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Sunday, May 19, 2019

Line of Duty: Brilliant Hunt for Bent Coppers

I watched the first season of Line of Duty a few years ago, and my wife and I just binge-watched the next four seasons (on Acorn TV via Amazon Prime).   It's an outstanding series, with pretty much everything you could want in a police series - twisted loyalties, unexpected turns, and lots of action.

The protagonists are in a special squad that investigates and attempts to root out "bent" coppers (the series is British).  The antagonists are a ruthless, vicious mafia-like gang, with people placed in the highest echelons of all kinds of police detective units.   The questioning of suspects is the most intense and best I've ever seen in any cop series.  What we get just a bit of in most series is often center-stage and brilliant in Line of Duty.

The action is breathtaking, with major characters often on the verge of getting killed, and indeed sometimes dying.  The three most major characters are Superintendent Ted Hastings (played by Adrian Dunbar), DS (I love those British titles) Steve Arnott (Martin Compston), and DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McLure).  Actually, some of those titles change as the series progresses, but the acting stays constant at superb.   There are also some notable guest stars, my favorite being Polly Walker who made such a good impression in Rome.

The series also has a unique way of telling new stories each season while weaving in unresolved elements from prior seasons.   In that sense, as well as the very fast pace and short time period in which each season takes place, Line of Duty has a lot in common with 24, one of my all-time favorite series.

This fifth season just started streaming and aired last month across the Atlantic.  There's a six season coming along.  It's at the very top of my wife's and my series to watch.   Kudos to creator Jed Mercurio - who also did another powerhouse series, Bodyguard - for a great piece of work! 


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