The highly acclaimed Line Of Duty will be back on our TV screens towards the end of March, 2021, the BBC has confirmed. Particularly popular in this quarter, as much of the content elsewhere on this website features policing issues and officer misconduct, writes Neil Wilby.
For two years, devoted fans have been keenly anticipating the sixth instalment of the highly acclaimed police drama, based around an anti-corruption unit codenamed AC-12, and racking brains as to whom the enigmatic ‘H’ could be. A very corrupt and influential senior officer (or policing official) as yet to be unmasked.
An attempt to frame Superintendent Ted Hastings as ‘H’ in the last series failed as a result of the efforts of his subordinates. There were also dark references to Masonic influence and a suggestion that there may be a corrupt group at work, rather than a single officer.
Series five, the most edgy yet and featuring undercover officers inserted into a serious and organised crime group, aired between March and May 2019, left viewers on that particular cliff edge – and reeling as it was revealed there were four corrupt officers at or near the top of the hierarchy: Gill Biggeloe (senior aide to the police and crime commissioner), Assistant Chief Constable Derek Hilton and AC-12’s own DI Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan, with the final member, or members, remaining at large.
A trailer, aired during the Wales v England Six Nations rugby match on BBC One yesterday afternoon, revealed the show’s imminent return.
Filming for series six began in Belfast in February 2020. However, the virus epidemic halted shooting when the UK went into lockdown the following month. There were rumours that the schedule may be completely overhauled as a result, but it was later confirmed that the cast returned to Belfast to continue filming in October 2020.
Regular stars Vicky McClure (Detective Inspector Kate Fleming), Adrian Dunbar (Hastings) and Martin Compston (Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott) all return, whilst the show also sees Shalom Brune-Franklin play a new recruit to the AC-12 team, Detective Constable Chloe Bishop.
Kelly Macdonald (best known as Trainspotting star, Diane Coulston) makes her debut as guest lead: Detective Chief Inspector Joanne Davidson, the senior investigating officer on an unsolved murder case whose suspicious conduct attracts the attention of anti-corruption officers. Kelly also appeared in a supporting role in one of my all-time favourite films, Gosford Park.
Polly Walker and Maya Sondhi will be missed as Gill Biggelow and PC Maneet Bindra. Two fine actresses who contributed significantly in the previous series. But the outstanding actress, or actor, across the history of the programme will not be appearing again: Keeley Hawes who played Detective Inspector Lindsay Denton in series two and three.
Line Of Duty returns in the prime 9pm to 10pm slot on Sunday 21st March on BBC One. It will air weekly at the same time. The series features seven episodes, making it the longest to date as the extended break did, in the event, create an unexpected bonus, as it allowed series creator Jed Mercurio to write and produce the extra programme.
Who else can’t wait?
Page last updated on Thursday 4th March, 2021 at 0935hrs
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