It’s a rocky ride for those in the Line of Duty

Sunday: Line of Duty; (BBC One, 9pm)
DS Steve Arnott, Superintendent Ted Hastings, DI Kate Fleming and DCI Joanne DavidsonDS Steve Arnott, Superintendent Ted Hastings, DI Kate Fleming and DCI Joanne Davidson
DS Steve Arnott, Superintendent Ted Hastings, DI Kate Fleming and DCI Joanne Davidson

Back in August 2011, the BBC press office announced plans to make a police series written by Jed Mercurio, whose best known work up to that point was on the medical dramas Bodies and Cardiac Arrest.

The new show would be called Line of Duty and follow the work of officers trying to stamp out corruption within the force. It sounded intriguing and had a decent cast, but nobody expected it to become appointment TV, a ratings juggernaut that shows no sign of slowing down.

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Almost 10 years on from that unassuming memo, we’re about to be treated to season six, albeit slightly later than originally planned. Filming began before the first lockdown, but then went on hiatus for half of the year before the cast and crew eventually returned.

Adrian Dunbar, who plays catchphrase-spouting DSI Ted Hastings so memorably, summed it up nicely when, at the resumption of filming, he remarked: “Even with the imposition of Covid restrictions I can’t hide my excitement at getting the team back together. So many people wondering… what happens next?”

We are indeed! The previous run ended with the plot thickening around the mysterious H. We probably all have our theories of who it might be – with some even claiming it’s Hastings himself. But that would surely be too obvious, wouldn’t it…?

Alongside trying to unmask the supervillain, the members of AC-12 have another case to solve. Kelly Macdonald of Trainspotting, Boardwalk Empire and No Country For Old Men fame joins the cast as DCI Joanne Davidson, their latest foe.

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“We’re honoured that Kelly Macdonald will join Martin Compston, Vicky McClure and Adrian Dunbar in series six of Line Of Duty,” says Mercurio. “Joanne will prove the most enigmatic adversary AC-12 have ever faced.”

When we first meet her, she seems to be the model cop. Dogged and dedicated, she is appears to be thrilled when new evidence comes to light that should allow her to bring to an end a year-long investigation into a baffling murder. However, when her conduct is called into question, DS Steve Arnott, DI Kate Fleming and their boss Hastings take note. The trio soon uncover dark secrets that suggest there’s far more to Davidson than meets the eye…

Once each episode of the latest series is over, fans can then get the lowdown on what’s happened in new podcast Obsessed With… Line of Duty, hosted by Craig Parkinson, who played DI Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan, aka The Caddy, in the first three series.

“Returning to the world of Line Of Duty, this time as a podcast host, is very exciting,” he claims. “I’m looking forward to chatting with some fantastic guests, cast members old and new and getting as frustrated as everyone else trying to work out where AC-12 are taking us this season.

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“As someone who’s been deep on the inside, I’m well aware we’ll be in for a rollercoaster ride and hosting the podcast side by side, week by week, we’ll be able to delve deep into the files and fan theories of AC-12. Hold tight team!”

Don’t worry we will, because if previous runs are anything to go by, it’s going to be a rocky ride…

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