Line Of Duty: Lindsay Denton versus Roz Huntley

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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 Continue reading

Review: Line Of Duty (S4 E5/6), Sunday 24th April, BBC1

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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 Continue reading

Review: Line Of Duty (S4 E4/6), Sunday 16th April, BBC1

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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!

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Review: Line Of Duty (S4 E3/6), Sunday 9th April, BBC1

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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! Continue reading

Review: Line Of Duty (S2 E2/6), Sunday 2nd April, BBC1

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(C) World Productions – Photographer: Aidan Monaghan

Last week’s episode did rather stray into Inside No 9 territory towards the end, what with forensic officer Tim Ifield’s bargain-basement B&Q-style Chainsaw Massacre tribute on his kitchen floor. Although, had Roz Huntley (Thandie Newton) been torn asunder, it would have been as good a death scene as Messrs. Shearsmith and Pemberton could have dreamt up for their star players. The scene did pehaps err on the side of silly – indeed, had the late, great Graham Chapman’s Colonel from Monty Python popped up to say it was all getting too silly, we wouldn’t have been surprised in the slightest.

NB: Spoilers inside Continue reading

Review: Line Of Duty (S4 E1/6), Sunday 26th March, BBC1

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(C) World Productions – Photographer: Aidan Monaghan

When power meets trajectory, you get a series that can make your head spin; and Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio’s writing has a tendency to make the viewer feel like a low-ranking tennis player being hit full and hard in the face while trying to return a serve by Sam Groth.Worries had been expressed in some quarters that the switch from BBC Two to BBC One might have necessitated some compromises or ‘dumbing down’ for the more mainstream audience. ‘New viewers’ were duly thrust straight into a ferocious and cinematic trademark opening,but the end of this episode left we stalwarts wondering if our favourite cop series – in its effort to up the ante – was in danger of jumping the shark in spectacular fashion.

NB: Spoilers ahoy! Continue reading

Line Of Duty Preview: BBC confirms transmission date; first look

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It’s official: we are all allowed to get ready for what promises another spectacular series of Line Of Duty. Series three was when Jed Mercurio’s anthology series about police corruption really was catapulted into the stratosphere, going from cult hit to mega-hit. So much so, series four will now play out on BBC1 in the UK in a primetime slot (you can see confirmation after the jump). If you need to catch up on things Netflix is currently playing series one to three. The show had its series four launch in London a week or so ago and I was there for it, and so was writer/director Jed Mecurio and star Vicky McClure, as well as this series new guest protagonist, Thandie Newton. Over the jump is a spoiler-free preview. Continue reading