Line Of Duty Series 6 is here! Every series, the plot is so hidden from view prior to broadcast that Brad Pitt would allow you to say far more about Fight Club than the exploits of AC12, going after bent coppers on a regular basis.
Every first episode always seems to have something huge planned, which will take all of us by surprise, and it’s a real treat to look forward to.
I know if I was to spill any beans prior to the first episode’s conclusion, I’d have Ted Hastings on my doorstep within the hour, muttering “Mother of God…”
In fact, that teaser which showed Ted & co. surrounding a house, ready to go in? That was the house of a reviewer who posted online the truth about H… However, AC12 stood down once they realised that they claimed it was H from Steps, causing Ted to confront the man with, “Son, I didn’t float up the Lagan in a bubble”.
Okay, so all of the above was written prior to watching the episode, and by the time you can read this, it will have been broadcast. However, I won’t give any key spoilers even at this time, because I know a lot of people watch afterwards on iPlayer.
As we open, the Murder Investigation Team – including Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure – I Am Nicola), now a DI, and led by DCI Joanne Davidson (Kelly Macdonald – The Victim) – get a call. A suspect has given a confession which has been graded “1A on the Matrix”. Ooh, the plot thickens! Can she get the go-ahead from her Superintendent, Buckells (Nigel Boyle)? Yes, it’s the same guy who got under the skin of Lennie James in the first series. IMDB reminds me he was also in series 4, but it’s been a while since I saw that, and I watched series 1 again last year to refresh my memory, as lockdown began.
The main event this time is Operation Lighthouse, dealing with the unsolved murder from 2019 of journalist Gail Vella, the main suspect being a Ross Turner, but could he really be the man who pulled the trigger? The first episode will help you make up your mind about that.
Meanwhile, on the way to make the arrest, Joanne spots a possible armed robbery, and as the music score ramped up, I was on the edge of my seat from the get-go.
But it ain’t all sunshine and rainbows because one of her team, Farida (Anneika Rose), has a beef with her DCI, alleging Joanne purposely delayed the operation to arrest the suspect, going to tackle an armed robbery on what was rather a whim because how can you spot some bad stuff going down in the blink of an eye? Has that jeopardised the main operation?
In fact, there’s so many things going on that just don’t add up, and which would have to if Kelly’s eye is to be believed.
Along the way, DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston – The Nest) reckons he’s bored and looking to change to a different department, but there was me thinking that he means business because this time round, he has a beard!
But for now, since Kate left AC12 in order to do something different, and now Steve is wanting her to, effectively, reprise her old role in order to get to the bottom of what is or isn’t going on with Joanne, is this a case of ‘getting the band back together’?
Well, if we know one thing about Jed Mercurio‘s writing, it can make you think like you’ve got an idea in your head about how the rest of the series will play out, and then the entire thing can about-turn in an instant.
There was one twist I didn’t see coming, but then I usually just let a movie or TV drama tell its own story without having to second guess it. However, overall, while this opening episode wasn’t quite up there with some of the greats – such as both series 2 and 3 for Keeley Hawes and Daniel Mays, respectively – and while series 4’s confrontation between Thandie Newton and Jason Watkins was a little bit silly, and series 5’s outcome for Maneet was rather obvious at the time she was bundled into a van, the series 6 opener still towers above most TV dramas and I can’t wait until we see how things turn out.
And this time, we have SEVEN episodes rather than six! Note that for updates for future episodes, they will happen at 10pm after the episode has broadcast.
There’s one thing I learned online about Terry Boyle, while this first episode was broadcast (yes, I watched it again, even though I’d already seen it). Although he’s been played by a different actor since Series 5 (not sure why), the character was also in Series 1, and is the mentally disabled man who was forced into storing Jackie Laverty’s body in his freezer. I had a feeling I’d seen the actor before, at least, although it was two years since I saw Series 5.
For those who don’t know what a CHIS is (and I didn’t), Boyd Hilton stated: “CHIS” – stands for Covert Human Intelligence Source, or “informant” to the rest of us.”
“CHIS” – stands for Covert Human Intelligence Source, or “informant” to the rest of us. #LineOfDuty
— boydhilton (@boydhilton) March 21, 2021
UPDATE Episode 2 (expect spoilers about this episode, hence the spoiler hider):
UPDATE Episode 3 (expect more spoilers about this episode, hence the spoiler hider):
UPDATE Episode 4:
UPDATE Episode 5:
Line Of Duty Series 6 continues next Sunday on BBC1 at 9pm. It can be pre-ordered on Blu-ray, DVD, plus both a Series 1-6 Blu-ray Boxset and Series 1-6 DVD Boxset, ahead of its release on
March 22nd. It’s great to see a compilation on Blu-ray this time, as those are normally left to languish on DVD only.
After broadcast, each episode will be on the BBC iPlayer.
Episode 1 Score: 8/10
Episode 2 Score: 9/10
Episode 3 Score: 9/10
Episode 4 Score: 10/10
Episode 5 Score: 10/10
Director: Daniel Nettheim
Producer: Ken Horn
Writer/Creator: Jed Mercurio
DI Kate Fleming: Vicky McClure
DS Steve Arnott: Martin Compston
Ted Hastings: Adrian Dunbar
DCI Joanne Davidson: Kelly Macdonald
Farida: Anneika Rose
Sgt Lomax: Perry Fitzpatrick
Supt. Buckells: Nigel Boyle
Briggs: Patrick Buchanan
Jake: Ben Rose
Chloe: Shalom Brune-Franklin
Surveillance Officer: Diarmuid Noyes
OFC: Loreece Harrison
Forensic Co-ordinator: Tim Loane
Terry Boyle: Tommy Jessop
Wise: Elizabeth Rider
Nicky: Christina Chong
Terry’s solicitor: Sara Dylan
Marks: Kwaku Fortune
Gail Vella: Andi Osho
Patrick Fairbank: George Costigan
Steph: Amy De Bhrun
Nadaraja: Prasanna Puwanarajah
Sindwhani: Ace Bhatti
Ryan: Gregory Piper
Suitor: Matthew Forsythe
Amanda: Rose Escoda
Rix: Michael Yare
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.