After a long wait, AC-12 are back in the investigation room on the hunt for bent coppers and the illusive H, as Series Six kicked off. The hugely popular BBC One police corruption drama returned with cast regulars Supt Ted Hastings, played by Adrian Dunbar, DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) taking the helm of a high-profile murder investigation.
Newcomer to the show Kelly Macdonald stars as DCI Joanne Davidson and fellow new arrival Shalom Brune-Franklin joins as DC Chloe Bishop.
Almost as high as Line of Duty’s ratings last night must have been the number of viewers Googling “CHIS”.
Do real-life coppers say “CHIS” as often as this lot were saying it?
“We’ve had a call from a CHIS handler.”
“The CHIS has bottled it.”
“I’ve got the file on the CHIS.”
Also, is it a new expression or have they used it before?
I’ll be blowed if I can remember. It’s been two years since the last Line of Duty series ended. It’s a miracle if I remember what happened on MasterChef last Monday.
Either way, it certainly sounded very Line of Duty-like.
No other show loves its acronyms as much as Line of Duty does — except perhaps DIY SOS — and for Series Six it seems this one’s become their favourite. A CHIS, I remember now, is a Covert Human Intelligence Source (thanks, Wikipedia) and Episode One found the police having grown somewhat heavily dependant on these shadowy informants.
A journalist had been murdered. Could those with an ear to the ground help unmask the killer? Maybe. Maybe not.
Of course, no one in Line of Duty is even half as shadowy as whichever cop is newest to the show.
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This time that role — key to which is the shifty look you must wear whenever people’s backs are turned — has fallen to Kelly Macdonald’s DCI Davidson. What exactly is Jo’s game? Will she prove as bent as those in Series One to Five?
Prepare for numerous clues in the coming weeks. That’s assuming writer Jed Mercurio doesn’t bump her off straight after next Sunday’s Top Gear, which on past form wouldn’t entirely surprise me.
What we do know is that Jo’s handling of this murder case has raised eyebrows.
What we also know (this was the twist in last night’s final 10 minutes, the part of the opening episode where traditionally someone is shot or launched from the 11th floor) is that she’s been dating one of her female officers.
That relationship has just ended acrimoniously. Will this turn out to be relevant? Don’t ask me.
Also please don’t ask me to speculate any further for now about the mysterious H, the police corruption kingpin whose identity we’ve been trying to guess since Boris Johnson was Foreign Secretary.
Last time around, remember, they wanted us to think it was Supt Ted Hastings himself, the anti-corruption unit’s chief. Me, I never bought that. My money’s always been on DCI Gene Hunt…
But for now, who really cares? Line of Duty is back, and for the next six Sunday nights you know exactly where you’ll find me, admittedly in part because it’s where I’ve been for the previous 52.
To get this latest series made, under such trying circumstances, is a fine achievement. The nation is truly grateful, just as we were when we heard they were still doing Bake Off. Soggy bottoms, sticky ends…we can’t get enough of either.
* Line of Duty continues next Sunday at 9pm on BBC One.
Published at Sun, 21 Mar 2021 22:00:00 +0000