Line of Duty (series 1)

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Line of Duty
Season 1
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of episodes5
Original networkBBC Two
Original release26 June (2012-06-26) –
24 July 2012 (2012-07-24)
Series chronology
Next →
Series 2
List of Line of Duty episodes

The first series of Line of Duty, consisting of five episodes, began broadcasting on 26 June 2012 on BBC Two. The series follows Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), D.S. Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) and D.C. Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) as they lead an investigation into the corrupt actions of D.C.I. Tony Gates (Lennie James). The series' supporting characters include D.S. Matthew Cottan (Craig Parkinson) and D.C. Nigel Morton (Neil Morrissey). The series is created and written by Jed Mercurio.


Main cast[edit]

Supporting cast[edit]

  • Neil Morrissey as D.C. Nigel Morton
  • Gina McKee as Jackie Laverty
  • Kate Ashfield as Jools Gates
  • Heather Craney as D.C.I. Alice Prior
  • Brian McCardie as Tommy Hunter
  • Gregory Piper as Ryan Pilkington
  • Tomi May as Miroslav Minkowicz
  • Elliot Rosen as Terry Boyle
  • Lauren O'Rourke as Keely Pilkington
  • Claire Keelan as D.S. Leah Janson
  • Nigel Boyle as D.I. Ian Buckells
  • Faraz Ayub as D.C. Deepak Kapoor
  • Paul Higgins as Chief Superintendent Derek Hilton
  • Owen Teale as Chief Inspector Philip Osborne
  • Fiona Boylan as P.C. Karen Larkin
  • Neet Mohan as P.C. Simon Bannerjee
  • Darren Morfitt as Sergeant Colin Brackley
  • Marie Critchley as Jane Hargreaves, social worker
  • Alison Lintott as Rita Bennett, civilian police investigator
  • Elisa Lasowski as Nadzia Wojcik, waitress at the Sunflower Cafe
  • Dylan Duffus as Wesley Duke
  • Tommy Jessop as Terry Boyle


No. in
Title [1]Directed byOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions) [2]
11"A Disastrous Affair"David Caffrey26 June 2012 (2012-06-26)3.76
A counter-terrorist police raid results in the death of an innocent man when raiding the wrong flat. DS Arnott refuses to take part in a cover-up and is recruited to AC-12, an anti-corruption team led by Superintendent Hastings. Arnott's first investigation is focused on DCI Tony Gates, the senior officer of TO-20 within Central Police CID, who has a suspiciously high clearance rate thought to be due to "laddering" – attributing numerous different charges to the same defendant to increase an officer's number of successful cases. Initially, Hastings interviews Gates on a minor charge – failure to report accepting a free breakfast for apprehending a mugger outside a local café. Gates reassures his lover, Jackie Laverty, after she claims to have hit a dog after drink driving on her way home from a work party. Laverty reports her car as stolen and Gates helps cover up the incident by faking a break-in at her home. When he hears of the cases that have come in overnight, he discovers that Laverty killed a man, not a dog as she claimed. Fleming, currently undercover in CID, informs Gates that crime statistics on the Bog estate are on the rise, before requesting to join TO-20. Gates asks his team to survey two suspected drug dealers who are operating from a derelict house, but Cottan and Kapoor leave their post early and the two dealers are found murdered next day. Laverty makes a statement about the hit and run to an intelligence officer, but fails to disclose her role. When the victim is identified as Laverty's accountant, Gurjit Patel, Gates gains access to the police records, and deletes the missing persons report – but not before Arnott manages to take a look.
22"The Assault"David Caffrey3 July 2012 (2012-07-03)3.84
Gates continues his investigation into the double murder of the two suspected drug dealers, and forces a less than co-operative witness to talk by threatening to label him a police snitch. Meanwhile, PC Bannerjee and PC Larkin respond to a silent alarm at a block of flats and catch a burglar in the act. During interrogation, he confesses to a number of other offences, including a break-in at the house of a pensioner whose complaints are being dealt with by Fleming. Arnott interviews Nadzia, the waitress who gave Gates the free breakfast, and she reveals that a tall, slim and dark-haired woman was in the cafe with Gates. A search on the police database reveals that a number of burglaries committed by the offender caught by Bannerjee and Larkin were at properties owned by Laverty Holdings PLC. After visiting one of these, Arnott suspects that Laverty is running a money-laundering operation. The investigating team realise that the dealers' murderers cannot have found what they were looking for, but find a secret hiding place, where they suspect the drugs may have been stashed, which has since been emptied. Gates confronts Laverty over the death of her accountant. She invents a story but Gates realises that she was laundering money. Gates arrests her, but on the way to the police station she persuades him to release her. Meanwhile, another drug dealer is found dead on the estate, but Fleming realises that Gates has disappeared and informs Arnott. While Gates and Laverty are together in her house, masked intruders force their way in. Gates is knocked unconscious, Laverty is murdered, and Gates' fingerprints are placed on the murder weapon.
33"In the Trap"David Caffrey10 July 2012 (2012-07-10)3.80
Arnott arrives at Laverty's house, following a tip-off from Fleming, to find Gates apparently searching the property, claiming that he has come to arrest Laverty. Whilst at the property, Gates tampers with evidence, hiding his whisky glass and wiping his prints from the bottle just as his team arrives. Arnott demands that Forensics dust for prints in the hope of proving that Gates was at the property before Laverty disappeared. Hastings and Arnott haul Gates in for questioning. Gates confirms that Laverty was an old flame, but denies all knowledge of the money laundering scam. His hesitation raises their suspicions. Hastings informs Gates' senior officer that he is to be taken off the Laverty case. Fleming looks at CCTV from the night of the murder of the two drug dealers, and finds footage which suggests that the killers circled the area in a car with false ("cloned") number plates until Cottan and Kapoor left. Gates frantically tries to dispose of the whisky glass from Laverty's house. The cloned car is spotted, and Gates and Morton give chase. During the pursuit, Gates is kidnapped and taken to a warehouse where he is shown Laverty's body and told to stay quiet, or the knife with his fingerprints on will be handed to the police. Arnott acts on a tip-off to say the whisky glass is hidden in a storm drain, based on false information that Gates gave to three of his officers, including Fleming, to test their loyalty. Kapoor is implicated and forced to leave Gates' team.
44"Terror"Douglas Mackinnon17 July 2012 (2012-07-17)3.87
Fleming suggests to Arnott that the link between Laverty's money laundering scam and Gates may be his children's expensive school fees. The school confirms that Laverty paid the deposit and the first full term in cash. After suffering a crisis of conscience, Arnott agrees to stay with AC-12. Hastings interviews the rest of Gates' squad over the 'laddering' charge. Morton refuses to comment, Fleming sticks to her cover and backs up Gates. During Hastings' interrogation of Cottan, about the night of the surveillance on Greek Lane, Cottan claims that Gates ordered him and Kapoor to go off duty early, creating a gap in surveillance that enabled the killers to strike. Forensic evidence at the crime scene and Arabic books belonging to the victims lead Gates to concoct a cover story regarding a possible terrorism plot. Gates finds the location where he was held, but Laverty's body has disappeared. He receives another call from 'Tommy', who informs him that he wants Arnott out of the way. Morton catches Fleming with two phones; realising she is AC-12 mole, he assaults her and drives away. Arnott receives a phone call from one of Laverty's tenants claiming to have information linking Gates to the gang. When Arnott arrives at the meeting, he finds Gates colluding with the gang. Before he can escape, he is ambushed and tied to a chair, with his right hand in a vice. Gates drives away.
55"The Probation"Douglas Mackinnon24 July 2012 (2012-07-24)3.72

Gates returns to rescue Arnott from the hands of his torturers. Arnott, by now convinced that Gates is innocent of the murders and can lead him to the killers, pretends that Gates did not play any part in his kidnapping. With her cover blown, Fleming is forced to leave TO-20, bringing her into conflict with Morton again. Cottan is assigned to replace Gates on the triple murder case, while Arnott's former counter-terrorism Chief Inspector is brought in to oversee the operation into apprehending the suspected terrorists. Fleming interviews Ryan Pilkington, the teenager who acts as a courier for the organised crime group, who denies any knowledge of 'Tommy' or the murder of Laverty, but reveals to Fleming that it was Gates who rescued Arnott. Fleming, upset that her colleague lied to her, informs Hastings. Arnott uses Morton to set up a midnight rendezvous with Gates, who tries to convince Arnott that he has never 'crossed the line', and that he was forced to turn rogue by the sequence of events. Arnott persuades Hastings to let him use Gates to get to 'Tommy'. Hastings agrees to put a tap on the phone network used by 'Tommy' until one of his many phone numbers is re-activated. Arnott primes Gates, who convinces his wife to let him spend one final hour with his children. When the phone number is re-activated, Gates, Arnott and Fleming trail 'Tommy' to the Edge Park golf club. Gates arrests Tommy Hunter, who reveals that his boys were responsible for the murder of Laverty and the three drug dealers. Hunter claims that the murders were committed by 'an inside man, someone special to him' who 'always follows orders'. As Arnott and Fleming catch up with them, Gates, realising his career is over, tells Arnott to say that he was killed in the line of duty, before committing suicide by walking in front of a lorry. After Hunter is arrested, Cottan asks for a few moments with him, and privately tips him off about the terrorism theory.

In the epilogue, Gates' family receives a death-in-service benefit of £107,000 plus a pension for life. Arnott testifies, but his former counter-terrorism colleagues are acquitted of any wrongdoing. The evidence obtained on Hunter is never used, and he is put in the witness protection system. The case against Gates is closed.


The series received critical acclaim upon its release. Sonia Saraiya of the AV Club wrote “It's a complex world and there's a lot going on... That suggests that the show could even improve, as the audience gets to know the characters more. Either way, it is well worth watching.”[3] Sarah Hughes of The Guardian wrote early in the series that the show was getting steadily stronger as each episode improved,[4] though by the finale she criticised the pace, feeling some elements of the story felt “rushed.”[5]

Censure by Ofcom[edit]

Following the complaint of one viewer, the media regulator Ofcom found the BBC had breached Rule 1.28 of the Code in 2012, specifically that there was 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".[6] 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 and that programme makers had not followed the best practice advice of the BBC's Editorial Policy Unit. However, the regulator found that there was no actual harm, distress or anxiety caused to the child actor.[7]

Home entertainment releases[edit]


iTunes releases for Line of Duty

Name Release date Ep # Additional Information
Line of Duty, Series One 30 August 2013[8] 5

Blinkbox releases for Line of Duty

Name Release date Ep # Additional Information
Line of Duty, Series One 2013[9] 5
  • The complete first series
  • Ability to buy single episode(s) or whole series
  • Certificate 15
  • Standard-definition version

DVD releases for Line of Duty

Name Release dates Ep # Additional Information
Region 2
Line of Duty Series 1 3 February 2014[10] 5 The two-disc box set includes all five episodes from series one, with a classification age of 15.
Running time: 300 minutes.

Blu-ray releases for Line of Duty

Name Release dates Ep # Additional Information
Region B
Line of Duty: Series 1 10 April 2015[11] 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


  1. ^ "Line of Duty - Cops unter Verdacht - Season 1". Retrieved 2 May 2017 – via Amazon.
  2. ^ "Top 30 Programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 8 February 2014. (User must select "BBC1" in the Channel field and then select the appropriate year, month and week to retrieve the figure for each episode)
  3. ^ "Line of Duty:". AV Club. 21 August 2012. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  4. ^ "Line of Duty: series one, episode one". The Guardian. 26 June 2012. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  5. ^ "Line of Duty: series one, episode five". The Guardian. 24 July 2012. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  6. ^ BBC censured over violent Line of Duty scene featuring child actor Archived 27 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine, The Guardian, 17 December 2012. Accessed 27 April 2013.
  7. ^ Ofcom Broadcast Bulletin Issue number 220 (PDF), 17 December 2012, pp. 5–17, archived (PDF) from the original on 24 December 2012
  8. ^ "Line of Duty – Series One (iTunes)". Apple Inc. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  9. ^ "Line of Duty – Series (Blinkbox)". blinkbox Entertainment Limited. Archived from the original on 18 May 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  10. ^ "Line of Duty – Series One [DVD]". BBC Worldwide LTD. Archived from the original on 3 March 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  11. ^ "Line of Duty – Series One [Blu-ray]". BBC Worldwide LTD. Retrieved 10 April 2015.