Are you clueless over TV’s Line Of Duty, or are you ‘sucking diesel’? Find out as JAN MOIR asks the questions ahead of Britain’s favourite cop thriller returning
Next weekend Line Of Duty returns for a sixth series —and not a moment too soon. The hugely popular police drama is a must-watch for armchair sleuths.
At the heart of the action is AC-12, the anti-corruption squad headed by Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) and his two trusty sidekicks, Detective Inspector Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston).
‘My department carries out its duties to the letter of the law,’ says Hastings. Yet, week after week, viewers are lured into a dark and complex world of police-on-police crime that is sometimes shocking and often confusing.
Next weekend Line Of Duty returns for a sixth series —and not a moment too soon. The hugely popular police drama is a must-watch for armchair sleuths. DI Fleming is pictured left in the series, played by Vicky McClure (right)
How much do you know? What do you remember from the past? Please step into our interrogation room where you are still under caution.
For the purposes of the tape, we need to ascertain how much you have learned from what has gone before to inform the quality of your Line Of Duty viewing experience in the future.
You have the right to be questioned by an officer at least one rank senior — but please answer truthfully. BEEEEEP!
1) At the heart of every series is the Hunt for H, the quest to uncover the identity of the mysterious high-ranking criminal mastermind who commands a network of corrupt police officers. Three people have already been unmasked in the H block, but the identity of the fourth and final villain remains a mystery. How much do you know about this?
A Not much, like everyone.
B Please don’t let it be Ted.
C Sorry, I got confused back in series two.
D Haven’t they solved that yet?
2) In his dying declaration in the series three finale, DI Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan (Craig Parkinson) revealed essential information to Kate Fleming about H’s identity. How did he convey this intelligence?
A He wrote a note in blood.
B By blinking, finger tapping and Morse Code.
C He left a message on Ted’s phone.
D By using semaphore flags.
3) One clue was the misspelling of a word in series five. What was it?
Detective Chief Inspector Roz Huntley is pictured left, played by Thandie Newton, right
4) In the last series, the organised crime group was infiltrated by an undercover officer played by Stephen Graham. What was his name?
A John Corbett.
B Harry H. Corbett.
C Keir Corbett.
D Norbert Corbett.
5) Who is in the Balaclava Gang?
A I don’t know, they all wear balaclavas.
B That dodgy lawyer back in series four.
D No comment.
6) Operation Pear Tree was the investigation launched in series five aimed at infiltrating criminal networks and uncovering links between such groups and corrupt officers. Who is in charge of it?
A Haven’t a clue, guv.
B Professor Plum in the study with the truncheon.
C Alison Powell.
D Police and Crime Commissioner Rohan Sindwhani.
7) At the conclusion of Operation Pear Tree, it was announced that it had uncovered no links between the police and organised crime. Was this true?
A Pull the other one, it’s got bells on.
B You are having a laugh.
C No, lawyer Gill Biggeloe was exposed as corrupt.
D Nothing to see here, move along.
8) What happened to senior legal counsel Gill Biggeloe?
A PC Tina Tranter tried to stab her in the AC-12 loos.
B She gave testimony against the OCS (organised crime group).
C She was given a new identity.
D All of the above.
Lindsay Denton is pictured above, played by Keeley Hawes
9) In series four, Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott goes to lawyer Nick Huntley’s office after discovering holes in his alibi. He exits a glass lift. What happens next?
A He gets off at the wrong floor.
B He is thrown down the stairs by a man in a balaclava.
C He realises he has left his phone at home.
D He notices a coffee stain on his favourite waistcoat.
10) In the same series, what did Thandie Newton’s DCI Roz Huntley say when Hastings called her ‘darling’?
A Your place or mine, big boy.
B I’d thank you to use gender-neutral language.
C I am not your darling, I am your destiny.
D Ma’am will suffice.
11) Back in series two, DI Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes) has a confrontation with then DC Kate Fleming. ‘People have underestimated me my whole life,’ says Denton. Then she . . .
A Punches Fleming in the stomach.
B Arrests Fleming.
C Gives Fleming a Chinese burn.
D Admires Fleming’s lipstick.
12) Speaking of Denton, she accuses Hastings of being vulnerable to corruption by having what?
A An affair with Biggeloe.
B Links to terrorism in his past.
C A problem with alcohol and gambling.
D High levels of undisclosed financial losses.
13) Which of the following is not a Tedism?
A Hastings, like the battle.
B Mother of God.
C I didn’t float up the Lagan in a bubble.
D Put your knickers on and make a cup of tea.
14) Finally, how much are you looking forward to Line Of Duty series six?
A Not a lot.
B I’m not at liberty to say.
C It’s the best news since the vaccine.
D Now we are sucking diesel.
The three central characters are DSI Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), who is in charge of anti-corruption unit AC-12. He is assisted by DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston).
The hunt for ‘H’
H is the codename for a group of senior-ranking, corrupt officers who are in cahoots with criminal gangs. Their inside knowledge means they have previously been able to foil police investigations.
In the last outing, it was revealed that H is not an individual but four people. We now know the identity of three members of H and only one name — that of the kingpin — remains a mystery.
Those twisted plots: series one
The tangled loyalties of copper Tony Gates (Lennie James), are the focus of series one.
He is named officer of the year but one-time lover Jackie Laverty (Gina McKee) embroils him in a plot to kill her accountant, who had discovered that she was laundering money for gangster Tommy Hunter.
Jackie is murdered and Gates is blackmailed and framed. He walks on to the motorway to perish under the wheels of a lorry. But AC-12 discover there is a corrupt man in the force known as ‘The Caddy’.
One of the three central characters is DSI Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), who is in charge of anti-corruption unit AC-12
There is an armed attack on a police convoy transporting a protected witness. The only survivor is DI Lindsay Denton, (Keeley Hawes). She is eventually convicted of conspiracy to murder. Meanwhile corrupt copper DS Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan (The Caddy) becomes a member of AC-12.
Sergeant Danny Waldron (Daniel Mays) is the focus of investigations — shot dead by a member of his own armed response team. The trail leads to a paedophile ring, which Waldron was taking revenge on.
At the end of the series Lindsay Denton is freed and gives a copy of the list of abusers to AC-12. Dot is unmasked as The Caddy and escapes the interview room, only to die after offering up a ‘dying declaration’.
DCI Roz Huntley (Thandie Newton) kills forensic coordinator Tim Ifield after he becomes suspicious that she is manipulating evidence. A man in a balaclava almost kills Steve Arnott and DSI Ted Hastings is accused of being corrupt copper H.
Undercover officer John Corbett (Stephen Graham) is at the centre of the plot. It transpires that Hastings had a relationship with Corbett’s mother while he was working for the RUC, and was the last person to see her alive. Corbett is killed after a tip-off to the OCG (organised crime gang) where he is embedded.
Eventually, Gill Biggeloe (Polly Walker), a legal adviser, is unmasked as a corrupt senior member of police staff after an attempt to frame Hastings.
In the finale, Arnott re-examines the footage of Dot Cottan’s dying declaration and suggests that he was tapping out H — four dots in Morse code — to suggest that there were four police staff in league with organised crime.
With corrupt Assistant Chief Constable Derek Hilton, legal counsel Gill Biggeloe and Cottan himself already discovered, that means one remains.
What to expect in season six
The big question: is Ted Hastings really H? A trailer has been released by the BBC.
Confusingly, there is a series of ‘Easter egg’ clues that can be reached if fans follow a trail from a QR code on the front of a magazine in the original trailer.
What is confirmed is that Trainspotting actress Kelly Macdonald will appear as new character DCI Joanne Davidson.
There are shoot-outs, a car crash, a balaclava man in police custody and the usual allegations that somewhere a rotten apple is preventing the course of justice.
In the trailer, Steve Arnott declares: ‘A whole line of inquiry has been deliberately suppressed to protect organised crime.’
Ted is angry, shouting about a ‘bare-faced liar promoted to our highest office’.
The trailer also shows a prescription for addictive painkillers in the name of Steve Arnott, who has suffered back pain after being almost killed in series four.
Steve is also seen meeting up with former girlfriend Nicola Rogerson (Christina Chong) and telling her he wants a transfer out of AC-12.
Line Of Duty was named the third best British crime drama of all time by the Radio Times in 2018 — behind Inspector Morse and Foyle’s War.
Line Of Duty is on BBC1 at 9pm on Sunday, March 21.
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