Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio on season 5: “it feels like very fresh territory”

But what does that mean about this season's guest lead?

Ted Hastings Line of Duty (BBC)

Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio is promising new characters, new situations and a “fresh” feel to the highly anticipated fifth season of the BBC police anti-corruption drama when it finally arrives sometime next year.

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“Season five feels like it’s very fresh territory,” said Mercurio. “There are things we haven’t done before, characters we haven’t seen before and that I think’s part of the construction of the series.”

Speaking on the Royal Television Society’s Anatomy of a Hit: Line of Duty panel on Tuesday, Mercurio said it was part of the “architecture” of the show – which has added a new major antagonist to each series, along with a host of twists and turns to the slowly unfolding corruption mystery – that has allowed it to keep audiences hooked.

“We have that architecture which allows us to rejuvenate the format,” said Mercurio. “Possibly we’ve arrived at that accidentally but because it would appear now that we have this situation where the audience is intrigued about what we’ve got to offer based on who the guest lead is going to be, what other characters there are, what the fundamental premise is, we’ve been very fortunate that as the series has gone on, people have engaged with every story.”

However, asked whether the new series would follow its last two major antagonists Keeley Hawes’ DI Lindsay Denton and Thandie Newton’s DCI Roz Huntley with another “strong woman” in the central role, Mercurio remained tight-lipped, saying only: “maybe”.

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Filming on Line of Duty season five is due to start later this year, with a sixth instalment already having been commissioned.