|Line of Duty|
|Created by||Jed Mercurio|
|Written by||Jed Mercurio|
|Theme music composer|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||5|
|No. of episodes||29 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producers||Stephen Wright (BBC)|
Simon Heath (World Productions)
Jed Mercurio (Series 2–5)
|Producers||Jed Mercurio (Series 1)|
Peter Norris (Series 2–3)
Cait Collins (Series 4)
|Production locations||Birmingham (Series 1)|
Belfast (Series 2–5)
|Cinematography||Ruairi O'Brien (Series 1–2)|
Peter Robertson (Series 3)
Anna Valdez Hanks (Series 4)
Stephen Murphy (Series 4)
|Running time||57 minutes|
|Production company||World Productions|
ITV Studios Global Entertainment (Series 6)
|Original network||BBC Two (2012–2016) |
BBC One (2017–)
|Picture format||HDTV 1080i|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital|
|Original release||26 June 2012 –|
Line of Duty is a British police procedural BBC television series created by Jed Mercurio and produced by World Productions. On 26 June 2012, BBC Two began the broadcast of the first series. It was their best-performing drama series in ten years with a consolidated audience of 4.1 million viewers. The second series broadcast began on 12 February 2014; its widespread public and critical acclaim led to the BBC commissioning a further two series. 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. In May 2017, the BBC commissioned a sixth series. Filming began in February 2020 and stopped the following month due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Filming resumed in September and finished in November 2020. It is to broadcast during the spring of 2021.
Line of Duty is the most popular drama series broadcast on BBC Two and is a winner of the Royal Television Society Award and Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Drama Series. It was included in a list of the Top 50 BBC Two shows of all time and in a list of the 80 best BBC shows of all time. The series ranked eighth in The Independent's list of the twenty greatest police shows of all time and third in a Radio Times poll of the best British crime dramas of all time.
Line of Duty follows DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston), an authorised firearms officer who was transferred to Anti-Corruption Unit 12 (AC-12) after refusing to agree to cover up an unlawful shooting by his own team. At AC-12 Arnott is partnered with DC Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure), a highly commended undercover officer with a keen investigative instinct. They work under the supervision of Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), who is one of several Senior Investigating Officers (along with DCS 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 DCI Tony Gates (Lennie James), DI Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes), Sergeant Danny Waldron (Daniel Mays), DCI Roseanne Huntley (Thandie Newton), and undercover officer DS John Corbett (Stephen Graham). AC-12 realise the pervasive nature of corruption and the police's deep-rooted links to an organised crime group.
- Martin Compston as Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott, assigned to AC-12, the anti-corruption unit within the Central Constabulary. 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 and 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. She 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, Hastings is also 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's TO-20 team. At the beginning of series two, 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 an organised crime group. 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, Gates is renowned for returning the best crime figures of any unit in the Central Constabulary. 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 that is ambushed, resulting in the deaths of all the other police officers. As the only police survivor, Denton is 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 Cottan.
- Daniel Mays as Sergeant Danny Waldron (series 3) is an Authorised Firearms Officer (AFO). His armed response unit is investigated by AC-12, as a matter of routine following the shooting of a suspect. 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 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, 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.
- Kelly Macdonald as Detective Chief Inspector Joanne Davidson, the senior investigating officer of an unsolved murder, whose unconventional conduct raises suspicions at AC-12.
- Brian McCardie as Tommy Hunter (series 1 & 2)
- Neil Morrissey as DC Nigel Morton (series 1, 2 & 3)
- Nigel Boyle as DI/DCI Ian Buckells (series 1 & 4)
- Paul Higgins as CS/ACC Derek Hilton (series 1 & 4)
- Patrick FitzSymons as DCI 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 DCS Lester Hargreaves (series 2, 4 & 5)
- Andrea Irvine as Roisin Hastings (series 2 & 5)
- Maya Sondhi as PC Maneet Bindra (series 3, 4 & 5)
- Aiysha Hart as DS Sam Railston (series 3, 4 & 5)
- Polly Walker as Gill Biggeloe, special counsel to the police and crime commissioner (series 3 & 5)
- Gina McKee as Jackie Laverty
- Kate Ashfield as Jools Gates
- Heather Craney as DCI Alice Prior
- Lauren O'Rourke as Keely Pilkington
- Marie Critchley as Jane Hargreaves
- Alison Lintott as Rita Bennett
- Claire Keelan as DS Leah Janson
- Faraz Ayub as DC Deepak Kapoor
- Owen Teale as Chief Inspector Philip Osborne
- Fiona Boylan as PC Karen Larkin
- Neet Mohan as PC Simon Bannerjee
- Darren Morfitt as Sergeant Colin Brackley
- Shaun Mason as Lee
- Mark Bonnar as DCC Mike Dryden
- Christina Chong as DS Nicola Rogerson
- Steve Toussaint as CS Mallick
- Sacha Dhawan as DS Manish Prasad
- Richard Huw as Nick Robson
- David Maybrick as Sergeant Alex Wallis
- Allison McKenzie as DS Jayne Akers
- Antonio Magro as PC Vincent Butler
- Niall Macgregor as Richard Akers
- Michael Nardone as Sergeant O'Neill
- Chetna Pandya as New Jo
- Henry Pettigrew as DC Jeremy Cole
- Jessica Raine as DC Georgia Trotman
- Charlotte Spencer as Carly Kirk
- Liz White as Jo Dwyer
- Royce Pierreson as DC Jamie Desford
- Jason Watkins as FC Tim Ifield
- Claudia Jessie as DC Jodie Taylor
- Mark Stobbart as DS Neil Twyler
- Anneika Rose as PC Farida Jatri
- Vineeta Rishi as FC Rupal Pandit
- Lee Ingleby as Nick Huntley
- Gaite Jansen as Hana Reznikova
- Scott Reid as Michael Farmer
- Patrick Baladi as Jimmy Lakewell
- Rochenda Sandall as Lisa McQueen
- Alastair Natkiel as Lee Banks
- Taj Atwal as PC Tatleen Sohota
- Susan Vidler as Det Supt Alison Powell
- Ace Bhatti as Police and Crime Commissioner Rohan Sindwhani
- Elizabeth Rider as Deputy Chief Constable Andrea Wise
- Sian Reese-Williams as Sergeant Jane Cafferty
- Richard Pepple as Sergeant Kyle Ferringham
- Maanuv Thiara as Vihaan Malhotra
- Laura Elphinstone as DI Michelle Brandyce
- Natalie Gavin as Sergeant Martina "Tina" Tranter
|Series||Episodes||Originally aired||Average viewership|
(in millions)[note 1]
|First aired||Last aired||Network|
|1||5||26 June 2012||24 July 2012||BBC Two||3.80|
|2||6||12 February 2014||19 March 2014||3.43|
|3||6||24 March 2016||28 April 2016||5.42|
|4||6||26 March 2017||30 April 2017||BBC One||9.55|
|5||6||31 March 2019||5 May 2019||12.85|
- Series 1-2 based on 7 day data. Series 3-4 based on 28 day data.
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.
Although the police refused to co-operate with the programme's producers, the production team was advised anonymously by serving officers and retired police officers, and made use of anonymous police blogs.
Series one was filmed in Birmingham, including pub interiors in the Queen's Arms. 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.
Awards and nominations
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|2012||2012 Royal Television Society Awards||Actor (Male)||Lennie James||Nominated|
|Drama Series||Line of Duty 1||Nominated|
|Writer – Drama||Jed Mercurio||Nominated|
|2012 Royal Television Society Midlands Awards||Best Drama/Fictional Programme||Line of Duty 1||Won|
|Best Acting Performance (Male)||Lennie James||Won|
|Best Acting Newcomer||Gregory Piper||Won|
|2012 Crime Thriller Awards||The TV Dagger||Line of Duty 1||Nominated|
|2013||2013 Broadcast Awards||Best Drama Series or Serial||Nominated|
|2013 South Bank Sky Arts Awards||TV Drama||Nominated|
|Broadcasting Press Guild Awards||Best TV Drama||Nominated|
|2014||2014 Freesat Awards||Line of Duty 2||Won|
|2014 Crime Thriller Awards||The TV Dagger||Nominated|
|Best Actress Dagger||Keeley Hawes||Won|
|Best Supporting Actress Dagger||Vicky McClure||Nominated|
|BAFTA Scotland||Best Actor – Television||Mark Bonnar||Nominated|
|2014 Royal Television Society Craft & Design Awards||Best Editing – Drama||Andrew McClelland||Won|
|2015||Writers' Guild of Great Britain||TV Drama – Long Form||Jed Mercurio||Nominated|
|2015 Broadcast Awards||Best Drama Series or Serial||Line of Duty 2||Nominated|
|International Programme Sales||Nominated|
|Broadcasting Press Guild Awards||Best Drama Series||Nominated|
|Best Drama Writer||Jed Mercurio||Nominated|
|2015 Royal Television Society Awards||Best Drama Series||Line of Duty 2||Won|
|BAFTA Television Craft Awards||Writer - Drama||Jed Mercurio||Nominated|
|BAFTA Television Awards||Leading Actress||Keeley Hawes||Nominated|
|Supporting Actress||Vicky McClure||Nominated|
|Drama Series||Line of Duty 2||Nominated|
|2015 South Bank Sky Arts Awards||TV Drama||Nominated|
|Royal Television Society Northern Ireland Awards||Best Drama||Won|
|2016||TV Choice Awards||Best Drama Series||Line of Duty 3||Nominated|
|BAFTA Scotland||Best Director – Television||Michael Keillor||Nominated|
|Royal Television Society Northern Ireland||Best Drama||Line of Duty 3||Nominated|
|2017||Broadcast Awards||Best Drama Series or Serial||Nominated|
|Broadcasting Press Guild Awards||Best TV Drama Series||Nominated|
|Broadcasting Press Guild Awards||Best Actress||Keeley Hawes||Won|
|2017 Royal Television Society Awards||Drama Series||Line of Duty 3||Nominated|
|2017 Royal Television Society Awards||Writer – Drama||Jed Mercurio||Nominated|
|BAFTA Television Awards||Supporting Actor||Daniel Mays||Nominated|
|Virgin TV's Must-See Moment||Urgent Exit Required||Nominated|
|Celtic Media Festival||Best Drama Series||Line of Duty 3||Won|||
|Diversity in Media Awards||TV Programme of the Year||Nominated|
|TV Moment of the Year||Urgent Exit Required||Nominated|
|TV Moment of the Year||DCI Roz Huntley Interview||Nominated|
|TV Choice Awards||Best Drama||Line of Duty 4||Nominated|
|British Screenwriters' Awards||Best Crime Writing on Television||Jed Mercurio||Won|||
|Royal Television Society Northern Ireland||Best Drama||Line of Duty 4||Won|||
|2018||Writers' Guild of Great Britain||TV Drama – Long Form||Jed Mercurio||Nominated|
|National Television Awards||Crime Drama||Line of Duty 4||Nominated|
|Irish Film and Television Academy||Drama||Nominated|
|Actor in a Leading Role - Drama||Adrian Dunbar||Nominated|
|Broadcasting Press Guild Awards||Best Drama Series||Line of Duty 4||Won|||
|Best Actress||Thandie Newton||Nominated|||
|Writer's Award||Jed Mercurio||Won|||
|Royal Television Society||Actor (Female)||Thandie Newton||Nominated|
|Voice of the Listener & Viewer Awards for Excellence in Broadcasting||Best TV Drama Programme||Line of Duty 4||Won|||
|BAFTA Television Craft Awards||Editing: Fiction||Andrew McClelland||Nominated|||
|BAFTA Television Awards||Leading Actress||Thandie Newton||Nominated|||
|Supporting Actor||Adrian Dunbar||Nominated|||
|Drama Series||Line of Duty 4||Nominated|||
|Virgin TV's Must-See Moment||Huntley's Narrow Escape||Nominated|||
|Televisual Bulldog Awards||Best Drama Series||Line of Duty 4||Won|||
|South Bank Sky Arts Awards||TV Drama||Nominated|||
|Edinburgh TV Awards||Best UK Drama||Nominated|||
|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|
Home media releases
Kew Media (previously known as Content Media) handles international distribution of the series.
- iTunes releases for Line of Duty
|Name||Release date||Ep #||Additional Information|
|Line of Duty, Series One||30 August 2013||5||
|Line of Duty, Series Two||12 February 2014||6||
|Line of Duty, Series One & Two||26 June 2012||11||
- Blinkbox releases for Line of Duty
|Name||Release date||Ep #||Additional Information|
|Line of Duty, Series One||2013||5||
|Line of Duty, Series Two||2014||6||
- BBC Store releases for Line of Duty
|Line of Duty, Series One – Three||2016|
|Line of Duty, Series Four||2017|
|Line of Duty, Series 5||2019|
DVD releases for Line of Duty
|Name||Release dates||Ep #||Additional Information|
|Line of Duty Series 1||3 February 2014||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||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||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 releases for Line of Duty
|Name||Release dates||Ep #||Additional Information|
|Line of Duty: Series 1||10 April 2015||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||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||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 released 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. The first three series began airing on AMC on 4 April 2020.
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