Line of Duty: Who is DCI Ian Buckells?

The detective who takes over Operation Trapdoor will be familiar to fans of the drama


Who is DCI Ian Buckells, the copper who gave AC-12’s Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) the heebie-jeebies when he appeared tonight?


Attentive viewers may recognise the detective who takes over Operation Trapdoor when Thandie Newton’s Roz Huntley is relieved of her duties thanks to the probings of Ted Hastings and his team.

But why does Kate hide (below) when she sees him introduce himself to the team – forcing Hastings to have a rather shady nighttime meeting with Buckells to persuade him not to dob her in?


Well of course Buckells – played once again by actor Nigel Boyle – knows very well that Fleming is an anti-corruption detective, having been in a very similar situation in Line of Duty series one.

If you recall, Buckells took over the investigation into the kidnapping of Jackie Laverty from Tony Gates (Lennie James’s dodgy cop). Fleming was working undercover investigating the Gates team and was forced to reveal that she was AC-12 when Arnott was being tortured.

So Buckells know exactly who she is – and if her cover is blown, the AC-12 investigation into Huntley would be seriously compromised. 

Or as Hastings tells the clearly frightened Buckells tonight: “I do not want to pull my officer off this job and I am sure you wouldn’t want to see all this time and money and effort go up the spout, would you son? Because if it did, the world and his wife would know who’s to blame….”


Whether Buckells keeps his word, only time will tell. But you’d be a fool to cross Ted Hastings…