Line of Duty

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Line of Duty
Alt= Series titles against a black background
Created by Jed Mercurio
Written by Jed Mercurio
Directed by
Theme music composer Carly Paradis
Ending theme "Line Of Duty End Theme"
Composer(s) Carly Paradis
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 11
Executive producer(s) Stephen Wright (BBC)
Simon Heath (World Productions)
Jed Mercurio (Series 2)
Producer(s) Jed Mercurio (Series 1)
Peter Norris (Series 2)
Location(s) Birmingham (Series 1)
Belfast (Series 2)
Cinematography Ruairi O'Brien
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) World Productions
Distributor Content Media
Original channel BBC Two
Audio format Dolby Digital
Original run 26 June 2012 (2012-06-26) – present
External links
BBC Two website
Production website

Line of Duty is a British police drama, created by Jed Mercurio, which aired on BBC Two 26 June 2012. The first series was BBC Two's best-performing drama series in 10 years, with a consolidated audience of 4.1 million viewers.[1] The drama was recommissioned for a second series, and the first episode was broadcast on 12 February 2014.[2] The second series achieved widespread public and critical acclaim,[3] and, on 8 April 2014, the BBC commissioned two further series.[4] In April 2014, Line of Duty was included in a list of the Top 50 BBC Two shows of all-time.[5]

The first series was aired on Hulu in the United States in August 2012 as an exclusive series.[6] Netflix offered the series on an exclusive basis in Denmark and Sweden.[7]


Characters in series one
Character Portrayed By Character Portrayed By
DCI Tony Gates Lennie James Jackie Laverty Gina McKee
DS Steve Arnott Martin Compston Tommy Brian McCardie
DC Kate Fleming Vicky McClure Jools Gates Kate Ashfield
DC Nigel Morton Neil Morrissey Alf Butterfield Brian Miller
PSupt Ted Hastings Adrian Dunbar Chloe Gates Saffron Davies
DS Matthew 'Dot' Cottan Craig Parkinson Natalie Gates Jordyn-Eve Davis Greene
PSupt Derek Hilton Paul Higgins DI Ian Buckells Nigel Boyle
DC Deepak Kapoor Faraz Ayub Rita Bennett Alison Lintott
PS Colin Brackley Darren Morfitt Ryan Pilkington Gregory Piper
DS Leah Janson Claire Keelan Keely Pilkington Lauren O'Rourke
PC Karen Larkin Fiona Boylan Ch Insp Phillip Osborne Owen Teale
PC Simon Bannerjee Neet Mohan Miroslav Tomi May
Characters in series two
Character Portrayed By Character Portrayed By
DI Lindsay Denton Keeley Hawes DS Steve Arnott Martin Compston
DC Kate Fleming Vicky McClure DCC Mike Dryden Mark Bonnar
PSupt Ted Hastings Adrian Dunbar DI Matthew 'Dot' Cottan Craig Parkinson
DC Georgia Trotman Jessica Raine DCS Les Hargreaves Tony Pitts
DS Nicola Rogerson Christina Chong DC Nigel Morton Neil Morrissey


Series one and two were created and written by Jed Mercurio, produced by World Productions, on behalf of BBC Two. David Caffrey and Douglas Mackinnon directed series one. Mackinnon was reprised as Director for series two's first three episodes, whilst Daniel Nettheim directed the last three episodes of series two. Mercurio produced series one and acted as executive-producer for series two, with Peter Norris taking over as producer for series two.


The police refused to cooperate with the producers of the programme. Consequently, the production team were advised both by retired police officers, and anonymously by serving officers; they also made use of anonymous police blogs.[8]


Series one was filmed in Birmingham, and series two in Belfast by BBC Northern Ireland, per the end credits, though the city is not identified in the script in either series. A photo gallery of exterior scenes from series one shows the 4th Street Station on Ormeau Avenue in Belfast.[9]

Series overview[edit]

Series Episodes Originally aired DVD release date
Series premiere Series finale Region 2
1 5 26 June 2012 24 July 2012 3 February 2014
2 6 12 February 2014 19 March 2014 24 March 2014

Series one (2012)[edit]

The first series of Line of Duty consists of five episodes, with its debut on 26 June 2012. Through the episodes a large list of characters appeared, but the series was mainly focused around the main characters known as DCI Tony Gates (Lennie James), DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston), DC Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure), and PSupt Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar).
The main plot evolved around an anti-corruption unit, commonly referred to as AC-12. Arnott was set the task of investigating a detective inspector who is the Officer of the Year for the past three years running. The series ended with the Gates dying in the line of duty.

# Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
1 "Episode 1" David Caffrey Jed Mercurio 26 June 2012 (2012-06-26) 3.76
A counter-terrorist police raid kills an innocent man and DS Steve Arnott refuses to comply with a cover-up. He is transferred to AC-12, an anti-corruption squad lead by Superintendent Ted Hastings. DCI Tony Gates is awarded Officer of the Year with a suspiciously high clearance rate. Initially, Hastings interviews Gates on a minor charge but is unaware that Gates, married with two children, is covering up a fatal hit-and-run by his lover, Jackie Laverty. AC-12 member, DC Kate Fleming, joins Gates' team so she can investigate Gates from the inside.
2 "Episode 2" David Caffrey Jed Mercurio 3 July 2012 (2012-07-03) 3.84
Arnott discovers that Gates knew Jackie Laverty before her car was reported stolen and confronts her. Gates learns that she murdered the hit-and-run victim and that she is a money launderer. He arrests her but she persuades him to release her. They return to her house, where masked intruders force their way in. Gates is knocked unconscious and Laverty is murdered.
3 "Episode 3" David Caffrey Jed Mercurio 10 July 2012 (2012-07-10) 3.80
Arnott speeds to Laverty's house following a tip-off from Fleming. Gates has tampered with evidence, hiding his whisky glass just before his team arrive; and, Laverty has vanished. Hastings and Arnott, quizzing Gates on his relationship with Laverty, get him to admit she was an old flame but denies knowledge of her money laundering. Gates is taken off the case and is grabbed by masked men who threaten to frame him for Laverty's murder unless he takes over her money laundering racket.
4 "Episode 4" Douglas Mackinnon Jed Mercurio 17 July 2012 (2012-07-17) 3.87
Gates suggests that the money laundering investigation should be passed to the Fraud Squad. Hastings and Arnott interview Gates' team and DS Cottan lies that it was Gates who ordered them to leave early from their surveillance, resulting in the murder of the two drug dealers. Gates assists in Arnott's capture by the gangsters.
5 "Episode 5" Douglas Mackinnon Jed Mercurio 24 July 2012 (2012-07-24) 3.72
Gates returns to rescue Arnott. Arnott recalls that the torturers were receiving telephoned instructions from someone named Tommy. Arnott, who is convinced that Gates is innocent of the murders and believes Gates can lead him to the killers, persuades Hastings to let him use Gates to get to Tommy. Arnott arrests Tommy and Gates commits suicide. Gates' team member, DS Cottan is Tommy's inside man and advises him how to avoid conviction. Arnott tells Hilton that Gates was killed in the line of duty. His family receive a death-in-service benefit of £107,000 plus a pension for life. Arnott and his former counter-terrorism colleagues are acquitted of all charges. The evidence obtained on Tommy is never used and he is put in the witness protection system.

Series two (2014)[edit]

A second series was confirmed 26 July 2012, with the first episode airing on BBC Two 12 February 2014.[11] Keeley Hawes as DI Lindsay Denton, and Jessica Raine as DC Georgia Trotman, join original cast members Martin Compston, Vicky McClure and Adrian Dunbar for a six-part serial.[12]

Series two received even better reviews than its predecessor,[13] despite lower viewing figures.[14]

Robert Lindsay was originally cast in a lead role for series two but left part way through production due to "creative differences". He was replaced by Mark Bonnar.[15]

# Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
6 "Episode 1" Douglas Mackinnon Jed Mercurio 12 February 2014 (2014-02-12) 2.74
A police convoy escorting a civilian under a witness protection scheme is attacked; the witness hospitalised; all three police officers are killed, except Inspector Lindsay Denton, who organised the operation at very short notice and who only informed DCC Dryden. Ted Hastings asks Steve and Kate to interview her but Kate pulls out because she and Jayne Akers, one of the dead officers, trained together—though she has been having an affair with Jayne's husband Rich. Her place is taken by Georgia Trotman, who is troubled that the men are treating Lindsay as a suspect and delving into her finances. Lindsay is transferred to a missing persons unit. Kate follows her to the nursing home where her mother lives and learns she has rung the hospital from a payphone. Georgia and Steve race to the hospital where somebody is killing the witness. Steve is rendered unconscious; Georgia is pushed out of the window to her death.
7 "Episode 2" Douglas Mackinnon Jed Mercurio 19 February 2014 (2014-02-19) 3.21
Following the deaths of Georgia and the witness it is Steve who gets a grilling as to the police presence at the hospital whilst Lindsay is accused of attacking her neighbour, which she denies. Steve discovers that a nurse on the witness's ward, Claire Tindall, was threatened into giving the killer access by a man she knows as Joe, but whom she is unable to identify. Lindsay continues to search for vanished teenager Carly Kirk and Kate is drafted in as her assistant – in reality a move to try and get Lindsay to admit her guilt – but Lindsay sees through the ruse. After Kate's cover is blown Lindsay is questioned again and claims that she rang the hospital to ask that the witness exonerate her but she is disbelieved and Hastings arrests her for conspiracy. At her interview she points out that Steve visited Claire unofficially and Hastings has financial problems and a broken marriage that could make him just as culpable but she is nonetheless held in custody. Meanwhile DCC Dryden finds himself in the frame for a driving offence supposedly committed by his wife.
8 "Episode 3" Douglas Mackinnon Jed Mercurio 26 February 2014 (2014-02-26) 3.34
Lindsay is remanded in custody where she is victimised by both staff and prisoners. Meanwhile Steve and Kate discover the identity of the dead witness by convincing Hastings to request access to witness protection records from Dryden. It was Tommy Hunter, the gang leader previously arrested by Tony Gates. Cottan believes that Jayne Akers, his liaison officer, was the real mole who betrayed the escort. Kate visits Lindsay, who knows about her affair with Jayne's husband whilst Cottan has similar suspicions. Lindsay's accusations also cause friction between Hastings and Steve, whilst Dryden's driving offence attracts the press so to save himself he strikes a deal naming Lindsay as the officer under investigation. Kate discovers a body, apparently that of the missing Carly, and returns to see Lindsay, who claims her ex-lover Dryden set her up. Kate makes a call which seems to support this whilst Cottan gets evidence to prove Jayne was on the take.
9 "Episode 4" Daniel Nettheim Jed Mercurio 5 March 2014 (2014-03-05) 3.46
Steve and Kate try to convince Hastings to bring Dryden in for questioning, but find the DCC uncooperative and frosty when the interview finally is undertaken. They face a further problem when Hargreaves and his team beat them to bringing Richard Akers in for questioning. Lindsay is granted permission to visit her dying mother at her nursing home, but on the return journey her prison van is run off the road. Fleeing for her life, Lindsay finds herself confronted with two corrupt police officers, one of whom murdered Georgia Trottman.
10 "Episode 5" Daniel Nettheim Jed Mercurio 12 March 2014 (2014-03-12) 3.73
Lindsay manages to escape her kidnappers in violent and traumatic circumstances that leads to the death of one and the hospitalisation of the other, and AC12 finds itself forced to chose loyalties between Lindsay and Dryden. With the evidence mounting against Dryden, the discovery of pictures showing Dryden and 15-year-old Carly Kirk together is the final nail in the coffin, resulting in Steve and Kate finally arresting the DCC. However, when presented with AC12's evidence, Dryden still strongly maintains he is being set up.
11 "Episode 6" Daniel Nettheim Jed Mercurio 19 March 2014 (2014-03-19) 4.12
Dryden claims that Lindsay was at the car park when he was photographed in the car with Carly. Steve gets closer to Lindsay but reveals to Kate that he is acting undercover as she had done earlier. Now he believes that Lindsay is behind the ambush. In flashback, Lindsay spotted Dryden with Carly at the reception. They had a brief conversation in the ladies' cloakroom. She followed the pair to the car park, and saw Hunter beating her up. She approached Hunter later but is distracted by Akers. Later Akers visits Lindsay at her home asking for help to release the pimped and abused Carly escape Hunter's clutches. With a pay-off, she convinced Lindsay to assist in a handover of Hunter. Cottan was behind the scheme. Her pay-off is found hidden among the possessions taken from Lindsay's mother's room. The buried body is not Carly's; her whereabouts are unknown. Dryden is given a suspended sentence and resigns. Lindsay is convicted. Cottan is asked to remain in AC12.
Annotations shown during the last few minutes of episode six, series two
  1. Carly Kirks current whereabouts are unknown and her case remains on 28-day review.
  2. The Major Violent Crime Unit continues to investigate the conspiracy to murder John Thomas Hunter. All suspects of the conspiracy are former criminal associates of Hunter.
  3. Deputy Chief Constable Michael Dryden resigned from the Police Service, and received a suspended sentence for Perverting the Course of Justice.
  4. Detective Constable Nigel Morton plans to retire in one year's time on a full pension plus disability benefits.
  5. Detective Sergeant Manish Prasad remains cooperative with an investigation into Vice Squad corruption. The Crown Prosecution Service has yet to determine what charges he will face. He has immunity from previous investigations following the ambush which resulted in the death of four police officers.
  6. Detective Inspector Lindsay Denton was convicted on a majority verdict of conspiracy to murder and is currently serving a life sentence at HM Prison Brentiss.
  7. Detective Inspector Matthew (Dot) Cottan accepted Hasting's offer of a permanent place on AC-12. He was the organiser of the handover of Hunter.

Series three and four[edit]

On 8 April 2014, BBC Two announced the re-commissioning of Line of Duty. [16] This was a commissioning of two more series (taking Line of Duty into its third and fourth series), with six one-hour episodes per series from Adam Barker, Acting Controller of BBC Two (at the time of the re-commission), and Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning.[17] The writer and creator of Line of Duty, Jed Mercurio, promises new guest stars as police officers under investigation for corruption, and some reappearances from past series.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominee(s) Result
2012 2012 Royal Television Society Awards Actor (Male) Lennie James Nominated
Drama Series Line of Duty Nominated
Writer - Drama Jed Mercurio Nominated
2012 Royal Television Society Midlands Awards Best Drama/Fictional Programme Line of Duty Won
Best Acting Performance (Male) Lennie James Won
Best Acting Newcomer Gregory Piper Won
2012 Crime Thriller Awards The TV Dagger Line of Duty Nominated
2013 2013 Broadcast Awards Best Drama Series or Serial Line of Duty Nominated
2013 South Bank Sky Arts Awards TV Drama Line of Duty Nominated
Broadcasting Press Guild Awards Best TV Drama Line of Duty Nominated
2014 2014 Freesat Awards Best TV Drama Line of Duty Won

Censure by Ofcom[edit]

Following the complaint of one viewer, the media regulator Ofcom found the BBC guilty of a "serious lapse" in its duty of care for a 13-year-old actor, Gregory Piper, who had appeared in scenes which were "of a particularly violent nature and included sexually explicit language" by breaching broadcasting rules requiring that "due care must be taken over the physical and emotional welfare and the dignity of people under 18".[18] In its full report, Ofcom cited the programme's failure to involve an independent expert, such as a child psychiatrist, to determine the actor's intellectual and emotional capacity to participate in the controversial scenes; however, the regulator found that there was no actual harm, distress or anxiety caused to the child actor.[19]

Home media releases[edit]


iTunes releases for Line of Duty

Name Release date Ep # Additional Information
Line of Duty, Series One 30 August 2013[20] 5
Line of Duty, Series Two 12 February 2014[21] 6
  • The complete second series
  • Ability to buy single episode(s) or whole series
  • Rated "Caution" by iTunes
  • High-definition & Standard-definition version
Line of Duty, Series One & Two 26 June 2012[22] 11
  • The complete first and second series
  • Ability to buy single episode(s) or whole series one and two
  • Rated "Caution" by iTunes
  • Standard-definition version

Blinkbox releases for Line of Duty

Name Release date Ep # Additional Information
Line of Duty, Series One 2013[23] 5
  • The complete first series
  • Ability to buy single episode(s) or whole series
  • Certificate 15
  • Standard-definition version
Line of Duty, Series Two 2014[24] 6
  • The complete second series
  • Ability to buy single episode(s) or whole series
  • Certificate 15
  • High-definition & Standard-definition versions

DVD releases for Line of Duty

Name Release dates Ep # Additional Information
Region 2
Line of Duty Series 1
3 February 2014[25] 5 The two-disc box set includes all five episodes from series one, with a classification age of 15.
Running time: 300 minutes.
Line of Duty Series 2
24 March 2014[26] 6 The two-disc box set includes all six episodes from series two, with a classification age of 15.
Running time: 360 minutes.
Line of Duty Series 1&2
24 March 2014[27] 11 The four-disc box set includes all eleven episodes from series one and two, with a classification age of 15.
Running time: 660 minutes.


  1. ^ Jed Mercurio: taking aim at target culture | In-depth | Broadcast
  2. ^ Sperling, Daniel (25 July 2012). "'Line of Duty' renewed for second series by BBC". DigitalSpy. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  3. ^ Moir, Jan (17 March 2014). "Is Line of Duty the best cop show ever?". Daily Mail. 
  4. ^ Sweeney, Mark (8 April 2014). "Line of Duty set to return for third and fourth series". Guardian. 
  5. ^ Hogan, Michael et all (18 April 2014). "The Top 50 BBC Two shows of all-time". The Telegraph. 
  6. ^ Thomas, June (24 August 2012), "The Global Network", Slate, retrieved 28 January 2013 
  7. ^ "Watch Line of Duty on Netflix", Dom's Guide, 18 February 2013, retrieved 19 February 2013 
  8. ^ Jed Mercurio (26 June 2012). "Line of Duty – a police drama that swaps reassurance for reality". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "BARB". BARB. Retrieved 16 February 2014. 
  10. ^ World Productions producing critically acclaimed award-winning drama
  11. ^ "Line up for more Duty". The Sun. 9 October 2013. 
  12. ^ Hogan, Michael (26 February 2014). "Line of Duty review". The Telegraph. 
  13. ^ Munn, Patrick (27 February 2014). "Ratings:BBC2's Line of Duty Remains Steady". TV Wise. 
  14. ^ Munn, Patrick (13 May 2013). "EXCLUSIVE: Robert Lindsay Exits BBC Two’s ‘Line Of Duty’, Mark Bonnar To Assume Role". TVWise. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "BBC Two celebrates 50th birthday with ambitious new commissions". BBC Television. British Broadcasting Corporation. 8 April 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  16. ^ "BBC Two announces Jed Mercurio’s Line Of Duty commissioned for further two series". BBC Television. British Broadcasting Corporation. 8 April 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  17. ^ BBC censured over violent Line of Duty scene featuring child actor, The Guardian, 17 December 2012. Accessed 27 April 2013.
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Line of Duty – Series One (iTunes)". Apple Inc. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  20. ^ "Line of Duty – Series Two (iTunes)". Apple Inc. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  21. ^ "Line of Duty – Series 1&2 (iTunes)". Apple Inc. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  22. ^ "Line of Duty – Series (Blinkbox)". blinkbox Entertainment Limited. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  23. ^ "Line of Duty – Series 2 (Blinkbox)". blinkbox Entertainment Limited. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  24. ^ "Line of Duty – Series One [DVD]". BBC Worldwide LTD. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  25. ^ "Line of Duty – Series Two [DVD]". BBC Worldwide LTD. Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  26. ^ "Line of Duty – Series 1&2 [DVD]". BBC Worldwide LTD. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 

External links[edit]