Walk The Line
Tripwire continues its list of its Top 30 Crime and Police shows, selected by its editor-in-chief and senior editor. Counting down to its first choice at the end, here’s its 13th entry, BBC’s Line Of Duty…
13. Line Of Duty
Creator: Jed Mercurio
Stars: Martin Compston, Vicky McClure, Adrian Dunbar
Line Of Duty was a genuine success for the BBC when it began back in 2012. The series deals with the activities of AC-12, a fictional unit within the UK police that investigates corrupt cops.
Created by Jed Mercurio, who became a writer after working as a junior doctor in Birmingham, Line Of Duty caught the imagination of viewers instantly with its first series. Its first run, only 5 episodes long, introduced us to DS Steve Arnott (Compston) and DC Kate Fleming (McClure), who were spearheading the investigation into corrupt DCI Tony Gates (Lennie James).
With each successive series, the program makers brought us a catalogue of eminently dubious senior police officers doing unethical things with a different cameo each season. Actors like Stephen Graham, Keeley Hawes, Neil Morrissey and Kelly Macdonald have helped to elevate the stock of Line Of Duty over the past nine years. It also uses its location shoots initially in Birmingham, and over the past few series in Northern Ireland, to evocative effect, offering a sense of verisimilitude to the show.
The programme makers didn’t liaise with the actual police force but did hire retired Met officers to ensure authenticity, gritty detail and of course the accuracy of the myriad code terms used by the officers. Lynchpin cast members like the irascible Dunbar as the unit’s guvnor Hastings, Compston as flawed DS Arnott and McClure as the inquisitive, plain-speaking DC Fleming help to ratchet up the drama and intrigue of each self-contained series.
Line Of Duty has at least managed to partially restore the reputation of the BBC thanks to some finessed writing, studied plotting and singular performances, mainly from the guest actors. The principles have also grown as dramatic figures over six series as well with the chemistry between Arnott and Fleming developing and becoming more complex.
Line Of Duty is a top draw British police procedural with a hugely dedicated following and a cast of compulsive characters, which the BBC must count as one of the key properties in their inventory, and the only British series from the last decade that provides a match for such shows from across the pond.
Line Of Duty is on BBC iPlayer in the UK and AMC in the US
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Walk The Line Tripwire continues its list of its Top 30 Crime and Police shows, selected by its editor-in-chief and senior editor. Counting down to its first choice at the end, here’s its 13th entry, BBC’s Line Of Duty… 13. Line Of DutyCreator: Jed MercurioStars: Martin Compston, Vicky McClure, Adrian Dunbar2012-now Line Of Duty was
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