The actor who plays Ted Hastings said that the speculation surrounding series five of the BBC1 drama is akin to the infamous hype around US soap Dallas in the 1980s.
Line of Duty’s current series is set to end this Sunday 5th May – but with the seemingly upstanding AC-12 boss in custody, it’s still unclear who the corrupt copper at the heart of the show could be.
“For those who remember it’s a bit like who shot JR at the moment,” he told presenter Andrew Marr during his Sunday politics show. “You sit down on the Tube, everybody is leaning across and going, ‘I’m not going to ask you because I don’t want to know!’”
Dunbar added that while speculation was rife, he actually found it fairly easy to keep the secrets of Line of Duty as fans don’t want the show spoiled.
“We’re lucky because our public, they really don’t want to know,” he said. “Because the twists and turns are what make the show exciting and interesting and so forth. I think in that respect we’ve been lucky.”
The actor said that he hasn’t even told his family how the series, created by Jed Mercurio, will play out.
“No, I don’t tell anybody. They don’t want to know either. It’s that good: nobody presses me really to find out, because they know it’s such a big secret,” he said.
Despite the suspicion surrounding him in the show, Ted Hastings is a firm favourite among viewers, with fans desperate to see him clear his name during this series finale in a tense showdown with newcomer DCS Patricia Carmichael (Anna Maxwell Martin).
Explaining why the character has proved so popular, Dunbar suggested, “We like to think that there is someone in charge who sticks to the letter of the law, who has a moral core. I think that’s what’s appealing about the character: at a time where we don’t quite have those people, I think Ted’s representing something from the past that we yearn for in many respects.”
Line of Duty series five concludes Sunday 5th May at 9pm on BBC1