Line of Duty

The final episode of Line of Duty was broadcast in May and “Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the wee donkey” it’s been great television since it first aired in June 2012.’

Line of Duty’s sixth series was just as taut and thorny as ever. It eclipsed everything else on television, with sixteen million people watching its final episode in May.

Some critics claim that Line of Duty is not quite what it was, and there may be some truth in that. Nine years is an age in television drama, and to keep the plotlines relevant, and the characters vibrant had taken all of creator Jed Mercurio’s undoubted talent.

The latest and final tale features the anti-corruption unit AC-12, led with crusading fervour by the resolute trio of Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) and Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) in the fight against individual and institutionalised rottenness in the police force.

This fight is echoed in “A covert corruption”, the fourth in the series “The Omega Files.”

The drama focuses on investigating the possibility of an infestation of essentially untouchable, corrupt senior officers plotting expertly both with each other and organised crime over the years. Another depressing strand is that incompetence and its effects on the police force if performed and excused for long enough, becomes morally and practically indistinguishable from corruption.

Much of the Line Of Duty storylines were based on the incompetence and corruption evident in the investigation into the murder of Steven Lawrence in 1993. The final series paid direct tribute to both Stephen Lawrence and ex-paratrooper Christopher Alder, who had fought in the Falklands and died at Queen’s Gardens police station whilst in the custody of Humberside Police.

Great television, great drama and great acting.