Line of Duty

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Line of Duty
Line of Duty (TV series) Titlecard.JPG
GenrePolice procedural
Created byJed Mercurio
Written byJed Mercurio
Directed by
Starring
Theme music composerCarly Paradis
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series6
No. of episodes36 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
  • Stephen Wright (BBC)
  • Simon Heath (World Productions)
  • Jed Mercurio (Series 2–5)
Producers
  • Jed Mercurio (Series 1)
  • Peter Norris (Series 2–3)
  • Cait Collins (Series 4)
  • Ken Horn (Series 5–6)
Production locations
Cinematography
  • Ruairi O'Brien (Series 1–2)
  • Peter Robertson (Series 3)
  • Anna Valdez Hanks (Series 4)
  • Stephen Murphy (Series 4)
Running time1 hour / 1 hour 30 minutes
Production companyWorld Productions
Distributor
Release
Original network
Picture formatHDTV 1080i
Audio formatDolby Digital
Original release26 June 2012 (2012-06-26) –
present
External links
BBC website
Production website

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.[2][3][4] 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.[5] Filming continued until November 2020.[6] Broadcast of the sixth series began on BBC One on 21 March 2021.[7]

Before switching channels from series four onwards, Line of Duty was the most popular drama series broadcast on BBC Two[8] and is a winner of the Royal Television Society Award[9] and Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Drama Series.[10] It was included in a list of the Top 50 BBC Two shows of all time[11] and in a list of the 80 best BBC shows of all time.[12] In 2016, the series ranked eighth in The Independent's list of the twenty greatest police shows of all time[13] and third in a Radio Times 2018 poll of the best British crime dramas of all time.[14] In 2021 Line of Duty won the National Television Award for Special Recognition.[15]

Synopsis[edit]

Line of Duty follows DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston), 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 (Vicky McClure), a highly commended undercover officer with a keen investigative instinct. They work under the supervision of Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), uncovering corruption within the fictional Central Police Force. Throughout the series, AC-12 investigate seemingly disparate cases involving seemingly corrupt police officers such as DCI Tony Gates (Lennie James), DI Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes), Sergeant Danny Waldron (Daniel Mays), DCI Roseanne Huntley (Thandie Newton), undercover officer DS John Corbett (Stephen Graham) and DCI Joanne Davidson (Kelly Macdonald).

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.

Main cast[edit]

Character Played by Series Rank Unit
Steve Arnott Martin Compston Series 1–5 DS Counter Terrorism (S1 E1)

AC-12 (S1 E1 onwards)

Series 6 DI AC-12
Assigned to AC-12, the anti-corruption unit within the Central Constabulary. Previously, he served as a counter-terrorism officer. He transferred after he refused to collude with his colleagues following the fatal shooting of an innocent man. He was promoted to Detective Inspector from Detective Sergeant in the sixth series.
Kate Fleming Vicky McClure Series 1 DC AC-12 (undercover with TO-20)
Series 2 AC-12 (undercover with Missing Persons Unit)
Series 3 AC-12 (undercover with Specialist Firearms Command)
Series 4 DS AC-12 (undercover as DS from East Midlands Constabulary, seconded to Operation Trapdoor)
Series 5 DI AC-12
Series 6 Operation Lighthouse, Murder Investigation Team
An undercover specialist and consummate professional, Fleming is willing to investigate officers inside and outside AC-12. Initially a detective constable, she is promoted to Detective Sergeant at the end of the third series and to Detective Inspector following the fourth. She is married, though separated, with a son.
Ted Hastings Adrian Dunbar Series 1–present Superintendent AC-12
The senior investigating officer of AC-12. He recruited Arnott, Fleming and Cottan. Once a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, he is a Roman Catholic.
Anthony "Tony" Gates Lennie James Series 1 DCI TO-20
The head of the serious crime unit TO-20, Gates is renowned for returning the best crime figures of any unit in the Central Constabulary. It is this reputation, however, that leads AC-12 to his team. Suspected of corruption, Gates faces an internal affairs investigation that adds further complications to his troubled home life.
Lindsay Denton Keeley Hawes Series 2 DI CID, 4th Street Station (S2E1)

Missing Person Unit, 4th Street Station (S2E1 onwards)

Series 3 On parole N/A
Being the commander of an ambushed convoy transporting a protected witness, resulting in the deaths of the other police officers, Denton is charged with conspiracy to commit murder. She attempts to convince AC-12 of her innocence and regain her reputation, but eventually receives a life sentence. In series 3, Denton is granted an appeal and is acquitted because of an alleged sexual relationship with Arnott while she was being investigated. She discovers crucial evidence pertaining to the Danny Waldron murder investigation and historical child sex abuse. When she rejects Cottan's bribe for her to conceal the evidence, he kills her.
Matthew "Dot" Cottan Craig Parkinson Series 1 DS TO-20
Series 2–3 DI AC-9 (S2 E1)

AC-12 (S2 E1 onwards)

An AC-12 officer, was initially introduced as a DS on Tony Gates's TO-20 team. At the beginning of series two, he is promoted to DI and transferred to AC-9. Then he is seconded to AC-12 by Hastings. Cottan is "The Caddy", a fixer for an organised crime group. He is killed after escaping from AC-12 custody towards the end of the third series.
Danny Waldron Daniel Mays Series 3 Sergeant Strategic Firearms Command
Danny Waldron is an Authorised Firearms Officer (AFO). His armed response unit is investigated by AC-12, as a matter of routine following the shooting of a suspect. A deeper investigation is initiated when Arnott and Fleming discover the shooting may have been unlawful. Waldron is shot and killed by a colleague; his death results in an investigation into historic child sex abuse.
Roseanne "Roz" Huntley Thandie Newton Series 4 Detective Chief Inspector Operation Trapdoor (S4E1)

Major Violent Crime Unit (S4E2 onwards)

The senior investigating officer of Operation Trapdoor, at the centre of an AC-12 investigation for mishandling evidence.
John Corbett Stephen Graham Series 5 Detective Sergeant Operation Pear Tree
Corbett is an undercover police officer using the name John Clayton, who has been uncontactable for several months. He then appears as the gang leader of an organised crime group that hijacked a police convoy transporting seized drugs.
Patricia Carmichael Anna Maxwell Martin Series 5 Detective Chief Superintendent AC-3, East Midlands Constabulary
Series 6 Joint Professional Standards Unit, East Midlands Constabulary & Central Police
The senior investigating officer of AC-3, who is drafted in to review AC-12's handling of the Corbett investigation. In series 6, Carmichael assumes control of AC-12.
Joanne Davidson Kelly Macdonald Series 6 Detective Chief Inspector Operation Lighthouse, Murder Investigation Team
Acting Detective Superintendent
The SIO of "Operation Lighthouse"; the investigation into the murder of a journalist, Gail Vella. Her unconventional conduct raises suspicions at AC-12.[6][16][17]

Supporting cast[edit]

  • Brian McCardie as Tommy Hunter (series 1–2)
  • Neil Morrissey as DC Nigel Morton (series 1–3)
  • Nigel Boyle as DI/DCI/DSU Ian Buckells (series 1, 4, 6)
  • Paul Higgins as CS/ACC Derek Hilton (series 1, 4)
  • Elliot Rosen (series 1) and Tommy Jessop (series 5–6) as Terry Boyle
  • Tomi May as Miroslav Minkowicz (series 1, 5)
  • Gregory Piper as Ryan Pilkington (series 1), PC Ryan Pilkington (series 5–6)
  • Owen Teale as Chief Inspector/Chief Constable Phillip Osbourne (series 1, 6)
  • Tony Pitts as DCS Lester Hargreaves (series 2, 4, 5)
  • Christina Chong as DS/DI Nicola Rogerson (series 2, 3, 6)
  • Andrea Irvine as Roisin Hastings (series 2, 5)
  • Maria Connolly as Alison Merchant, corrupt prison officer (series 2, 5, 6)
  • Maya Sondhi as PC Maneet Bindra (series 3–5)
  • Aiysha Hart as DS Sam Railston (series 3–6)
  • Polly Walker as Gill Biggeloe, special counsel to the police and crime commissioner (series 3, 5)
  • George Costigan as former CS Patrick Fairbank (series 3, 6)
  • Patrick FitzSymons as DCI Mark Moffatt (series 4–5)
  • Patrick Baladi as Jimmy Lakewell (series 4, 6)
  • Anneika Rose as PC/PS Farida Jatri (series 4, 6)
  • Ace Bhatti as PCC Rohan Sindwhani (series 5–6)
  • Elizabeth Rider as DCC Andrea Wise (series 5–6)
  • Amy De Bhrún as Steph Corbett (series 5–6)
  • Rosa Escoda as Amanda Yao (series 5–6)
  • Alastair Natkiel as Lee Banks (series 5–6)

Series 1[edit]

Series 2[edit]

Series 3[edit]

Series 4[edit]

Series 5[edit]

  • Rochenda Sandall as Lisa McQueen
  • Taj Atwal as PC Tatleen Sohota
  • Susan Vidler as Det Supt Alison Powell
  • Sian Reese-Williams as Sergeant Jane Cafferty
  • Richard Pepple as Sergeant Kyle Ferringham
  • Maanuv Thiara as Vihaan Malhotra
  • Laura Elphinstone as DI Michelle Brandyce
  • Natalie Gavin as Sergeant Martina "Tina" Tranter

Series 6[edit]

The Invest NI headquarters in Belfast depicts AC-12's headquarters

Episodes[edit]

SeriesEpisodesOriginally airedAverage viewership
(in millions)[note 1]
First airedLast airedNetwork
1526 June 2012 (2012-06-26)24 July 2012 (2012-07-24)BBC Two3.80
2612 February 2014 (2014-02-12)19 March 2014 (2014-03-19)3.43
3624 March 2016 (2016-03-24)28 April 2016 (2016-04-28)5.42
4626 March 2017 (2017-03-26)30 April 2017 (2017-04-30)BBC One9.55
5631 March 2019 (2019-03-31)5 May 2019 (2019-05-05)12.85
6721 March 2021 (2021-03-21)2 May 2021 (2021-05-02)15.39
  1. ^ Series 1-2 based on 7 day data. Series 3-5 based on 28 day data.

Production[edit]

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.[18] 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.[19]

Locations[edit]

Series one was filmed in Birmingham, including pub interiors in the Queen's Arms.[20] 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.[21] Many locations in Belfast have been used as filming locations; the offices of Invest Northern Ireland on Bedford Street depict the exterior of AC-12's headquarters.[22]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2012 2012 Royal Television Society Awards Actor (Male) Lennie James Nominated
Drama Series Line of Duty 1 Nominated
Writer – Drama Jed Mercurio Nominated
2012 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
2014 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
2015 Royal Television Society Awards Best Drama Series Line of Duty 2 Won
BAFTA Television Craft Awards Writer – Drama Jed Mercurio Nominated
BAFTA Television Awards Leading Actress Keeley Hawes Nominated
Supporting Actress Vicky McClure Nominated
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
2017 Royal Television Society Awards Drama Series Line of Duty 3 Nominated
2017 Royal Television Society Awards Writer – Drama Jed Mercurio Nominated
BAFTA Television Awards 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 [23]
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 [24]
Royal Television Society Northern Ireland Best Drama Line of Duty 4 Won [25]
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 [26]
Best Actress Thandie Newton Nominated [26]
Writer's Award Jed Mercurio Won [26]
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 [27]
BAFTA Television Craft Awards Editing: Fiction Andrew McClelland Nominated [28]
BAFTA Television Awards Leading Actress Thandie Newton Nominated [29]
Supporting Actor Adrian Dunbar Nominated [29]
Drama Series Line of Duty 4 Nominated [29]
Virgin TV's Must-See Moment Huntley's Narrow Escape Nominated [29]
Televisual Bulldog Awards Best Drama Series Line of Duty 4 Won [30]
South Bank Sky Arts Awards TV Drama Nominated [31]
Edinburgh TV Awards Best UK Drama Nominated [32]
2019 TV Choice Awards Best Drama Series Line of Duty 5 Won [33]
Best Actor Adrian Dunbar Won
Martin Compston Nominated
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
2021 Nominated
GQ Men of the Year Awards Television Actor Won
National Television Awards Returning Drama Line of Duty 6 Won [34]
Special Recognition Award Won
Drama Performance Martin Compston Nominated
Adrian Dunbar Nominated
Vicky McClure Nominated
TV Choice Awards Best Drama Series Line of Duty 6 Won [35]
Best Actor Martin Compston Won
Adrian Dunbar Nominated
Best Actress Vicky McClure Won
TV Times Awards Favourite Drama Line of Duty 6 Pending [36]
Favourite Actor Martin Compston Pending
Favourite Actress Vicky McClure Pending

Home media[edit]

Kew Media (previously known as Content Media) handled international distribution of the series[37] until its collapse in 2020.[1]

DVD[edit]

Key
Song released as a single Indicates a product not yet released

DVD releases for Line of Duty:

Name Release dates No. of episodes Additional Information Ref
Region 2
Line of Duty: Series 1 26 June 2012 5 Two-disc box set including all five episodes from series one. [38]
Line of Duty: Series 2 12 February 2014 6 Two-disc box set including all six episodes from series two [39]
Line of Duty: Series 1 & 2 11 Four-disc box set including all 11 episodes from series one and two [40]
Line of Duty: Series 3 24 March 2016 6 Two-disc box set including all six episodes from series three [41]
Line of Duty: Series 4 8 May 2017 Two-disc box set including all six episodes from series four [42]
Line of Duty: Series 1–4 23 Eight-disc box set including all 23 episodes from series one to four [43]
Line of Duty: Series 5 6 May 2019 6 Two-disc box set including all six episodes from series five [44]
Line of Duty: Series 1–5 29 Ten-disc box set including all 29 episodes from series one to five [45]
Line of Duty: Series 6 31 May 2021 7 Two-disc box set including all seven episodes from series six [46]
Line of Duty: Series 1–6 36 Twelve-disc box set including all 36 episodes from series one to six [47]

Blu-ray[edit]

Blu-ray releases for Line of Duty:

Name Release dates Ep # Additional Information
Region B
Line of Duty: Series 1 10 April 2015[48] 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[49] 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[50] 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.[51]

Line of Duty series one to six will be released in a compilation Blu-ray box set.[51]

International broadcast[edit]

In Australia, as of 2021, the first five series are available across streaming services such as Britbox, Netflix, Acorn TV and Stan, but series six is exclusive to Britbox.[52]

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.[53][54] The first three series began airing on AMC on 4 April 2020.[55][56] 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.[57] [58]

References[edit]

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  57. ^ "Line of Duty S1 - Mystery | BritBox".

External links[edit]