|Line of Duty|
|Created by||Jed Mercurio|
|Written by||Jed Mercurio|
|Theme music composer||Carly Paradis|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||6|
|No. of episodes||36 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||57–88 minutes|
|Production company||World Productions|
|Release||26 June 2012 –|
2 May 2021
Line of Duty is a British police procedural television series created by Jed Mercurio and produced by World Productions. On 26 June 2012, BBC Two began to broadcast the first series; it was its best-performing drama series in ten years with a consolidated audience of 4.1 million viewers. Broadcast of the second series began on 12 February 2014; its widespread public and critical acclaim led to the BBC commissioning a further two series. The third series began on 24 March 2016 on BBC Two; the following three series were broadcast on BBC One.
In May 2017, the BBC commissioned a sixth series. Filming began in February 2020 but stopped the following month due to the COVID-19 pandemic; it resumed in September. Filming continued until November 2020. Broadcast of the sixth series began on BBC One on 21 March 2021.
Prior to switching channels from series four onwards, Line of Duty was the most popular drama series broadcast on BBC Two and is a winner of the Royal Television Society Award and Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Drama Series. The Telegraph included it in a list of the Top 50 BBC Two shows of all time and in a list of the 80 best BBC shows of all time. In 2016, the series ranked eighth in The Independent's list of the twenty greatest police shows of all time and third in a Radio Times 2018 poll of the best British crime dramas of all time. In 2021 Line of Duty won the National Television Award for Special Recognition.
Line of Duty follows DS Steve Arnott, an authorised firearms officer who is transferred to Anti-Corruption Unit 12 (AC-12) after refusing to agree to cover up an unlawful shooting by his own team. At AC-12 Arnott is partnered with DC Kate Fleming, a highly commended undercover officer with a keen investigative instinct. They work under the supervision of Superintendent Ted Hastings, uncovering corruption within the fictional Central Police. Throughout the series, AC-12 investigate seemingly disparate cases involving seemingly corrupt police officers such as DCI Tony Gates, DI Lindsay Denton, Sergeant Danny Waldron, DI Matthew Cottan, DCI Roseanne Huntley, undercover officer DS John Corbett and DCI Joanne Davidson.
AC-12 realises the pervasive nature of corruption and the police's deep-rooted links to an organised crime group. A long-running story arc revolves around discovering the identity of "H", a corrupt person or persons of senior rank within the police force who are instrumental in running organised crime.
Cast and characters
|Tony Gates||Lennie James||Main||Does not appear|
|Steve Arnott||Martin Compston||Main|
|Kate Fleming||Vicky McClure||Main|
|Jackie Laverty||Gina McKee||Starring||Does not appear|
|Ted Hastings||Adrian Dunbar||Starring||Main|
|Matthew "Dot" Cottan||Craig Parkinson||Starring||Main||Guest||Does not appear|
|Jools Gates||Kate Ashfield||Starring||Does not appear|
|Derek Hilton||Paul Higgins||Starring||Does not appear||Starring||Does not appear|
|Nigel Morton||Neil Morrissey||Starring||Does not appear|
|Philip Osborne||Owen Teale||Starring||Does not appear||Starring|
|Tommy Hunter||Brian McCardie||Starring||Does not appear|
|Lindsay Denton||Keeley Hawes||Does not appear||Main||Does not appear|
|Georgia Trotman||Jessica Raine||Does not appear||Main||Does not appear|
|Mike Dryden||Mark Bonnar||Does not appear||Starring||Does not appear|
|Jo Dwyer||Liz White||Does not appear||Starring||Does not appear|
|Lester Hargreaves||Tony Pitts||Does not appear||Starring||Does not appear||Guest||Starring||Does not appear|
|Daniel Waldron||Daniel Mays||Does not appear||Main||Does not appear|
|Gill Biggeloe||Polly Walker||Does not appear||Starring||Does not appear||Starring||Does not appear|
|Rod Kennedy||Will Mellor||Does not appear||Starring||Does not appear|
|Hari Bains||Arsher Ali||Does not appear||Starring||Does not appear|
|Jackie Brickford||Leanne Best||Does not appear||Starring||Does not appear|
|Terry Reynolds||Shaun Parkes||Does not appear||Starring||Does not appear|
|Sam Railston||Aiysha Hart||Does not appear||Starring||Does not appear|
|Joe Nash||Jonas Armstrong||Does not appear||Starring||Does not appear|
|Maneet Bindra||Maya Sondhi||Does not appear||Starring||Does not appear|
|Patrick Fairbank||George Costigan||Does not appear||Starring||Does not appear||Starring|
|Roz Huntley||Thandie Newton||Does not appear||Main||Does not appear|
|Tim Ifield||Jason Watkins||Does not appear||Main||Does not appear|
|Nick Huntley||Lee Ingleby||Does not appear||Starring||Does not appear|
|Jimmy Lakewell||Patrick Baladi||Does not appear||Starring||Does not appear||Starring|
|John Corbett||Stephen Graham||Does not appear||Main||Does not appear|
|Patricia Carmichael||Anna Maxwell-Martin||Does not appear||Main|
|Lisa McQueen||Rochenda Sandall||Does not appear||Starring||Does not appear|
|Jane Cafferty||Sian Reese-Williams||Does not appear||Starring||Does not appear|
|Allison Powell||Susan Vidler||Does not appear||Starring||Does not appear|
|Rohan Sindwhani||Ace Bhatti||Does not appear||Starring|
|Andrea Wise||Elizabeth Rider||Does not appear||Starring|
|Roisin Hastings||Andrea Irvine||Does not appear||Recurring||Does not appear||Starring||Does not appear|
|Tatleen Sohota||Taj Atwal||Does not appear||Starring||Does not appear|
|Joanne Davidson||Kelly Macdonald||Does not appear||Main|
|Farida Jatri||Anneika Rose||Does not appear||Recurring||Does not appear||Starring|
|Ian Buckells||Nigel Boyle||Recurring||Does not appear||Recurring||Does not appear||Starring|
|Chloë Bishop||Shalom Brune-Franklin||Does not appear||Starring|
|Chris Lomax||Perry Fitzpatrick||Does not appear||Starring|
|Nicky Rogerson||Christina Chong||Does not appear||Recurring||Does not appear||Starring|
|Steph Corbett||Amy De Bhrún||Does not appear||Recurring||Starring|
|Haran Nadaraja||Prasanna Puwanarajah||Does not appear||Starring|
|Ryan Pilkington||Gregory Piper||Recurring||Does not appear||Recurring||Starring|
|Gail Vella||Andi Osho||Does not appear||Starring|
|Medical counsellor||Steve Oram||Does not appear||Starring|
- Elliot Rosen (series 1) and Tommy Jessop (series 5–6) as Terry Boyle
- Tomi May as Miroslav Minkowicz (series 1, 5)
- Heather Craney as DCI Alice Prior (series 1)
- Lauren O'Rourke as Keely Pilkington (series 1)
- Marie Critchley as Jane Hargreaves (series 1)
- Alison Lintott as Rita Bennett (series 1)
- Claire Keelan as DS Leah Janson (series 1)
- Faraz Ayub as DC Deepak Kapoor (series 1)
- Fiona Boylan as PC Karen Larkin (series 1)
- Neet Mohan as PC Simon Bannerjee (series 1)
- Darren Morfitt as Sergeant Colin Brackley (series 1)
- Shaun Mason as Lee (series 1)
- Maria Connolly as Alison Merchant, corrupt prison officer (series 2, 5, 6)
- Steve Toussaint as CS Mallick (series 2)
- Sacha Dhawan as DS Manish Prasad (series 2)
- Richard Huw as Nick Robson (series 2)
- David Maybrick as Sergeant Alex Wallis (series 2)
- Allison McKenzie as DS Jayne Akers (series 2)
- Antonio Magro as PC Vincent Butler (series 2)
- Niall Macgregor as Richard Akers (series 2)
- Michael Nardone as Sergeant O'Neill (series 2)
- Chetna Pandya as New Jo (series 2)
- Henry Pettigrew as DC Jeremy Cole (series 2)
- Charlotte Spencer as Carly Kirk (series 2)
- Lisa Palfrey as Inspector Tracey McAndrew (series 3)
- Mandana Jones as Superintendent Summers (series 3)
- Patrick FitzSymons as DCI Mark Moffatt (series 4–5)
- Royce Pierreson as DC Jamie Desford (series 4)
- Claudia Jessie as DC Jodie Taylor (series 4)
- Mark Stobbart as DS Neil Twyler (series 4)
- Vineeta Rishi as FC Rupal Pandit (series 4)
- Gaite Jansen as Hana Reznikova (series 4)
- Scott Reid as Michael Farmer (series 4)
- Richard Pepple as Sergeant Kyle Ferringham (series 5)
- Maanuv Thiara as Vihaan Malhotra (series 5)
- Laura Elphinstone as DI Michelle Brandyce (series 5)
- Natalie Gavin as Sergeant Martina "Tina" Tranter (series 5)
- Kwaku Fortune as DS Marks (series 6)
- Sherise Blackman as PS Ruby Jones (series 6)
- Tara Divina as PC Lisa Patel (series 6)
- Sara Dylan as Boyle's solicitor (series 6)
- Kerri McLean as Deborah Devereux (series 6)
- James Nesbitt as Marcus Thurwell (series 6)
|Series||Episodes||Originally aired||Average viewership|
(in millions)[note 1]
|First aired||Last aired||Network|
|1||5||26 June 2012||24 July 2012||BBC Two||3.80|
|2||6||12 February 2014||19 March 2014||3.43|
|3||6||24 March 2016||28 April 2016||5.42|
|4||6||26 March 2017||30 April 2017||BBC One||9.55|
|5||6||31 March 2019||5 May 2019||12.85|
|6||7||21 March 2021||2 May 2021||15.39|
- Series 1-2 based on 7 day data. Series 3-6 based on 28 day data.
Line of Duty was created and written by Jed Mercurio drawing inspiration from the Metropolitan Police anti-corruption unit A10, which was set up in 1971. The first two series were produced by World Productions, on behalf of BBC Two. David Caffrey and Douglas Mackinnon directed series one. Mackinnon directed the first three episodes of series two and Daniel Nettheim directed the remaining three episodes. Mercurio produced series one and acted as executive producer for series two, with Peter Norris taking over as producer for the second series.
Although the police refused to co-operate with the programme's producers, the production team was advised anonymously by serving officers and retired police officers, and made use of anonymous police blogs.
Series one was filmed in Birmingham, including pub interiors in the Queen's Arms. The following five series were made in Northern Ireland. Although exact locations are never mentioned, maps of Birmingham appear on walls, and telephone numbers use an 0121 area code, again indicating Birmingham. The fictional 01632 phone code is also seen. Various postcodes seen on paper and screen have the Birmingham 'B' or Milton Keynes 'MK' prefix. The police forces referred to are the fictional Central Constabulary and the fictional East Midlands Constabulary. A photo gallery of exterior scenes from series two shows the 4th Street Station on Ormeau Avenue in Belfast. Many locations in Belfast have been used; the offices of Invest Northern Ireland on Bedford Street depict the exterior of AC-12's headquarters.
Awards and nominations
|2012||Royal Television Society Awards||Actor (Male)||Lennie James||Nominated|
|Drama Series||Line of Duty 1||Nominated|
|Writer – Drama||Jed Mercurio||Nominated|
|Royal Television Society Midlands Awards||Best Drama/Fictional Programme||Line of Duty 1||Won|
|Best Acting Performance (Male)||Lennie James||Won|
|Best Acting Newcomer||Gregory Piper||Won|
|2012 Crime Thriller Awards||The TV Dagger||Line of Duty 1||Nominated|
|2013||2013 Broadcast Awards||Best Drama Series or Serial||Nominated|
|2013 South Bank Sky Arts Awards||TV Drama||Nominated|
|Broadcasting Press Guild Awards||Best TV Drama||Nominated|
|2014||2014 Freesat Awards||Line of Duty 2||Won|
|2014 Crime Thriller Awards||The TV Dagger||Nominated|
|Best Actress Dagger||Keeley Hawes||Won|
|Best Supporting Actress Dagger||Vicky McClure||Nominated|
|BAFTA Scotland||Best Actor – Television||Mark Bonnar||Nominated|
|Royal Television Society Craft & Design Awards||Best Editing – Drama||Andrew McClelland||Won|
|2015||Writers' Guild of Great Britain||TV Drama – Long Form||Jed Mercurio||Nominated|
|2015 Broadcast Awards||Best Drama Series or Serial||Line of Duty 2||Nominated|
|International Programme Sales||Nominated|
|Broadcasting Press Guild Awards||Best Drama Series||Nominated|
|Best Drama Writer||Jed Mercurio||Nominated|
|Royal Television Society Awards||Best Drama Series||Line of Duty 2||Won|
|BAFTA Television Craft Awards||Best Writer: Drama||Jed Mercurio||Nominated|
|BAFTA Television Awards||Best Actress||Keeley Hawes||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress||Vicky McClure||Nominated|
|Best Drama Series||Line of Duty 2||Nominated|
|2015 South Bank Sky Arts Awards||TV Drama||Nominated|
|Royal Television Society Northern Ireland Awards||Best Drama||Won|
|2016||TV Choice Awards||Best Drama Series||Line of Duty 3||Nominated|
|BAFTA Scotland||Best Director – Television||Michael Keillor||Nominated|
|Royal Television Society Northern Ireland||Best Drama||Line of Duty 3||Nominated|
|2017||Broadcast Awards||Best Drama Series or Serial||Nominated|
|Broadcasting Press Guild Awards||Best TV Drama Series||Nominated|
|Broadcasting Press Guild Awards||Best Actress||Keeley Hawes||Won|
|Royal Television Society Awards||Drama Series||Line of Duty 3||Nominated|
|Writer – Drama||Jed Mercurio||Nominated|
|BAFTA Television Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Daniel Mays||Nominated|
|Virgin TV's Must-See Moment||Urgent Exit Required||Nominated|
|Celtic Media Festival||Best Drama Series||Line of Duty 3||Won|||
|Diversity in Media Awards||TV Programme of the Year||Nominated|
|TV Moment of the Year||Urgent Exit Required||Nominated|
|TV Moment of the Year||DCI Roz Huntley Interview||Nominated|
|TV Choice Awards||Best Drama||Line of Duty 4||Nominated|
|British Screenwriters' Awards||Best Crime Writing on Television||Jed Mercurio||Won|||
|Royal Television Society Northern Ireland||Best Drama||Line of Duty 4||Won|||
|2018||Writers' Guild of Great Britain||TV Drama – Long Form||Jed Mercurio||Nominated|
|National Television Awards||Crime Drama||Line of Duty 4||Nominated|
|Irish Film and Television Academy||Drama||Nominated|
|Actor in a Leading Role – Drama||Adrian Dunbar||Nominated|
|Broadcasting Press Guild Awards||Best Drama Series||Line of Duty 4||Won|||
|Best Actress||Thandie Newton||Nominated|||
|Writer's Award||Jed Mercurio||Won|||
|Royal Television Society||Actor (Female)||Thandie Newton||Nominated|
|Voice of the Listener & Viewer Awards for Excellence in Broadcasting||Best TV Drama Programme||Line of Duty 4||Won|||
|BAFTA Television Craft Awards||Best Editing: Fiction||Andrew McClelland||Nominated|||
|BAFTA Television Awards||Best Actress||Thandie Newton||Nominated|||
|Best Supporting Actor||Adrian Dunbar||Nominated|||
|Best Drama Series||Line of Duty 4||Nominated|||
|Virgin TV's Must-See Moment||Huntley's Narrow Escape||Nominated|||
|Televisual Bulldog Awards||Best Drama Series||Line of Duty 4||Won|||
|South Bank Sky Arts Awards||TV Drama||Nominated|||
|Edinburgh TV Awards||Best UK Drama||Nominated|||
|2019||TV Choice Awards||Best Drama Series||Line of Duty 5||Won|||
|Best Actor||Adrian Dunbar||Won|
|Best Actress||Vicky McClure||Nominated|
|2020||National Television Awards||Drama||Line of Duty 5||Nominated|
|Irish Film and Television Academy||Actor in a Lead Role in Drama||Adrian Dunbar||Nominated|
|GQ Men of the Year Awards||Television Actor||Won|
|National Television Awards||Returning Drama||Line of Duty 6||Won|||
|Special Recognition Award||Won|
|Drama Performance||Martin Compston||Nominated|
|TV Choice Awards||Best Drama Series||Line of Duty 6||Won|||
|Best Actor||Martin Compston||Won|
|Best Actress||Vicky McClure||Won|
|British Academy Scotland Awards||Audience Award||Martin Compston||Nominated|||
|TV Times Awards||Favourite Drama||Line of Duty 6||Won|||
|Favourite Actor||Martin Compston||Won|
|Favourite Actress||Vicky McClure||Won|
|I Talk Telly Awards||Best Returning Drama||Line of Duty 6||Won|||
Following mixed reactions to the ending of the sixth series, there has been interest in seeing a further series produced. However as of 2023,[update] production of a seventh series remains uncertain. Reports in late 2022 alleged that a three part mini-series had been proposed to air by Christmas 2023, however Mercurio has since stated he had "no news" regarding any development. Adrian Dunbar commented "There's a big appetite for more Line of Duty, it could be three or four episodes, I don't think there's going to be six for some reason. It might be two 90 minutes. We're all keeping our fingers crossed that we will hear something at some point. We all want to get back together, we'd love to go back to Belfast again." Martin Compston has since said that whilst the cast have confirmed their commitment to a potential seventh series, they remain focused on other projects. He also commented "Things are definitely things left open at the end of the series for it to continue…Because, look, people can have their opinions about the finale but this is the most successful drama in BBC history. So that could be a good place to end and walk away…All we've said is that we'd be up for doing [just] one more at some point but none of us have signed on".
|†||Indicates a product not yet released|
DVD releases for Line of Duty:
|Name||Release dates||No. of episodes||Additional Information||Ref|
|Line of Duty: Series 1||26 June 2012||5||Two-disc box set including all five episodes from series one.|||
|Line of Duty: Series 2||12 February 2014||6||Two-disc box set including all six episodes from series two|||
|Line of Duty: Series 1 & 2||11||Four-disc box set including all 11 episodes from series one and two|||
|Line of Duty: Series 3||24 March 2016||6||Two-disc box set including all six episodes from series three|||
|Line of Duty: Series 4||8 May 2017||Two-disc box set including all six episodes from series four|||
|Line of Duty: Series 1–4||23||Eight-disc box set including all 23 episodes from series one to four|||
|Line of Duty: Series 5||6 May 2019||6||Two-disc box set including all six episodes from series five|||
|Line of Duty: Series 1–5||29||Ten-disc box set including all 29 episodes from series one to five|||
|Line of Duty: Series 6||31 May 2021||7||Two-disc box set including all seven episodes from series six|||
|Line of Duty: Series 1–6||36||Twelve-disc box set including all 36 episodes from series one to six|||
Blu-ray releases for Line of Duty:
|Name||Release dates||Ep #||Additional Information|
|Line of Duty: Series 1||10 April 2015||5||The two-disc box set includes all five episodes from series one, with a classification age of 16. |
Running time: 300 minutes.
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
|Line of Duty: Series 2||25 September 2015||6||The two-disc box set includes all six episodes from series two, with a classification age of 16. |
Running time: 369 minutes.
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
|Line of Duty: Series 3||20 January 2017||The two-disc box set includes all six episodes from series three, with a classification age of 16. |
Running time: 390 minutes.
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Line of Duty got a series six Blu-ray release.
Line of Duty series one to six will be released in a compilation Blu-ray box set.
In the United States, the first series was released on Hulu in August 2012, as an exclusive series, until Acorn TV picked up the streaming rights for its platform in 2018, which included the existing series and exclusive access to series five and later additions. The first three series began airing on AMC on 4 April 2020. However, licence changes in 2021 led to BritBox also obtaining the rights to the series in the United States, along with exclusive rights to series six and any future series.
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