison in Prime Suspect 1973 (ITV, Thursday), which took Lynda La Plante’s detective back to her early career on the beat and the bad old days of discrimination and corruption in the Metropolitan Police.It ought to be a defining role for any ambitious young actress, yet it was necessarily doomed for one simple reason: the middle-aged Tennison had been through life’s tumble dryer and Mirren always conveyed her sense of emotional fatigue very movingly.
artini’s Tennison was a fresh-faced girl from Maida Vale (which seemed unconvincing to me – I always imagined her as a provincial baby boomer whose fierce ambition had driven her to London) who had yet to endure disappointment or heartbreak and was therefore not very interesting.
There was no OTT retro soundtrack (rather, Cat Stevens’s mournful Lady d’Arbanville unfurled prettily during an investigation scene), and Glen Laker’s script nicely caught the hushed reverence with which the public treated the police force and the sense that East End criminal gangs still cast a shadow over the capital.