TELEVISION / No bones about it

AT THE start of Lynda La Plante and Allan Cubitt's Prime Suspect 2, we observed DCI Tennison and DS Oswalde operating well outside standard police procedure. A full report must state they were post-coital in hotel bath-robes, knee-deep in food from room service and planning a frontal assault on the mini-bar. Oddly, given La Plante's reputation for impeccable research, here immediately was a question of plausibility: how could anybody who wasn't an oil sheik or a pop star afford to drain a hotel mini-bar?

TELEVISION BRIEFING / Back on the beat

In PRIME SUSPECT 2 (9pm ITV), it takes DCI Jane Tennison (the marvellous Helen Mirren) just 15 minutes to utter her catchphrase - 'Our prime suspect has to be . . .' Although this sequel lacks the impact of the first, Bafta-winning outing - after all, we are already familiar with the central character and situation - it still leaves most cop shows for dead. It opens with the grisly discovery of a corpse wrapped up in polythene a la Laura Palmer. Entering an Afro-Caribbean area for her investigation, Tennison has to deal with as many problems in her own force as in the community. Full of topical references to questionable police practice and Freemasonry in the force, the four-part drama, showing on consecutive evenings, should keep you gripped - despite the regrettable interruption of News at Ten.

Can I hear footsteps behind me?: Surround sound can bring villains right into your living-room, says Steve Homer

WHEN Helen Mirren appears on our television screens tomorrow in Prime Suspect 2, some viewers will hear a little extra. The series is one of a handful of programmes made for British television recorded in Dolby Surround Sound, a system designed for the cinema that is increasingly finding its way into people's homes.

Media Update: Reflected glory

PEUGEOT 106 is to sponsor the two-part Prime Suspect II, the detective drama starring Helen Mirren that swept the Bafta awards this year. Peugeot is paying pounds 250,000 for the privilege of sponsoring the follow-up because 'like the principal character of Prime Suspect II, the stylish Peugeot 106 has the confidence to make its own way in a challenging world'. ITV, which is stepping up its efforts to woo advertisers, claims that Croft Port increased sales by 50 per cent after sponsoring Rumpole and sales of Beamish Stout (in cans) rose by 150 per cent after its linking with Inspector Morse.
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