The storming finale to Line of Duty‘s fourth series finally delivered answers about Roz Huntley’s corrupt activities and the identity of the murderous Balaclava Man.
But we were left with a whole heap of fresh questions. Will Steve recover from his injuries? Is Kate done as an undercover cop? What happened to Maneet? And was ACC Hilton really the corrupt officer known as ‘H’ – or could it be Hastings?
Here’s everything we know so far about the next series – the fifth chapter in Jed Mercurio’s corrupt-cop opus.
Line of Duty series 5 cast: Who’s returning?
Of course, AC-12’s top trio will be back, with Supt. Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), DS Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and DS – now potentially DI – Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) all returning.
Maneet Bindra (Maya Sondhi) is also expected to return. The apparently loyal PC leaked confidential AC-12 files, and got away with it, but Mercurio told Digital Spy: “I think that we have to address [Maneet’s fate] in the future. Quite how we’ll do that remains to be seen.”
Mercurio has also hinted that series four’s chief antagonist Roz (Thandie Newton) could also be back. “It was reasonably conclusive that Roz had accepted her guilt and she was serving her sentence, but we never close the door on any living character,” he told TV Times. “There are always ways in which we’d bring someone back for the right story.”
But Newton’s on-screen husband Lee Ingleby told us that he doubts he’ll be returning. “I can’t see it, because I played a corporate lawyer. I don’t know how that’ll slot in with police corruption. But you never know. Jed has got a wonderful mind, so who knows?”
There’s potential too for both DS Sam Railston (Aiysha Hart) and DCS Lester Hargreaves (Tony Pitts) to resurface. Both characters featured in series four’s finale, with Sam appearing to have unfinished business with ex-boyfriend Steve.
As for Hargreaves, Mercurio has hinted that he’s another candidate to be the No.1 bent cop pulling all the strings. “His name begins with ‘H’ as well – it was something that we were aware of!”
Don’t expect Claudia Jessie to confirm whether or not she’s back as swotty brown-nose DC Jodie Taylor.
“I wouldn’t be able to tell you [if I’m in the next series]. Jed [Mercurio, writer] would kill me, he would kill me dead. I know nothing about anything ever,” she told Digital Spy. “I don’t even think I was even in Line of Duty, that’s how secretive I have to be.”
Nigel Boyle – who played DI / DCI Ian Buckells in series one and four of Line of Duty – told us that he’s keen to return for another outing.
“I’d love it if Buckells came back again, but I just don’t know!” Boyle said. “I don’t think anyone’s going to know until the scripts have been written. But I’d be absolutely delighted to come back.”
Stephen Graham has apparently been lined up to be the Big Bad of series five, but the BBC has declined to comment on the reports.
Line of Duty series 5 release date: When will it air?
Unfortunately, new episodes of Line of Duty won’t start shooting till late 2018, which means the show might not return to BBC One till early 2019.
In part, the hiatus is to accommodate Mercurio’s new BBC One drama series, Bodyguard, about an ex-soldier (Richard Madden) tasked with protecting the fiery home secretary (played by LoD veteran Keeley Hawes).
“I think it’s Jed doing Bodyguard because it’s quite a big show to write, so that is all [that’s holding things up] I think,” Vicky McClure told Digital Spy in February 2018.
Hastings actor Adrian Dunbar later confirmed the 2019 launch, with filming set to get underway in the autumn of 2018 – later clarified as a September start by Martin Compston.
Mercurio confirmed he’d “just started writing” series five in mid-February 2018, with Compston having received and read the first script as of late June.
It was confirmed that series five had FINALLY started filming on August 29, 2018 as BBC One shared a photo of the reunited AC-12 team.
Line of Duty deaths: Who will survive series 5?
Fans were horrified when it appeared Steve Arnott had met his end at the hands (and bat) of Balaclava Man, but Mercurio later insisted that he never seriously considering killing off the popular waistcoat model.
“We obviously wanted to create the jeopardy and we wanted to create the uncertainty in the audience’s mind. But I didn’t think that it was the right way for the character to exit the series, so Steve will live to fight another day!”
That doesn’t necessarily mean, though, that Steve – or Kate, or Ted – will make it to the end of the next series unscathed. (Mercurio has said in the past that he’d “definitely” kill off one of the main trio, if the story warranted it.)
Adrian Dunbar (Hastings) told Digital Spy that the main cast are always nervous about being offed: “Every series, the first two or three scripts come in and you’re just reading it, thinking, ‘It looks like I’m going to survive – that’s good!'”
Line of Duty spoilers: What’s next for AC-12?
Series four’s Balaclava Man, who had been abducting and murdering women, and who also attacked Steve, was shot in the head by Hastings. But there wasn’t just one Balaclava Man – it’s “Balaclava Men, plural” and “there may be others still at large”.
Who’s running the Balaclava Men, and using dead bodies contaminated with planted DNA to blackmail high-ranking police officers?
There have been references to two figures, ‘H’ and ‘Top Dog’, and if the late ACC Hilton was H, the top corrupt cop, then possibly Top Dog is his boss – not a police officer but an out-and-out criminal with considerable power and influence.
“There are some people there’s no immunity from,” dodgy solicitor Jimmy Lakewell (Patrick Baladi) told Steve. Of course, if H wasn’t Hilton, but is really Hastings, or Hargreaves or someone else, then it’s possible that H and Top Dog are the same person.
AC-12 will have their work cut out unravelling this conspiracy, but could be a very different unit going forward.
“Steve and Kate are now characters in their 30s, rather than in their 20s, and Hastings has been heading AC-12 for a good number of years now,” Mercurio told us.
© World Productions / BBC / Bernard Walsh
“So all of these things have to be looked at in terms of the evolution of the characters, and we have to keep moving forward. There does come a point where we have to develop things in a new direction if they’re to remain exciting and fresh dramatically.”
Steve is still struggling to regain mobility after being assaulted, while Kate may no longer be viable as an undercover cop after being deployed once too often, so it’s possible that both will be taking on different roles in series five.
Mercurio has certainly hinted that the new episodes will be exploring “very fresh territory”.
“There are things we haven’t done before, characters we haven’t seen before, and that I think’s part of the construction of the series,” he said. “We have that architecture which allows us to rejuvenate the format.”
Line of Duty series 5: Is Ted a bent copper?
Mercurio has confirmed that the “ambiguity” surrounding H’s identity in series four’s finale was very much intentional. Indeed, series five will explore the possibility that AC-12 chief Hastings might in fact be a criminal mastermind who’s been pulling the wool over our eyes all this time.
“The fact that Hilton is a very good fit for ‘H’ – and [corrupt cop] Dot Cottan would know that he was ‘H’ – is something that is consistent with the series as it has gone before,” Mercurio said. “But the fact that there could be a suspicion that Hastings is ‘H’ is something that we want to exploit dramatically going forward.”
© World Productions / BBC / Bernard Walsh
For his part, actor Dunbar doesn’t know if Ted is bent or not, but said that the character being corrupt “doesn’t feel particularly right” given what’s gone before.
One thing’s for sure: we’ll be learning more about Ted’s life before he joined AC-12 in upcoming episodes. “One of the things that we haven’t done is to delve into Hastings’ past,” said Mercurio. “That will happen in future series.”
Again, Dunbar said: “I think it would be difficult to explore some aspects of Ted’s past, because Line of Duty investigates fictitious police forces – you never know, and you should never know, who it is we might be investigating.
“We’ve already said that Ted was a member of the RUC and that’s a real police force, so I don’t think we’d be able to broach that territory. However, there might be individuals, people from his past, who maybe know something about Ted, or that he knows something about!”
Line of Duty series 6: How long will the series last?
Director-General of the BBC, Tony Hall, announced in May 2017 that Line of Duty would be returning for not just a fifth but also a sixth series, following three series on BBC Two and a successful transition to BBC One for the fourth.
Of course, with series five being delayed, in all likelihood the earliest we’d see the series after that would be in 2020.
So would series six mark the end of Line of Duty? Not necessarily, according to Adrian Dunbar.
“If Jed’s prepared to write beyond series six, then that would be fantastic,” he said. “It’ll be down to the public as well, I think. If they stick with the show and they love the show and stay loyal to it, then it could go on and on. Who knows?”
Line of Duty US remake: Are we getting an American version?
Tabloid rumblings had suggested that AC-12 might be heading Stateside, claiming that Amazon and Netflix were both keen on commissioning a US version of Line of Duty.
However, Mercurio later poured cold water on those rumours. “I don’t know where the story about the US remake came from,” he told us. “I looked it up online and the journalist quotes an ‘anonymous source’ – who I assume is just someone they ran into in the pub.
“So I have no idea what that’s about, or why it’s been printed now.”
Of course, if Mercurio is any bit as cunning as his characters in an interview scenario, it’s possible he was having us on…
Related ArticleLine of Duty alternate end had different Balaclava Man
Source: Read Full Article