Line of Duty is a seasonal TV show aired on BBC Two (and soon, BBC One). The show was first produced in 2012, and each season of the programme has been released on a yearly basis. It follows the journey of ex Anti-Terrorism officer “Steve Arnott”. Line of Duty first introduced Police Sergeant Arnott as a Anti-Terrorism officer in Series 1, Episode 1 during an incident which left an innocent man shot dead by a squad of armed officers, commanded by him. Steve introduces the West-Midlands police unit “AC-12” when he refuses to tell cover-up of his squad, demanded by his commanding officer. During an “AC-12” interview, where Steve is interviewed as a suspect of mis-conduct, he informs the unit of the truth, which leads “AC-12” commanding officer Ted Hastings to invite Steve into the team.
So far, Line of Duty has produced and aired three seasons. Season one follows the introduction of Steve into “AC-12”, whilst he and the unit investigate the corruption of the police force’s best officer Tony Gates. At the beginning of the series, Tony was thought to be attempting to charge people for too many offenses, however as the series progressed, the unit and viewers begin to find out that Tony’s corruption is much more than it seemed.
Season two follows the possible corruption of police officer Lindsey Denton who allegedly took a bribe which ended up having a protected suspect, and two of her escorting officers murdered in an armed ambush. This series takes many twists, turns and bumps which keep leading the “AC-12” unit and viewers into many different thoughts of what occurred. By the end of the season, both the viewer and unit are sure that Lindsey was acting in a corrupt manner, and Lindsey is seen to be locked up awaiting trial.
Season three continued to follow the corruption of Lindsey, whilst also beginning the investigation over a possible corrupt armed police squad, who killed a suspect. Half way through the series it also mixed the reintroduction of a suspect character from series one, Detective Inspector Matthew Cotton. Series three followed the possibility of a criminal mastermind nicknamed “The Caddy” being behind the ambush and bribing of Lindsey, and the shooting of the armed squad’s suspect.
Lindsey Denton’s trial gave the outcome that she was not guilty, due to a audio recording which she took, which depicted sexual relations between Steve and herself. This recording was used to attempt to show her venerability, which allowed her release without conviction. However this also raised tensions in the office, and when Matthew Cotton aired suspicions that Steve was this criminal, Steve was temporarily suspended from service.
Determined to find who “The Caddy” was, Steve partnered up with Lindsey, however when Lindsey was later murdered, and Steve framed, Steve was arrested and placed in custody. After a late night investigation involving another officer and commanding officer Ted Hastings, Matthew Cotton was interviewed as suspect of being “The Caddy”. Matthew, who was “The Caddy”, used his corrupt inside officer to shoot dead another officer, leaving chaos behind. Matthew was able to make an escape, but was chased by another officer, who armed herself with the dead officer’s rifle.
At the ending of the last episode, Matthew sacrificed himself in the name of love for his perusing officer, and died of gun wounds. The sacrifice gave his perusing officer enough time to kill the attacker, and record Matthew’s dying declarations, where he admitted to his wrongdoing. This tape was used to arrest multiple people protected by Matthew, but also allowed for Steve’s release.
Line of Duty is one of my favorite series produced. I’ve loved the play-at-home styled uncovering of the mystery, where both the officers and the viewer have the same knowledge. I’ve always been interested in police-drama programmes, however realism is something for which I root for in these programmes, so not many suit me.