Thursday, May 11, 2017

Excellent British Crime Series “Line of Duty”

My friend Col of Col’s Criminal Library put me on to a terrific British television series called “Line of Duty.”

This show is so good, I had to do my part and pass along the tip.

The first season (a five-episode series on two DVDs here in the U.S.) starts with a bang. A heavily armed police task force hits an apartment block, crashes in on a suspected terrorist, kills him in front of his family, only to find out it is the wrong address.

Blame flows down from the brass, landing on a young cop, Sgt. Steve Arnott. He is ordered to lie at an inquisition. He refuses and his career is over, unless he accepts the only position left open to him in the police department – an investigator in AC-12. This is the hated unit investigating corrupt cops.

Arnott’s new boss has a target in mind – DCI Tony Gates, a chief inspector with a track record so good, he must be faking it. Gates’ cases are complicated with plenty of room for the cops in his squad to fudge facts, bend the rules, and even commit crimes themselves.

With his only choices being investigate Gates or quit the force, Arnott is conflicted. He wants to work, but he also longs to be a regular cop and give the subject a break.

And that sums up the first 20 minutes of this five-hour series.

Steve Arnott is played by Martin Compston, a good actor I have not seen before. His boss is played by the Irish actor Adrian Dunbar who has been around a while, and who has a stare so steady in interrogation scenes you may want to do some confessing yourself. DCI Gates is played by Lennie James, a powerful and charismatic presence who will have viewers wondering if he is really guilty and hoping he is not. Fleming, another member of the anti-corruption unit is played by Vicky McClure, an actress with just the right amount of toughness and vulnerability to seem genuine in the part.

“Line of Duty” is not to be missed.


  1. Glad you enjoyed it Elgin, cheers for the mention.

  2. Great series. Here in the UK we await the 5th season. It just gets better!

    1. It really is a terrific show, Vienna. We just finished binging on the third season and just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, it does. Thanks for stopping by and checking out the blog.

  3. Only seen season 1 so will have to get back to you ... :)

    1. We spent three weekends binging on seasons 1, 2, and 3. Since each season is only 5 or 6 episodes, it was quite doable. And giving each season up to six hours to develop a single story gives the show time to present a twisty, complex case. Good stuff, well written by show creator Jed Mercurio.