Another breathless and twisting engagement with the corruption-busters
★★★★ BBC1, starts Sunday, 26 March, 9pm
LINE OF DUTY has got better and better in previous series. Sadly, there is no Keeley Hawes this time, but the show has mixed up the chemistry with another interesting new face – Thandie Newton.
The corruption-busters played by Martin Compston, Vicky McClure and Adrian Dunbar return. This time there is a bit of needle between newly promoted Kate Fleming (McClure) and the not newly promoted Steve Arnott (Compston).
Thandie Newton, familiar from films such as Crash and most recently TV’s Westworld, here plays DCI Roz Huntley. Her team captures a serial killer and straightaway she is under pressure to make a charge stick.
Line of Duty‘s game of mirrors
The fly in the ointment is her forensics guy, Tim Ifield (Jason Watkins), who suggests the educationally backward suspect has been framed.
The beauty of Line of Duty is that investigating police wrongdoing is a dangerous game of mirrors, and once again the viewer is not sure who is good and not so good. The immediate face-off is between Roz and the slightly creepy Tim. But is Roz bent?
Or is Tim playing some kind of game with her? It is Tim who gets AC-12 involved at looking into Roz.
Lee Ingleby as Roz’s husband
As happened with the opening of series 3 and the explosive introduction to Daniel Mays’s off-kilter cop Danny Waldron, once again we’re swept along in a breathless opening episode. An abduction, a frantic chase and an explosion – it’s exhausting to watch.
Lee Ingleby plays Roz’s husband and, though he doesn’t have much to do in the opener, it is clear that her private will be a vital part of the drama.
As we’ve come to expect, the performances are compelling and the atmosphere as claustrophobic as the Victoria Line during rush hour.
It’s refreshing to have such a well-written crime series that breaks free of the traditional British obsession with period whodunits. This is rough and tough, and the climax at the end of episode one is almost absurdly nail-biting.
- Check out Line of Duty’s BBC webpage