After starting out as a RADA-trained actress under the name Lynda Marchal in 1969, with television roles ranging from drama to comedy, she moved easily into a screenwriting career as Lynda La Plante.
Her first script for television was the woman's point-of-view six-part crime drama Widows (ITV, 1983), in which four women carry out their late husbands' planned armoured-car robbery. The success of this tough crime caper placed her firmly in the TV thriller writers' landscape. She was perhaps the first female British television crime writer, joining the male-dominated ranks of such TV "tough guy" writers as Ian Kennedy Martin, Troy Kennedy Martin, and Ranald Graham.
In the years following the highly popular Widows, La Plante became one of British television's most sought-after writers of crime/underworld-themed drama. With her incredibly prolific output of well-researched, multi-part 'mean streets' thrillers - with the narrative observed from an astute woman's angle - La Plante has broadened the scope of the television crime/mystery genre.
Her prestige as a TV writer was assured when she created DCI Jane Tennison for the psychological police drama Prime Suspect (ITV, 1991), introducing one of British TV's most memorable characters of the 1990s (enhanced through a no-nonsense performance by Helen Mirren).
In 1994 she created her television company La Plante Productions and under that aegis wrote and produced the sequel to Widows, the equally gutsy She's Out (ITV, 1995). Her output continued with The Governor (ITV, 1995-96), a series focusing on the female governor of a high security prison, and was followed by a string of ratings-pulling miniseries: the psycho-killer nightmare events of Trial and Retribution (ITV, 1997-), the undercover police unit operations of Supply and Demand (ITV, 1998), and the female criminal profiler cases of Mind Games (ITV, 2001).
La Plante's crime-writing know-how appears to have all the indications of projecting her into a successful big-screen genre writer, alongside her growing popularity as a genre novelist.
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