Line of Duty

Line of Duty is a British BBC police procedural television series created by Jed Mercurio and produced by World Productions. The first series premiered on 26 June 2012 and became BBC Two's best-performing drama series in ten years with a consolidated audience of 4.1 million viewers.[1] The second series broadcast began on 12 February 2014;[2] its widespread public and critical acclaim, led to the BBC commissioning a further two series.[3][4][5] The third series broadcast began on 24 March 2016, and the fourth on 26 March 2017 on BBC One. The fifth series was completed at the end of 2018 and broadcast began on BBC One on 31 March 2019. The BBC has ordered a sixth series.[6]

Line of Duty
Genre
Created byJed Mercurio
Written byJed Mercurio
Directed by
Starring
Theme music composer
Carly Paradis
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series5
No. of episodes29 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Stephen Wright (BBC)
Simon Heath (World Productions)
Jed Mercurio (Series 2–5)
Producer(s)Jed Mercurio (Series 1)
Peter Norris (Series 2–3)
Cait Collins (Series 4)
Production location(s)Birmingham (Series 1)
Belfast (Series 2–5)
CinematographyRuairi O'Brien (Series 1–2)
Peter Robertson (Series 3)
Anna Valdez Hanks (Series 4)
Stephen Murphy (Series 4)
Running time56–58 minutes
Production company(s)World Productions
DistributorKew Media
Release
Original networkBBC Two (2012–2016)
BBC One (2017–)
Picture format16:9 1080i
Audio formatDolby Digital
Original release26 June 2012 (2012-06-26) 
present
External links
BBC website
Production website

It is the most popular drama series broadcast on BBC Two in the multi-channel era[7] and is a winner of the Royal Television Society Award[8] and Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Drama Series.[9] Line of Duty was included in a list of the Top 50 BBC Two shows of all-time[10] and in a list of the 80 best BBC shows of all time.[11] It was the highest-ranked current series in a list of the best police shows of all time[12] and third in a poll of the best British crime dramas of all time.[13]

Synopsis

Line of Duty follows D.S. Steve Arnott (Martin Compston), an Authorised Firearms Officer transferred to Anti-Corruption Unit 12 (AC-12) after refusing to cover-up an unlawful shooting by members of his own team. Arnott is partnered with D.C. Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure), a highly-commended undercover officer with a keen investigative instinct, who is swiftly promoted to D.S. (in series 4), and D.I. (in series 5). They work under the supervision of Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), who is one of several Senior Investigating Officers (along with D.C.S. Patricia Carmichael (Anna Maxwell Martin) of AC-3 and those of AC-9) responsible for uncovering corruption within the police force. Throughout the series, AC-12 investigate seemingly disparate cases involving seemingly-corrupt police officers such as D.C.I. Tony Gates (Lennie James), D.I. Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes), Sergeant Danny Waldron (Daniel Mays), D.C.I. Roseanne Huntley (Thandie Newton) and undercover officer D.S. John Corbett (Stephen Graham). AC-12 realise the pervasive nature of corruption and the police's deep-rooted links to an organised crime group.

Cast

  • Martin Compston as Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott, a detective sergeant assigned to AC-12, the anti-corruption unit within Central Police. Previously, he served as a counter-terrorism officer. He transferred after he refused to collude with his colleagues following the fatal shooting of an innocent man.
  • Vicky McClure as Detective Inspector Kate Fleming, an undercover specialist. A consummate professional, Fleming is willing to investigate officers inside and outside AC-12. Initially a detective constable, she is promoted to detective sergeant at the end of the third series and to detective inspector following the fourth. Fleming is married with a son.
  • Adrian Dunbar as Superintendent Ted Hastings, the senior investigating officer of AC-12. He recruited Arnott, Fleming and Cottan. Once a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, it is revealed that Hastings is a Freemason.
  • Craig Parkinson as Detective Inspector Matthew "Dot" Cottan (series 1, 2 & 3), an AC-12 officer, initially introduced as a Sergeant on Tony Gates' TO-20 team. At the beginning of series 2, he is promoted to detective inspector and transferred to AC-9. He is seconded to AC-12 by Hastings. Cottan is revealed to be "The Caddy", working as a fixer for the organised crime group throughout the three series. He is killed at the close of the third series having escaped from AC-12 custody.
  • Lennie James as Detective Chief Inspector Anthony "Tony" Gates (series 1), the head of the serious crime unit TO-20, Tony Gates is renowned for returning the best crime figures of any unit in Central Police. It is this reputation, however, that leads AC-12 to his team. Suspected of corruption, Gates faces an internal affairs investigation that adds further complications to his troubled home-life.
  • Keeley Hawes as Detective Inspector Lindsay Denton (series 2 & 3), a silver commander who organises a convoy to transport a protected witness which is ambushed, resulting in the deaths of all the other police officers. As the only police survivor, Denton is arrested, charged with conspiracy to commit murder. She attempts to convince AC-12 of her innocence and regain her reputation, but eventually receives a life sentence. In series 3, Denton is granted an appeal, and is acquitted on the basis of an improper sexual relationship Arnott had with her while she was being investigated. She discovers crucial evidence pertaining to the Danny Waldron murder investigation and historical child sex abuse but after refusing to accept a bribe to conceal that evidence, she is murdered by "The Caddy".
  • Daniel Mays as Sergeant Danny Waldron (series 3), designated Victor Charlie 5-3, is an Authorised Firearms Officer (A.F.O.). Waldron and his armed response unit are investigated by AC-12, as a matter of routine, following the shooting of a suspect during an operation. A deeper investigation is initiated when Arnott and Fleming discover the shooting may have been unlawful. Waldron is shot and killed by a colleague; his death results in the opening of an investigation into historic child sex abuse.
  • Thandie Newton as Detective Chief Inspector Roseanne "Roz" Huntley (series 4), the senior investigating officer of Operation Trapdoor, and at the centre of an AC-12 investigation for mishandling evidence.
  • Stephen Graham as Detective Sergeant John Corbett (series 5), Corbett is an undercover police officer who has been uncontactable for several months. He first appears as John Clayton, the gangleader of an organised crime group which hijacked a police convoy transporting seized drugs.
  • Anna Maxwell Martin as Detective Chief Superintendent Patricia Carmichael (series 5), the senior investigating officer of AC-3, who is drafted in to review AC-12's handling of the Corbett investigation.

Supporting cast

  • Brian McCardie as Tommy Hunter (series 1 & 2)
  • Neil Morrissey as D.C. Nigel Morton (series 1, 2 & 3)
  • Nigel Boyle as D.I./D.C.I. Ian Buckells (series 1 & 4)
  • Paul Higgins as C.S.U./A.C.C. Derek Hilton (series 1 & 4)
  • Patrick FitzSymons as D.C.I. Mark Moffatt (series 4 & 5)
  • Elliot Rosen (series 1) and Tommy Jessop (series 5) as Terry Boyle
  • Tomi May as Miroslav Minkowicz (series 1 & 5)
  • Gregory Piper as Ryan Pilkington (series 1 & 5)
  • Tony Pitts as D.C.S. Lester Hargreaves (series 2, 4 & 5)
  • Andrea Irvine as Roisin Hastings (series 2 & 5)
  • Maya Sondhi as P.C. Maneet Bindra (series 3, 4 & 5)
  • Aiysha Hart as D.S. Sam Railston (series 3, 4 & 5)
  • Polly Walker as Gill Biggeloe, special counsel to the police and crime commissioner (series 3 & 5)

Series 1

Series 2

Series 3

Series 4

Series 5

  • Rochenda Sandall as Lisa McQueen
  • Alastair Natkiel as Lee Banks
  • Taj Atwal as P.C. Tatleen Sohota
  • Susan Vidler as D.S.U. Alison Powell
  • Ace Bhatti as Police and Crime Commissioner Rohan Sindwhani
  • Sian Reese-Williams as Sergeant Jane Cafferty
  • Richard Pepple as Sergeant Kyle Ferringham
  • Maanuv Thiara as Vihaan Malhotra
  • Laura Elphinstone as D.I. Michelle Brandyce
  • Natalie Gavin as Sergeant Tina Tranter

Episodes

SeriesEpisodesOriginally airedAverage viewership
(in millions)[note 1]
First airedLast airedNetwork
1526 June 2012 (2012-06-26)24 July 2012 (2012-07-24)BBC Two3.80
2612 February 2014 (2014-02-12)19 March 2014 (2014-03-19)3.43
3624 March 2016 (2016-03-24)28 April 2016 (2016-04-28)5.42
4626 March 2017 (2017-03-26)30 April 2017 (2017-04-30)BBC One9.55
5631 March 2019 (2019-03-31)5 May 2019 (2019-05-05)12.86
  1. Series 1-2 based on 7 day data. Series 3-5 based on 28 day data.

Production

Line of Duty was created and written by Jed Mercurio. The first two series were produced by World Productions, on behalf of BBC Two. David Caffrey and Douglas Mackinnon directed series one. Mackinnon directed the first three episodes of series two and Daniel Nettheim directed the remaining three episodes. Mercurio produced series one and acted as executive producer for series two, with Peter Norris taking over as producer for series two.

Inspiration

Although the police refused to co-operate with the programme's producers, the production team was advised anonymously by serving officers and by retired police officers. Use was made of anonymous police blogs.[14]

Locations

Series one was filmed in Birmingham, including pub interiors in the Queen's Arms.[15] Series two, three, four and five were made in Northern Ireland by BBC Northern Ireland. The exact location is never mentioned, although maps of Birmingham appear on walls and telephone numbers use an 0121 area code, again indicating Birmingham. The fictional 01632 phone code is also seen. Various postcodes seen on paper and screen have the Birmingham 'B' or Milton Keynes 'MK' prefix. The police forces referred to are the fictional Central Constabulary and the fictional East Midlands Constabulary. A photo gallery of exterior scenes from series two shows the 4th Street Station on Ormeau Avenue in Belfast.[16]

Awards and nominations

YearAssociationCategoryNominee(s)Result
20122012 Royal Television Society AwardsActor (Male)Lennie JamesNominated
Drama SeriesLine of Duty 1Nominated
Writer – DramaJed MercurioNominated
2012 Royal Television Society Midlands AwardsBest Drama/Fictional ProgrammeLine of Duty 1Won
Best Acting Performance (Male)Lennie JamesWon
Best Acting NewcomerGregory PiperWon
2012 Crime Thriller AwardsThe TV DaggerLine of Duty 1Nominated
20132013 Broadcast AwardsBest Drama Series or SerialNominated
2013 South Bank Sky Arts AwardsTV DramaNominated
Broadcasting Press Guild AwardsBest TV DramaNominated
20142014 Freesat AwardsLine of Duty 2Won
2014 Crime Thriller AwardsThe TV DaggerNominated
Best Actress DaggerKeeley HawesWon
Best Supporting Actress DaggerVicky McClureNominated
BAFTA ScotlandBest Actor – TelevisionMark BonnarNominated
2014 Royal Television Society Craft & Design AwardsBest Editing – DramaAndrew McClellandWon
2015Writers' Guild of Great BritainTV Drama – Long FormJed MercurioNominated
2015 Broadcast AwardsBest Drama Series or SerialLine of Duty 2Nominated
International Programme SalesNominated
Broadcasting Press Guild AwardsBest Drama SeriesNominated
Best Drama WriterJed MercurioNominated
2015 Royal Television Society AwardsBest Drama SeriesLine of Duty 2Won
BAFTA Television Craft AwardsWriter - DramaJed MercurioNominated
BAFTA Television AwardsLeading ActressKeeley HawesNominated
Supporting ActressVicky McClureNominated
Drama SeriesLine of Duty 2Nominated
2015 South Bank Sky Arts AwardsTV DramaNominated
Royal Television Society Northern Ireland AwardsBest DramaWon
2016TV Choice AwardsBest Drama SeriesLine of Duty 3Nominated
BAFTA ScotlandBest Director – TelevisionMichael KeillorNominated
Royal Television Society Northern IrelandBest DramaLine of Duty 3Nominated
2017Broadcast AwardsBest Drama Series or SerialNominated
Broadcasting Press Guild AwardsBest TV Drama SeriesNominated
Broadcasting Press Guild AwardsBest ActressKeeley HawesWon
2017 Royal Television Society AwardsDrama SeriesLine of Duty 3Nominated
2017 Royal Television Society AwardsWriter – DramaJed MercurioNominated
BAFTA Television AwardsSupporting ActorDaniel MaysNominated
Virgin TV's Must-See MomentUrgent Exit RequiredNominated
Celtic Media FestivalBest Drama SeriesLine of Duty 3Won
Diversity in Media AwardsTV Programme of the YearNominated
TV Moment of the YearUrgent Exit RequiredNominated
TV Moment of the YearDCI Roz Huntley InterviewNominated
TV Choice AwardsBest DramaLine of Duty 4Nominated
British Screenwriters' AwardsBest Crime Writing on TelevisionJed MercurioWon
Royal Television Society Northern IrelandBest DramaLine of Duty 4Won
2018Writers' Guild of Great BritainTV Drama – Long FormJed MercurioNominated
National Television AwardsCrime DramaLine of Duty 4Nominated
Irish Film and Television AcademyDramaNominated
Actor in a Leading Role - DramaAdrian DunbarNominated
Broadcasting Press Guild AwardsBest Drama SeriesLine of Duty 4Won
Best ActressThandie NewtonNominated
Writer's AwardJed MercurioWon
Royal Television SocietyActor (Female)Thandie NewtonNominated
Voice of the Listener & Viewer Awards for Excellence in BroadcastingBest TV Drama ProgrammeLine of Duty 4Won
BAFTA Television Craft AwardsEditing: FictionAndrew McClellandNominated
BAFTA Television AwardsLeading ActressThandie NewtonNominated
Supporting ActorAdrian DunbarNominated
Drama SeriesLine of Duty 4Nominated
Virgin TV's Must-See MomentHuntley's Narrow EscapeNominated
Televisual Bulldog AwardsBest Drama SeriesLine of Duty 4Won
South Bank Sky Arts AwardsTV DramaNominated
Edinburgh TV AwardsBest UK DramaNominated

Home media

Series Episodes Originally aired DVD release date
Series premiere Series finale Region 2 Region 1
1 5 26 June 2012 24 July 2012 3 February 2014 29 October 2013
2 6 12 February 2014 19 March 2014 24 March 2014 2 September 2014
3 24 March 2016 28 April 2016 2 May 2016 9 August 2016
4 26 March 2017 30 April 2017 8 May 2017 26 September 2017
5 30 March 2019 5 May 2019 6 May 2019 12 November 2019[17]

Home media releases

Online

iTunes releases for Line of Duty

Name Release date Ep # Additional Information
Line of Duty, Series One 30 August 2013[18] 5
Line of Duty, Series Two 12 February 2014[19] 6
  • The complete second series
  • Ability to buy single episode(s) or whole series
  • Rated "Caution" by iTunes
  • High-definition & Standard-definition version
Line of Duty, Series One & Two 26 June 2012[20] 11
  • The complete first and second series
  • Ability to buy single episode(s) or whole series one and two
  • Rated "Caution" by iTunes
  • Standard-definition version

Blinkbox releases for Line of Duty

Name Release date Ep # Additional Information
Line of Duty, Series One 2013[21] 5
  • The complete first series
  • Ability to buy single episode(s) or whole series
  • Certificate 15
  • Standard-definition version
Line of Duty, Series Two 2014[22] 6
  • The complete second series
  • Ability to buy single episode(s) or whole series
  • Certificate 15
  • High-definition & Standard-definition versions

BBC Store releases for Line of Duty

Name Release date
Line of Duty, Series One – Three 2016
Line of Duty, Series Four 2017
Line of Duty, Series 5 2019
DVD

DVD releases for Line of Duty

Name Release dates Ep # Additional Information
Region 2
Line of Duty Series 1 3 February 2014[23] 5 The two-disc box set includes all five episodes from series one, with a classification age of 15.
Running time: 300 minutes.
Line of Duty Series 2 24 March 2014[24] 6 The two-disc box set includes all six episodes from series two, with a classification age of 15.
Running time: 360 minutes.
Line of Duty Series 1&2 24 March 2014[25] 11 The four-disc box set includes all eleven episodes from series one and two, with a classification age of 15.
Running time: 660 minutes.
Line of Duty Series 1-4 8 May 2017 23 The eight-disc box set includes all twenty-three episodes from series one to four, with a classification age of 15.
Running time: 1 447 minutes.
Blu-ray

Blu-ray releases for Line of Duty

Name Release dates Ep # Additional Information
Region B
Line of Duty: Series 1 10 April 2015[26] 5 The two-disc box set includes all five episodes from series one, with a classification age of 16.
Running time: 300 minutes.
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Line of Duty: Series 2 25 September 2015[27] 6 The two-disc box set includes all six episodes from series two, with a classification age of 16.
Running time: 369 minutes.
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Line of Duty: Series 3 20 January 2017[28] The two-disc box set includes all six episodes from series Three, with a classification age of 16.
Running time: 390 minutes.
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

United States release

In the United States, the first series was aired on Hulu in August 2012 as an exclusive series, until Acorn TV picked up the streaming rights for its platform in 2018, which included the existing series and exclusive access to series five and later additions.[29][30] Kew Media (previously known as Content Media) handles international distribution of the series.[31]

References

  1. Jed Mercurio: taking aim at target culture | In-depth | Broadcast Archived 2 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  2. Sperling, Daniel (25 July 2012). "'Line of Duty' renewed for second series by BBC". DigitalSpy. Archived from the original on 27 July 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  3. Moir, Jan (17 March 2014). "Is Line of Duty the best cop show ever?". Daily Mail. Archived from the original on 18 March 2014.
  4. Sweeney, Mark (8 April 2014). "Line of Duty set to return for third and fourth series". Guardian. Archived from the original on 14 April 2014.
  5. "Express.co.uk". 28 April 2016.
  6. "Jed Mercurio discusses Line of Duty series six and seven". Radio Times. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  7. Plunkett, John (28 April 2016). "Line of Duty outranks Wolf Hall to take BBC2 ratings crown". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 31 December 2016.
  8. "RTS Programme Awards 2015". Archived from the original on 7 April 2016.
  9. Dowell, Ben (16 March 2018). "The Crown star Claire Foy among the winners at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards". Radio Times.
  10. Hogan, Michael; et al. (18 April 2014). "The Top 50 BBC Two shows of all-time". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016.
  11. Tate, Gabriel; et al. (2 November 2016). "The 80 Best BBC Shows of All Time". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 7 November 2016.
  12. Ross, Graeme (12 November 2016). "The 20 Greatest TV Cop Shows of All Time". The Independent. Archived from the original on 13 September 2017.
  13. Brown, David (3 July 2018). "Inspector Morse named the greatest British crime drama of all time". Radio Times.
  14. Jed Mercurio (26 June 2012). "Line of Duty – a police drama that swaps reassurance for reality". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 12 March 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  15. "Line of Duty". Archived from the original on 15 February 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  16. https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B07WMM8XBG/tvshowsondvd0d-20
  17. "Line of Duty – Series One (iTunes)". Apple Inc. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  18. "Line of Duty – Series Two (iTunes)". Apple Inc. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  19. "Line of Duty – Series 1&2 (iTunes)". Apple Inc. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  20. "Line of Duty – Series (Blinkbox)". blinkbox Entertainment Limited. Archived from the original on 18 May 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  21. "Line of Duty – Series 2 (Blinkbox)". blinkbox Entertainment Limited. Archived from the original on 18 May 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  22. "Line of Duty – Series One [DVD]". BBC Worldwide LTD. Archived from the original on 3 March 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  23. "Line of Duty – Series Two [DVD]". BBC Worldwide LTD. Archived from the original on 27 February 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  24. "Line of Duty – Series 1&2 [DVD]". BBC Worldwide LTD. Archived from the original on 26 March 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  25. "Line of Duty – Series One [Blu-ray]". BBC Worldwide LTD. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  26. "Line of Duty – Series Two [Blu-ray]". BBC Worldwide. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  27. "Line of Duty – Series 3 [Blu-ray]". BBC Worldwide. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  28. Thomas, June (24 August 2012), "The Global Network", Slate, archived from the original on 2 February 2013, retrieved 28 January 2013
  29. "Acorn TV Nabs Exclusive U.S. Rights To BBC One's 'Line Of Duty'". TVWise. 5 November 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  30. Lodderhose, Diana (3 February 2017). "Kew Media Group". Deadline. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
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