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...
Work on season 6 was firmly underway pre-lockdown.
Star of the series Martin Compston shared a picture in uniform with co-star Adrian Dunbar and showrunner Jed Mercurio.
However, filming had to halt when the pandemic hit the UK and social distancing measures were introduced. At the time, Mercurio was considering a rewrite of the series.
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The good news is that the production was able to resume in a COVID-secure way and as of now, filming is finished and the series is set to air before March 2021.
The BBC shared an image of the filming...
Jed also shared a first look at new cast member Kelly Macdonald as DCI Jo Davidson in the interview room with AC-12.
— Jed Mercurio (@jed_mercurio) September 10, 2020
Line of Duty season 6: When’s it on TV?
BBC One has announced Line of Duty fans will see the hit-series back on their screens before the end of March 2021.
A statement sharing the broadcaster's plans for the autumn/winter TV schedule read: "Returning favourites on TV in the period up to the end of March include His Dark Materials, Doctor Who, Line Of Duty and Call The Midwife..."
Regardless of its exact air date, will series six 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."
— Jed Mercurio (@jed_mercurio) November 13, 2019
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.”
Joining Line of Duty for the first time this series are Shalom Brune-Franklin (Our Girl, Cursed), Perry Fitzpatrick (This Is England, I Am Nicola), Andi Osho (Kiri, Curfew) and Prasanna Puwanarajah (Doctor Foster, Patrick Melrose).
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.
Watch this space for more news.
Line of Duty will return to BBC One early in 2021.
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