Even though it’s almost a week since it has finished, Line Of Duty is still dominating the crime drama headlines. The BBC held its annual BBC Drama launch the other night in London, and, as ever, there were some juicy crime drama tidbits that emerged from the party. Tony Hall, the corporation’s boss of bosses no less, said in his speech when referring to Line Of Duty: “I am very excited to say there’s not one but two more series of Line of Duty. So hooray for AC-12!” That means there will be a fifth and a sixth series. Read on for more…
There’s a lot of detritus on the ground after the excellent series four finale of Line Of Duty. It’s like going to a music festival and waking up on the Monday morning after a heavy weekend where not everything made sense, but was brilliant all the same; wading through acres of rubbish and seeing fellow festival-goes stagger around bleary-eyed and in a bit of a daze. Line Of Duty is that kind of series: intense, brilliant in places and utterly addictive. So, now series four is done and dusted, here’s a round-up of Line Of Duty news.
Normally we wouldn’t bother with such business wheeling and dealing new items – this site is, after all, about the viewer experience and the end product itself – but I felt this was quite significant. Or at least could be. World Productions, the people behind things like In Plain Sight, The Great Train Robbery, The Bletchley Circle and, currently, Channel 4’s Born To Kill and Line Of Duty, has a new owner. That owner is ITV.
I love Line Of Duty. I love Steve Arnott and his chippy little ways; I love Kate Fleming’s calm insouciance; I love Ted Hastings and his paternal, old-fashioned sheriff ways; and, more to the point, I love the fact that writer and director Jed Mercurio has torn up the rule book when it comes to crime drama. He kills people – established characters no less – without too much concern. Big-name actors, too. I love the fact that the characters he allows to stick around are deeply flawed but have so much ambiguity you don’t know whether you’re coming or going with them. Lenny James’ Tony Gates, Keeley Hawes’ Lindsay Denton, Daniel Mays’ Danny Waldron. and not forgetting Craig Parkinson’s Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan. Heck, even the members of AC-12 are hardly heroes in the traditional sense. They all had so much going on with their characters – nuances, depth, emotional entry points. You weren’t sure whether to love them or hate them. So the addition of Thandie Newton – a seriously good actress – and her character DCI Roz Huntley should have been a shoo-in into this esteemed gang of flawed are-they-aren’t-they characters. But with the series finale looming large on the horizon, I’m still waiting for the moment when things click with me with Roz Huntley. As dazzling and as addictive as the show is, I’m not quite there with it this series. Why?
NB: Spoilers inside
After last week’s shocking cliffhanger (when isn’t there a shocking cliffhanger in Line Of Duty?) we couldn’t wait to see whether our chippy wee fella Steve Arnott continued his recovery, and whether Roz Huntley and her husband Nick’s relationship – Jeremy Kyle will surely come calling after this series – further dissipated. All bubbling up nicely…
NB: Spoilers from the start
Talk about a cliffhanger – Steve’s attack by Balaclava Man and subsequent plunge down a stairwell must count as one of the most shocking moments in modern drama. What’s the betting we’re kept hanging for ages before we discover whether he lives, or dies?
NB: Spoilers ahoy!
Huntley’s digging herself deeper and deeper into dishonesty, with the murder of Tim Ifield layered on her presumed framing of Farmer – but at the moment she’s in complete control of the situation, able to manipulate the evidence and investigations as she pleases. But we reckon that Kate, done down from every side by her own colleagues as well as by Huntley’s, will be the one to crack the case – possibly over a cosy coffee with Huntley’s increasingly dodgy-looking husband Nick.
NB: Spoilers ahoy!