Line of Duty

Anatomy of a Hit: Line of Duty

The critically acclaimed second series hit our screens in 2014 and realising they had a hit on their hands, the BBC commissioned two more that year. Having become the most popular drama series broadcast on BBC Two in the multi-channel era, Line of Duty made the jump to BBC One.

 With filming for series five underway and fans eagerly anticipating the return of the AC-12 team in 2019, Line of Duty is widely recognised as the decade’s best British drama series.

Comfort Classic: Between the Lines

Between the Lines is British television’s forgotten classic cop series. Its contemporaries – Cracker, Prime Suspect and Inspector Morse – are better known but, arguably, not as good.

Two decades before Jed Mercurio’s Line of Duty blew the lid off police corruption, Detective Superintendent Tony Clark (Neil Pearson), DI Harry Naylor (Tom Georgeson) and DS Maureen “Mo” Connell (Siobhan Redmond) from the Metropolitan Police’s Complaints Investigation Bureau were also hell-bent on nailing dodgy coppers.

Line of Duty and Downtown Abbey stars feature in first look images for ITV’s Our House

The four-part thriller stars Tuppence Middleton (Downtown Abbey) and Martin Compston (Line of Duty) as estranged husband and wife Fi and Bram Lawson.

Based on Louise Candlish’s international best-selling novel, the series sees Fi arrive home one day to find strangers moving themselves into her house and that her husband has disappeared.

Deeply confused, she reflects upon the safe space where she and her family had built a life together, and begins to peel back the layers of her relationship.

Working Lives: Casting Director

Line of Duty (Credit: BBC)

What does the job involve?

I have to keep on top of the talent and be knowledgeable about not just their abilities but also where they are in their working lives. 

You need to know when an actor is trying to change their trajectory and doesn’t want to be sent the same scripts. I present my casting ideas to the creative team, usually the director, producer, executive producers and broadcaster.

Do you offer an opinion?

BBC One releases first look at new thriller Vigil

The six-part series stars Suranne Jones (Gentleman Jack), Rose Leslie (Downtown Abbey), Shaun Evans (Endeavour), Martin Compston (Line of Duty) and Paterson Joseph (Peep Show).

Jones and Leslie star as DCI Amy Silva and DS Kirsten Longacre, who lead an investigation into the mysterious disappearance of a Scottish fishing trawler and a death on-board the HMS Vigil submarine.

Ear Candy: Obsessed with… Line of Duty

Everything is cryptic; minor characters from three series ago suddenly pop up on screen; and half of the dialogue is in acronyms. Yet viewers still can’t get enough of Jed Mercurio’s perplexing police procedural.

The series delights in plunging viewers into the darkness as they fumble to their own (often wrong) conclusions. Luckily for us, BBC Sounds’ companion podcast Obsessed with… Line of Duty is on hand to offer illumination.

New series to look out for in 2021

The Serpent


Release Date: New Year’s Day

Jenna Coleman as Marie-Andrée Leclerc and Tahir Rahim as Charles Sobhraj (credit: BBC)

The seventies-set international crime thriller The Serpent follows the true story of global efforts to capture Interpol’s most wanted man, the murderer Charles Sobhraj (Tahar Rahim, A Prophet).