Viewers who were on tenterhooks waiting to see whether Keeley Hawes’ copper Lindsay Denton was guilty on Line of Duty 2 – or are still recovering from the fact that Jessica Raine got chucked out of a window – will be pleased to hear that the third series is meant to be even better.
BBC controller of drama commissioning Ben Stephenson says writer Jed Mercurio has “outdone himself” after delivering the script for the third series of the police corruption thriller.
Stephenson told the Edinburgh International Television Festival: “I have just read episode one of Line of Duty 3 and I was sitting alone in my flat on Sunday evening reading it. And I literally said to myself ‘Oh my God I can’t believe that’s happening’. And I said 'Oh my God, Jed is so clever he has outdone himself'.”
Mercurio refused to be drawn on whether he agreed with Stephenson, telling RadioTimes.com : “I don’t know [if it’s the most exciting yet]. It’s a script at the moment, we haven’t made it.”
The new six-part series will focus on a lead police character who is under investigation for corruption, said Mercurio, who refused to reveal casting plans or say whether Hawes’ character Denton – the chief suspect in a fatal police ambush – would be returning.
Line of Duty 3 is expected to air next year, with the BBC also asking for a fourth series, which will probably be made for 2016.