BBC Two’s hit crime drama Line of Duty isn’t going anywhere. Though the second series of the show came to an end last month, the BBC has, in an unusual move, decided to order two new series based on the show’s continued success. This commitment to original drama also forms part of BBC Two marking its 50th anniversary.
The second run of Line of Duty, which starred series regulars Adrian Dunbar, Martin Compston and Vicky McClure, has gripped the nation this spring, attracting rave reviews from critics and audiences. This year’s series continued to focus on the investigations of anti-corruption unit AC12, with DCI Denton (Keeley Hawes) becoming the main focus.
Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama, has said in a statement: “Line Of Duty shows what the reinvestment of money in drama on BBC Two has achieved – unique, powerful and gripping drama that gets the nation talking. Bringing it back for two more years is the easiest decision I have made. The only thing to expect from the show is the unexpected so I’m excited to see where next twists and turns take the series.”
Creator and writer, Jed Mercurio, says: “We’re profoundly grateful to the fans who not only watched Line Of Duty but also made it such a talking point, and to BBC Two for this rare and immensely flattering opportunity. For series three and four, I can promise two explosive new cases for AC-12, new guest stars as police officers investigated for corruption, further twists and turns from the loose ends of series two, and maybe even some surprise reappearances…”
The show has been a massive hit with critics, with five star reviews and consistent praise. Writing in The Telegraph, TV critic Terry Ramsay said: “I know it’s only March, but I think we have our drama of the year”. By others, it has been described as “Quite breathtaking” and “As good as writing gets”. Keeley Hawes also drew considerable acclaim for her role as the police officer under suspicion.
Line of Duty started life in the summer of 2012, when it became the most successful BBC Two drama in 10 years. This most recent series finished on over four million viewers – an impressive figure for the channel. In the United States, the show is a Hulu Original Series on Hulu’s online streaming platform.
The show has not been without controversy. The first series led to the BBC being found guilty by regulator Ofcom of a “serious lapse” in its duty of care to child actors when a 13-year old boy was exposed to sexually explicit dialogue and potentially distressing scenes. The second series upset some viewers who believed the ending was not satisfactory, though the conclusion was vocally defended by some, including leading actor Keeley Hawes.
It is not yet known when Series three and four, which will be produced by World Productions, will air, but it is likely to be in the upcoming couple of years. The first two series are released on DVD by Acorn Media UK.
Watch actor Keeley Hawes talk about the show in an interview for the Press Association below: