After an anti-terrorism operation goes horribly wrong DS Arnott (Martin Compston) ends up in AC-12 an anti-corruption unit run by the irrepressible Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar). AC-12 is feared and reviled in equal parts by fellow officers but Arnott is keen to prove himself and throws himself in wholeheartedly.
I was recommended Line of Duty by some friends who thought I would enjoy it. I was a bit reluctant because I wasn’t immediately sure I fancied a police procedural. I wish I had listened immediately because boy did I get sucked in fast.
Although Line of Duty has a fascinating story line involving corruption, political intrigue, adultery and organised crime, what makes it So special is the characterisation and the way the information is drip fed. You will constantly think you have figured out what is going on and then realise there is a piece of information you didn’t know that changes your interpretation of everything you thought you knew. Every character is really human, which means that to a large extent there are no “good” or “bad” guys, just people with divided loyalties and mixed motivations trying to survive the consequences of their decisions. It’s also a great insight into some of the challenges of modern policing.
There are some very impressive performances, not least of all by Compston, who plays Arnott as a man with a strong moral core but a very hot head and a bit of an eye for the ladies. James stands out as a man slowly unravelling as everything he cares about is ripped apart by his poor decisions. All the supporting cast are great and Neil Morrissey and Craig Parkinson are stand outs as Gates’ super loyal team, who have their own secrets.
This is an absolute banger of a first season and I challenge you to watch it and not immediately dive into season 2.