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Dear Ann,

Sitting up late and knitting (of course I was knitting) the other night, I was thrilled to learn that my local PBS station is re-airing Tennison, a wonderful crime show from two years ago that was cancelled after the first 3-episode series. It had stayed with me all this time, which is astonishing given how much I adore the original, long-running series starring Helen Mirren, Prime Suspect, for which Tennison is a prequel. Tennison is different from Prime Suspect, but it’s well worth watching in its own right, and as an introduction to one of the detective genre’s most compelling characters, Jane Tennison.

Here’s my earlier post recommending Tennison. Check your local listings to see if your PBS station is airing it. If you’ve signed up for PBS passport (as a supporter of public television), it might be streaming there, as it is in my area, on Thirteen Passport.

If nothing else, watch it for the soundtrack, and to see what London’s East End looked like in the 1970s. My theory as to why the show was cancelled is that it simply cost too much to travel back in time so artfully.




  • I love those British shows, all of them! I will check our local pbs as suggested. Thank you!❤️

  • I love Veraand Agatha Rasin and Midsomer Murders.

  • I just rewatched Prime Suspect recently (What would we do without Brit Box and Acorn?) and was blown away all over again by the amazing Helen Mirren.

  • You will find of interest an article in today’s NY Times (5/19): “Knitting is Coding and Yarn is Programmable in This Physics Lab” for Elisabeth Matsumoto knot theory is knit therapy.

    • Fascinating article!

  • I loved this prequel. I think it was unjustly maligned.

  • River…I loved River! “I love to love but my baby just loves to dance”… every time I see something about River, that song pops in my mind and I smile.

  • Like ‘Life on Mars’ also set in the not so distant past?
    I’ll look for it on 13 …. thanks for the heads up!
    No Passport for me until they stop playing games and make us wait for Masterpiece showings (Though why they favor and push ‘Victoria’ is beyond me) and put some Britcoms on demand.

  • I loved that show and you’re right about the music. I didn’t know it wasn’t coming back for another season. Boo !

  • I just went looking for Tennison and found that it is available on Amazon Prime.

    • Good news!

    • Awesome!!!!! Thanks!

  • Your theory about “too expensive to produce” matches what I read about Tennison. I am skeptical, however. They have managed to produce season after season of Endeavour, and they seem never to have met an expensive costume drama that they didn’t like, so how hard could it be to find some grubby town with 70s and earlier architecture to film in? I’m not sure I buy it. Could there be a whiff of sexism in the air?

    • It was cancelled because of “creative differences” with creator of the original series Lynda La Plante. She wrote a novel about the Tennison character, which was the basis for the new TV series. Here’s the gossipiest version of the story I could find: <a href=""Link. Interesting tidbit, she wouldn’t disparage their casting (I assume that was in her contract), but she did say that she wanted a young actress right out of drama school, not one of the group of actresses cast in everything. (Which is what they did.). La Plante left Prime Suspect after the third season. I didn’t realize that her Prime Suspect novels were written after the TV show was a success. Post Prime Suspect, she wrote novels, which were then adapted for TV. This gives the creator more rights/leverage than if they simply sold a script for a TV project.

      Looking this up, I also learned that she wrote the TV series Widows, which was made into a fantastic film with Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez and Elizabeth Debicki. Definitely see that if you have not.

      • Farm Girls, about WW2 england and the women who went for farm labor as the men were called up or volunteered. Good drama (I am as a brit required to say this,but tis true nonetheless) Also on youtube there is a series done at locations historicaly accurate, by researchers rather than actors. The title I started with was Wartime Farm. Plenty of action in how the site was set up for recreating a working farm in 1939/40 through to peacetime. How a wartime department became the strongest and it was not the the military as you might expect, but the Ministry of Food! If you were told what and how to do something on your farm, and you failed to do it… … … the ministry could and did seize your land and buildings and install another farmer! I told you Drama! Check that out.

    • They’ve managed to do eight seasons of Call the Midwife. Maybe they could use the same sets.

      • Good point!

  • If you’re interested a really fascinating and hilarious thread, check out this thread on ravelry. It’s in LSG and involves a woman who t trains neutral networks for fun by feeding them information in a certain this and seeing how the distill information and inner the rules. It’s pretty funny and also fascinating to see their ‘minds’ work. This thread is about AI networks teaching themselves how to write knitting pattern. I couldn’t find a way to link directly, but search this topic heading and it should come up.

    Lets do it! Neural Knitting (neural net a knitting pattern)

  • And Death in Paradise, Shakespeare and ? (I don’t remember the second name, only saw 1 so far.)

    • Hathaway! That series is good fun!

  • Hello, I am in search of yarn for Tuileries Pullover which was shown during your challenge. It calls for De Rerum Ulysse. I LOVE the color argile and need 7 skeins.
    Having difficulties because most vendors are European. Any suggestions to help me purchase this lovely yarn?

    • Suzanne, do you know about the yarn-buying capabilities on Ravelry? You can look for a specific yarn in other people’s stashes right down to the dye lot, and then see if anyone is selling it from their stash. Sometimes even if they aren’t selling it, you can beg them and they’ll maybe sell you some after all.

  • I started Tennison last night and it was incredible! Thank you! Now I have to hunt down Prime Suspect – Helen Mirren!!! Broadchurch will always be a favorite. Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax are excellent, as well, IMHO.

  • Bailey and Scott is good!

  • I liked Tennyson a lot too! Was surprised and sad when no more episodes were made. The Brits do brilliant ensemble casts.

  • Try Home Fires — a fantastic WWII era British drama set in the home front and feeling the stories of a group of women in a small town trying to help with the war effort. Two seasons on PBS Masterpiece — it’s so, so good.

  • I was insane about the Helen Mirren version but open to the new version as well. Now what am I going to watch and knit to

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