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Line of Duty (BBC)


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45 minutes ago, Professor Rob said:

If this is the last series, then it's quite possibly the biggest anti-climax in the history of television.


yeah, but institutionalised corruption doesn’t just require a load of bent coppers. It also needs the folk in charge choosing to turn a blind eye to the bent coppers under their command, because it makes them look bad, and therefore everything goes to shit. The structures reinforce it because it suits folk throughout the organisation, not just the ones working with Crime Groups.

 

see also: institutionalised racism.

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Yeah but it was a melodramatic TV series not a documentary. They clearly weren't planning a realistic commentary on how institutional corruption actually works when they wrote The Adventures of Lindsey Denton or Attack of the Killer Balaclava Men.

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Personally I liked the fact that it wasn’t some cat-stroking criminal mastermind pulling the strings, just a weak, greedy, morally vacant little man. Mercurio pulls off another master stroke.

 

As to those asking if there will be another series - this has been box office gold for the BBC so I would be amazed if there wasn’t.

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Probably the poorest season of it to be fair. 

 

Still got some enjoyment out of it though even though Kelly Macdonald is a nightmare to watch and to listen to.

 

We will get another season I think. But I wouldn't care if that was the end. 

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I much preferred this series to the previous one. I accept that it's not hitting the lofty heights of it's heyday but I wasnt as disappointed by the ending as most people seemed to be! 

 

It's still a bloody good drama.

 

Time for a 2nd viewing from the very beginning methinks. 

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The trouble with that finale is that when you compare it to stuff like the end of series 3, it was so bland. Even though that episode’s ending was a bit ludicrous, what with Kate running around the streets with a semi-automatic, the level of tension in the interrogation scene was off the charts and ‘Urgent Exit Required’ is a stone-cold classic TV moment. It was a THRILLING 90 minutes of television, as can be seen by the reactions in this thread. Contrast that to the Buckells interrogation, particularly considering the effective build up in terms of editing and music. It was just such a nothing scene. I was expecting:

 

Spoiler

The mask to slip and for his mood to turn, revealing that the dunderhead act was just that. I can see that scene in my head and how effective it could have been, and it would have been much more enjoyable for Buckells to actually be fucking clever. As it turned out, he was still just a bit of an idiot.

 

Sure, Mercurio probably thought he was being clever by the ending being a bit flat and not what we expected (I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt and assuming that he doesn’t think it was massively exciting), but if that’s true then he’s essentially decided that making a fairly obvious and boring political point was more important than entertaining the audience, which was pretty self-indulgent of him.

 

Great series up to then, but not sticking the landing really hurts it.

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3 minutes ago, Eighthours said:
Spoiler

The mask to slip and for his mood to turn, revealing that the dunderhead act was just that. I can see that scene in my head and how effective it could have been, and it would have been much more enjoyable for Buckles to actually be fucking clever. As it turned out, he was still just a bit of an idiot.

 

 

Spoiler

I was half expecting this as well, but then the misspelling of 'definitely' wouldn't have worked if he was actually clever. I also had a theory that he was just a stooge for the real big bad, whoever that would be, but then, unless this person was living in an annex at Buckells's house, so he could use the laptop whenever he wanted, this wouldn't have worked, either.

 

As others have mentioned, they could have made more of a thing about the banality of Buckells's motives - he just did it for money, there was no wider evil plan - but the end felt a bit rushed and this point didn't really come off. My wife and I both just said to each other 'Is that it?' after the credits rolled - there was no final flourish or real poignancy to the ending.

 

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I must say I was a bit disappointed with the ending. I’ve enjoyed the series overall and thought it had some great highs. However the resolution just felt flat imo and tbh,  like a total set up for a proper last series.

 

One thing I especially feel didn’t pass the grade was the interrogation scenes. They just lose their impact and, well, interest when every question is followed by ‘no comment’.

 

Anyway, I hope there’s another season. I feel like there must be, surely. But maybe Jed might be pulling a double double troll and simply does call it a day. If he does though, I really feel like he’s missing out on concluding some stunning storylines and characters. Osborne for instance. Nigel Morton’s little phone. Gill Bigalow. The list goes on. And I feel like Nesbitt would have been top drawer entertainment in an interrogation.

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Been having a think about this argument that this was the perfect ending because it was a comment on corruption in government, and generally the shady interests always win out. Okay, that's a fair enough analysis but I was under the impression Line Of Duty was the TV equivalent of those crime novels you get in supermarkets by the likes of Peter James, where each subsequent novel has some feedback from the previous ones, they're largely from the police perspective and adhere to authentic procedures and practices. The BBC's promotion of the show has always been around the thrill, the mystery, "who is H?", and certainly not in recent series has it been promoted as a strictly political drama. It didn't feel like it was working on both levels, as a thriller and a political drama, the plot was caught up in the world of Line Of Duty, although as has been noted there were influences from real cases.

 

The desire for a series 7 is, I feel, a desire for clarity and closure, and that ain't going to happen because I don't even think Jed Mercurio understands the convoluted backstory now, hence the sudden switch to an ending with a message.

 

If he wants to reboot it and start something new and similar it could go either way: a heavyweight drama about government corruption with lots of twists that illustrate how power moves, or a thrilling crime drama with plot twists galore. It would take real skill to combine the two, and despite his great talent I don't think Jed Mercurio is capable of it.

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Hmmm, so the excuse is what I said above, then. At least that’s the line being taken. 
 

Out of interest I watched the first episode of series 1 again last night. It’s not a ‘totally’ different show but it’s significantly changed to what it becomes later. Much more emphasis on the guest lead, Lennie James (Tony Gates). Martin Compston fresh faced and looking about 18. There are more significant characters around the guest lead (Dot Cotton and Nigel, for example), which gives Mercurio a bunch more story possibilities and give Tony Gates’s station a proper team vibe. A really weird master-pupil vibe between Ted and Steve, which makes it seem like they’re the only people who work in AC-12 until Kate is revealed as being undercover (and she’s nowhere near as inept at it as she is in subsequent series). No massive recorder beep in the interrogations yet - did they ever explain why that happens? It’s a slow build at times but always compelling.

 

And it’s BRILLIANT.  

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That Mercurio tweet is hilarious. "Attempting to explore the real nature of corruption in our society" might've been better received if they hadn't spent the previous five seasons portraying a comic book version of it.

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1 hour ago, Vimster said:

That tweet and that ending were a cop-out, no pun intended. He was that tied in knots plot-wise it was his only way out. 

 

I mean, if they get a season with Osborne as the investigated officer in order to end it (maybe as a rogue operation that is forever in danger of being found out, which would end the careers of Steve, Kate and Ted), that would be great. Owen Teale may not be a ‘name’, but everyone knows who he is from Game of Thrones. Hand over the keys to me, Jed, I’ll do it right. :)

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Yeah the ending feels like the equivalent of the last episode of 24 having Jack Bauer arrested and put on trial for war crimes in The Hague. You can’t set up a daft “shooty shooty” soapy cop drama and then have the last episode be about the institutionalised nature of corruption. Especially a series that never really nailed the actual nature of police corruption - turning a blind eye, taking bungs, etc. Instead just about every corrupt copper in this show has been blackmailed into it, or groomed since childhood. 
 

Even if Mercurio wanted to go down that route, he could have written the last few series as:


 

Spoiler

- Had H revealed as a bigwig police officer who moonlights as a gang boss. Full on cackling villain type. Would have been much more satisfying. 

- Have AC-12 patting themselves on the back for solving the case. 

- Finish the series with Ryan walking in to the police academy for the first time, showing the cycle still continues. 
- Buckles is revealed to be eating crayons in his office in his spare time. 

 

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I also started Series 1 again last night - they all look so young, particularly Arnott!

 

I still maintain that LoD has not become a bad show, not even close to it - it's just not as good as it was during its peak.  I still think this series has been significantly better than other police dramas.

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I prefer a dull but makes sense ending to an exciting but ludicrous one, so that'll do.

 

Can someone explain to me where the "erroneously identified as H, now known as the Fourth Man" thing came from?

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I had completely forgotten that

 

Spoiler

Osborne, Buckells and Pilkington

 

ALL appear in the first few episodes of the very first series.

 

Now I really wish I'd have rewatched it all before series 6!

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8 hours ago, Graham S said:

Can someone explain to me where the "erroneously identified as H, now known as the Fourth Man" thing came from?

 

 

At the end of series 3 Matthew 'Dot' Cottan

 

Spoiler

gave the H clue as a dying declaration to Kate. She asked him to blink once for yes as she went through the alphabet, and he did when she got to H.

 

 

Then, at the end of series 5, bodycam footage reveals that Dot was actually trying to deliver a message with his hand. The bodycam zooms in (because bodycams are able to hone in on important clues) and we see that Dot is tapping out H in Morse code, which is four dots.

 

So the team understand that H is actually four different people.

 

This doesn't explain why Dot blinked at H or why the bodycam footage only emerged two series later.

 

I remember fans calling it out at the time for re-writing history and stretching credibility.

 

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5 hours ago, Boothjan said:

I had completely forgotten that

 

  Hide contents

Osborne, Buckells and Pilkington

 

ALL appear in the first few episodes of the very first series.

 

Now I really wish I'd have rewatched it all before series 6!

 

In the last episode of series 1, when Gates shows up at the golf course to arrest Tommy Hunter, you catch a very brief glimpse of Buckells in the car park, carrying a bag of golf clubs. Nothing is ever made of it, as far as I'm aware.

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My spoilery S6 Line of Duty joke:

 

Spoiler

How do you know that the fourth man is going to implicate his boss?

 

Spoiler

Because Ian Buckells.

 

 

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