Why you must catch up with Line of Duty right now

Tonight’s episode of the BBC2 police drama is an acting masterclass by its two female stars, and there's still time to get up to speed, says Mark Jefferies


I didn’t watch the first series of police drama Line Of Duty, and looking back I missed out.


However, I went to the launch of the second series and this week I have finally caught up with episode two and watched a preview of the compelling third part which airs tonight on BBC2.

Apart from the obvious question about who is guilty and who is telling the truth in the brilliant plot, I have to ask why isn’t this series on in BBC1 primetime and why aren’t even more people watching it?

This tense police thriller managed 1.8 million for the opening episode and I am delighted to see almost an extra million have now watched it on their Skyplus boxes or iPlayer in consolidated figures.

I want to urge all of you to do the same, it is a great example of brilliant British drama, certainly the best thing on TV at the moment by a long stretch.

Tonight’s episode is led by Keeley Hawes and Vicky McClure, two actresses at the top of their game. They are slugging it out on either side of the fence as Keeley’s character DI Lindsay Denton faces up to charges of murder.

Vicky is the flawed DC Kate Fleming trying to prosecute Lindsay whilst having plenty of secret skeletons of her own which could derail any potential court case against her rival.

The scenes with just the two of them on set are captivating and reveal more with every twist and turn.

And whilst Keeley Hawes has not always been every critics’ favourite actress, this feels like the best and most complex role of her career, judged to perfection.

At the launch Keeley described it as “the most full on thing I’ve ever done” and throwing herself into the harrowing part of Lindsay has really paid off for her and the viewers.

Tonight’s script exposes yet more of her emotional character, but given there are three more episodes left I am sure there will remain plenty of differing opinions as to what has really happened to Lindsay and who is to blame.

If you are just starting on Line Of Duty all you need to know is this: a police convoy has been ambushed which leaves three police officers dead and a protected witness seriously injured.

Lindsay Denton is the sole survivor of the attack and comes under suspicion as police investigate who leaked details of the convoy.

The best way to find out what happens next is to watch the episodes on iPlayer and catch up quick. You will thank me afterwards.

The first series was BBC2’s best-performing drama series in ten years, but I think when it is inevitably recommissioned for a third, it deserves promotion to BBC1.

For now, just concentrate on catching up with this series and marvel at what I think will be award-winning female performances from the cast.

Mark Jefferies is Showbiz Editor at the Daily Mirror

Line of Duty is on BBC2 tonight at 9pm