It’s June 2012, England has just been knocked out of the Euros by Italy, anticipation is growing for the world’s best athletes to compete at London 2012 and a counter-terrorist police raid results in the death of an innocent man when raiding the wrong flat, DS Steve Arnott refuses to take part in a cover-up and is recruited to AC-12
Little did the 3.76m people who tuned in that night know that nine years later, the programme they watched would become the biggest show in the country, referenced in the House of Commons and its stars would be some of the most recognisable faces on TV.
From the incredibly long beep at the start of interviews, to the title music composed by Carly Paradis, which always is a sure sign sh*t is about to go down, to us all rewinding and trying to bend round our TVs to read a piece of paper (don’t lie, yes you did), it has had us all hooked.
I am of course talking about the behemoth that is Line of Duty, fella. Back then the fresh faced DS Arnott and DS Kate Flemming, who began the first of several (and increasingly questionable) undercover missions, were focussing on DCI Tony Gates, played by Lennie James, and his team.
Since then they’ve crossed swords with Keeley Hawes as DI Lindsay Denton, Daniel May as the twisted Sergeant Danny Waldron, Thandiwe Newton as DCI Roz Huntley, Stephen Graham as DS John Corbett and most recently Kelly MacDonald as Detective Superintendent Jo Davidson. All great actors in their own right, made even better by the incredible work of writer and creator Jed Mercurio.
Over the course of six series, our heroes at AC-12 have been pushed out of windows, thrown down stairs, shot at, kidnapped, had affairs, got divorced, brought down senior officers, accused of being bent themselves and uncovered historic crimes.
They also all have questionable personal lives and have made very dodgy decisions, Hasting’s laptop, the bag of money, Kate’s on off relationship with her husband and affairs with senior officers and seriously is Steve able to shag anyone who isn’t linked to an investigation?
But we have loved it. From trying to work out who Balaclava Man was, who The Caddy was and who H/The Fourth Man is, it’s been a must see since the get go and each twist has been tortuous and to be honest who doesn’t enjoy hating/slightly fancying Detective Chief Superintendent Carmichael?
Sunday’s series finale feels like a TV show being a major event and I can’t really remember when the last one of those was, well in reality it was probably the end of the show’s fifth series. The BBC has been very coy on whether this really is the end as the trailers seem to suggest and if it is, well it’s been a hell of a ride. But with just one hour left to go, there’s surely too much to neatly tie up with a bow right?