Yep. That was basically my reaction when I watched the first episode of Line of Duty.
Considering this, I chose deeply inappropriate times to watch it. The first fifteen minutes or so I watched on the train and gasped at the attack on the convoy. The rest I watched while having my lunch. Let’s just say that watching someone have their head shoved down a toilet IN THE WORKPLACE somewhat put me off my pasta and pesto. And the last few minutes… Well, it’s lucky I watched it on catch-up because there is no way I could have waited a week to find out what happened next.
Apparently we went nuts for the first series. I completely missed it. At least, I have a vague recollection of seeing the advert and thinking it looked good, but I never actually watched it. It seems like I missed out. This is dynamite television.
The story centres on DCI Lindsay Denton and the anti-corruption unit of the Met. One night, Denton receives a phone call requesting urgent assistance with a comprised individual in witness protection. She leads a small team to get the individual, but they are attacked. The Met believes a police officer leaked information, and gradually they hone in on Denton.
Denton, for her part, is a complicated character. At first she seems meek and shocked by all that has occurred, but there are parts of her character emerging that I’m not too sure about, including a brilliant moment that anyone who has ever had a noisy neighbour will empathise with. Keeley Hawes, a lady who has always managed to avoid being annoying despite being very pretty and having a well-to-do accent, plays her brilliantly.
Dare I say that this is a drama much more in the vein of Nordic Noir? I think I do. It’s not just the interest in the internal machinations of the police force. It’s the interesting female characters. Of the main five characters in the first episode, three are women and they are all complex, and physically imperfect. If this is a sign that we are moving away from America and towards Scandinavia in our tastes, it’s very welcome.