BBC Two’s hit police corruption drama Line of Duty was today given the seal of approval by TV bosses, as it was announced that not only would it return for two new series, but it will also be promoted to BBC One in 2017.
Jed Mercurio’s crime thriller follows the work of anti-corruption team AC-12, and stars Martin Compston as DS Steve Arnott alongside Vicky McClure as DC Kate Fleming and Adrian Dunbar as their superior, Superintendent Ted Hastings.
The third series ended last week with an average audience of 5.1m, making it BBC Two’s highest-rated drama since current records began in 2002.
Speaking of the renewal, Charlotte Moore, BBC Controller of TV Channels and iPlayer, said:
“Line of Duty is original, bold, gripping drama that gets the nation talking and the time is right to bring the series to an even broader audience on BBC One.
“Jed Mecurio’s explosive thriller will find a new home on BBC One for two more series and create room for new drama to flourish on BBC Two.”
Where next for AC-12?
We were gripped by the latest series, noting that “each episode is a finely executed balance that manages to propel the various plots along at breakneck yet satisfying speed,” and we couldn’t be more excited by the prospect of more cases for AC-12.
By episode six, the series had morphed from taut crime drama to tense psychological thriller, seemingly bringing to a close the intricate plot that had been woven through the first three series.
For those who missed the climax, we won’t spoil it here, but needless to say we’re curious about what might happen, and where things might go, next.
Is the Caddy plot now a thing of the past? Or will the ring of conspirators involved in his nefarious goings-on be further explored by Mercurio?
Then there’s Ted Hastings, a man of morals who has shown he won’t be moved by political intervention.
Will his superiors allow him to continue in his role, or is he a thorn in the side of a police force that wants to keep signs of corruption to an acceptable minimum?
We’re also keen to see if Steve Arnott gets a new wardrobe for the next series, as he surely deserves a more varied set of threads after the rigours of recent episodes.
These are just some of the questions we’re eager to see answered next year, and it’s encouraging that the Line of Duty team has two more guaranteed series in which to build up their next masterclass in populist drama – one that refuses to talk down to its audience.
Image Credit: BBC/World Productions/Steffan Hill