Interview: Jed Mercurio, Line Of Duty

Jed MercurioOver two series, Line Of Duty has become one of the country’s big-hitting crime dramas, which provides something slightly different from your average police procedural. That something different is the fact that it’s the police investigating their own. It’s also fast, thrillery and writer Jed Mercurio has forged a reputation for taking us on twists and turns aplenty. Series three returns this week, and we managed to get a hold of an interview with Jed, which you can read after the jump.

The Killing Times: Does series three continue in the tradition of series one and two?
Jed Mercurio: Series three continues with the Line Of Duty tradition of having a new serial storyline in each series. We introduce a brand new police officer that is under investigation for corruption, Sergeant Daniel Waldron, who is played by Danny Mays. He is a firearms officer that is involved in the shooting of a suspect in suspicious circumstances. That brings in the investigating unit from AC-12, our recurring characters, Steve Arnott (Martin Compston), Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar).

TKT: Where do we find the main characters at the start of series three?
JM: A year and a half has gone by since the end of series two. In that time they’ve investigated a number of other cases, they’re more experienced and much more settled in their roles. In terms of their personal lives, things aren’t so rosy for Superintendent Hastings, who has separated from his wife, and the same goes for Kate Fleming. In contrast to that, Steve Arnott, who has had the most chequered personal life, has settled down into a relationship with another police officer.

TKT: Did getting two seasons commissioned back to back have an impact on writing series three?
JM: It was incredibly exciting to be commissioned to do two further series and we’re very grateful to the fans for supporting the show and the BBC for giving us the opportunity to do more, but in terms of writing I wanted series three to stand alone in the same way the other series have.

TKT: What excites you about series three?
JM: We’ve got a reputation for twists and turns and surprises and there are certainly a lot of those in store for viewers.

TKT: How is Line of Duty different to other police shows?
JM: There are a lot of police dramas on television and I think what makes Line Of Duty distinctive is that its cops versus cops. Most police shows are about hunting and chasing criminals, whereas we have police officers in a quest to bring other police officers to justice. Also we’re a serial so can do six hours of one story. That means we can get deeper into the story and have time to establish the direction of it, which allows us to do the big surprises.

TKT: Are the stakes higher in series three?
JM: The level of jeopardy is much higher. Danny Waldron is a firearms officer and carries a weapon. We see in Episode One that he is someone who will take very violent steps if he feels that’s the right thing for him to do.

TKT: Why do you think Line Of Duty has been so successful?
JM: I’m excited and flattered by the success of it. It’s always hard to diagnose what makes something successful but all you can hope is that if but all you can hope is that if you stay true to the characters and stay true to the style of the show, people will keep coming back.

Line Of Duty III: Thursday 24th March, 9pm, BBC2

For all our news and review on Line Of Duty, go here


One Comment Add yours

  1. Sarah says:

    Great interview Paul! I’m late to the party this time having only just discovered ‘Line of Duty’ on I-player. That said, I’m bingeing like crazy to catch up as the writing is so damn good. It’s high octane stuff, and like you say, a really interesting twist to the usual police procedural series.


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