I wasn’t planning to write about Line of Duty after the last blog post. However, after last night’s episode, I really feel that I must extort everyone that isn’t watching it to do so.
To those that haven’t seen it, Line of Duty is a police drama about anti-corruption. A witness protection officer and her witness has been killed, and it is clear that there is a leak. Suspicion has fallen on Lindsay Denton, who led the team that went to the aid of witness protection on the night of the killing, but she is protesting her innocence.
Thankfully, the opening scenes of last night’s episode not withstanding, the really horrifying stuff seems to have ebbed away. It was really important to have it to heighten the danger that Lindsay Denton has been in throughout the series, but it did make me feel very pleut, particularly episode three, which I had encouraged my granny to watch. Luckily, I think she ignored me. However, despite the fact that there is only one more episode left, the situation is far from clear.
This is all the more impressive considering that three times so far I have been convinced that I know that Denton is/is not guilty. Her character is really outstanding. Just when you think you know what she’s about, she does something that surprises you. Even something as small as a smile at an inappropriate moment has started me thinking again. Last night, for example, I was convinced until the final ten minutes that I knew exactly what was going on, and then suddenly, I wasn’t sure any more. As well as the writing, it is testament to Keeley Hawes’ acting skills.
All the characters in this programme are morally ambiguous. Even the character that I would arguably consider the ‘most ethical’, Steve Arnott, has some dark grey areas. In addition, it is incredibly claustrophobic. When the criminals are police, the people with all the strength of the law behind them, it is difficult to know where the good ones can turn next. It is drama that makes you think and keeps you guessing. A genuinely fantastic piece of television.
So here is my plea. It is on the BBC iPlayer until 25 March 2014. If you haven’t watched it, please carve out six hours of your time and do it. It is well worth the investment.