Contains spoilers for Line of Duty season five.
Line of Duty season five ended on a spectacular note, as it was revealed AC-12 have been barking up the wrong tree by chasing one person known as ‘H’. Gill Biggleloe was unmasked as being corrupt, Ted Hastings was proven innocent – for now – and it was explained that one more corrupt police member remains at large.
With a sixth season officially commissioned by the BBC, here’s what we know so far about what’s coming next...
Excitingly, season 5 is firmly underway and already showrunner Jed Mercurio is sharing some, erm, interesting clues.
Jed posted an image of Australian chocolate biscuit TimTam (made by a company called Arnott's) with the caption "Line Of Duty series 6 plot clue no.1."
Naturally, fans have gone into overdrive thinking about what this cryptic clue could mean, with some suggesting the series could be set in Australia while others have said Steve Arnott could be 'broken' as per the split in half biscuit image on the wrapper.
For now, we'll have to wait and see if things become any clearer, and seeing as Jed said it's clue number one, expect more guessing games.
Line of Duty season 6: When’s it on TV?
Fans of the show have got a little while to wait before AC-12 are back on our screens. The show has traditionally aired on a two-year cycle, so it's been expected that spring 2021 is when it will be back next.
However, Jed Mercurio, the show's creator, has revealed to Radio Times we'll be seeing the sixth series sooner than that. "I would hope it's sometime in 2020, next year. But that's not something that we're able to confirm," he said.
In regards to a production start-date, he said: "That's something that we have at the planning stage, so we are working towards a date. We can't confirm everything until things are in place."
But will it be the last we see of Jed Mercurio's drama?
This is something we’re not quite sure of at the moment as the BBC has only officially commissioned season six, however given the show’s popularity it could certainly go on for longer.
Adrian Dunbar, who plays Hastings, told Good Morning Britian: "We'll have to wait and see. The standard of the writing is so high, you know. If Jed keeps doing it, we could go on forever."
Line of Duty season 6: Who’s in it?
We’ll see Adrian Dunbar, Vicky McClure and Martin Compston return as the show’s regulars, Hastings, Fleming and Arnott, of course.
Given the huge impact her character made towards the end of season five, it’s possible we’ll see Anna Maxwell Martin return as Patricia Carmichael.
Excitingly, Kelly Macdonald will guest star.
Showrunner Jed Mercurio shared an image of himself, Vicky McClure, Martin Compston and Adrian Dunbar "awaiting the arrival of secret guest stars."
Then the BBC revealed Macdonald will play Detective Chief Inspector Joanne Davidson, the senior investigating officer of an unsolved murder, whose unconventional conduct raises suspicions at AC-12.
Jed Mercurio said: "We're honoured that Kelly Macdonald will join Martin, Vicky and Adrian in Series 6 of Line of Duty. DCI Joanne Davidson will prove the most enigmatic adversary AC-12 have ever faced."
Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, added: “We’re delighted that Kelly Macdonald is coming on board for series six. She’s one of the UK’s most versatile actors and we’re excited for viewers to see what Jed’s scripts have in store for her when she joins the Line of Duty team.”
Line of Duty season 6: What will it be about?
We imagine the series will follow AC-12 as they try to discover who the fourth corrupt police member is, under the command of Hastings who is clearly on thin ice after what happened in season five.
Lisa McQueen told police the OCG was fully neutralised in the final episode of series five, but now we know member Ryan Pilkington is a junior police officer, will he continue the OCG’s work from the inside?
Expect to also see more of Fleming and Arnott’s personal lives as they struggle with the balance between love, family and work.
Line of Duty will return to BBC One.
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