Line of Duty is returning to television, as BBC One prepares to air the first series from the very beginning, in lieu of any new episodes due to that pesky pandemic.
Over the past decade or so, Line of Duty has become one of the most acclaimed – and widely watched – British dramas in recent memory, as fans have found themselves hooked by the murky cases of Anti-Corruption Unit 12.
Whether you’re a returning fan or watching for the first time ever, our character guide will tell you everything you need to know about the Line of Duty cast, as well as identifying those oh-so-familiar faces.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Line of Duty cast
Martin Compston plays DS Steve Arnott
Who is DS Steve Arnott? Formerly an anti-terrorism officer, Arnott transfers to anti-corruption after refusing to cover up a horrifically botched operation. For his first case, he is partnered up with Superintendent Hastings to investigate Antony Gates, an arrogant officer with a remarkably high success rate.
What else has Martin Compston been in? Compston recently starred in fellow BBC drama The Nest, about a couple who attempt to have a baby by using a young woman as a surrogate. His recent film roles include Margot Robbie’s Mary Queen of Scots and James McAvoy’s black comedy Filth.
Vicky McClure plays DI Kate Fleming
Who is DI Kate Fleming? Fleming is a member of the AC-12 team who specialises in undercover work. She is highly commended and very professional, with sharp investigative instincts.
What else has Vicky McClure been in? McClure has collaborated with Shane Meadows on the This Is England series, starring in the initial film and the subsequent Channel 4 television shows. She also played Karen White on ITV’s Broadchurch and, most recently, appeared in Amazon Prime’s Alex Rider.
Adrian Dunbar plays Superintendent Ted Hastings
Who is Superintendent Ted Hastings? Hastings is the senior investigating officer of AC-12, who Arnott and Fleming both answer to.
What else has Adrian Dunbar been in? Dunbar played Richard Plantagenet in The Hollow Crown and Dr Jim Hogan in Channel 5 thriller Blood.
Lennie James plays DCI Antony Gates
Who is DCI Antony Gates? Gates is a highly commended member of the force, awarded Officer of the Year for his high crime rate. However, his numbers are so remarkable that AC-12 begin to suspect him of cheating the system, placing him under investigation just as his personal life begins to spiral out of control.
What else has Lennie James been in? James will be well known to horror fans for his role on AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead, while he’s also the writer and star of Sky Atlantic drama Save Me.
Craig Parkinson plays Dot Cottan
Who is Dot Cottan? Cottan is introduced as a Sergeant on Antony Gates’ squad TO-20.
What else has Craig Parkinson been in? He played lecherous probation worker Shaun in E4’s Misfits and boxing twins Jimmy and Johnny Kray on ITV’s Whitechapel. More recently, he has appeared in Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, Julian Fellowes football drama The English Game and GOLD sitcom Sandylands.
Neil Morrissey plays DC Nigel Morton
Who is Nigel Morton? Detective Constable Morton is a close friend and colleague of Antony Gates.
What else has Neil Morrissey been in? Waterloo Road fans will know Morrissey as Eddie Lawson on the high school drama, while kids (and parents) may recognise his voice as the legendary Bob the Builder. Recently, he has appeared in The Good Karma Hospital (pictured) and Unforgotten, which both aired on ITV.
Paul Higgins plays Derek Hilton
Who is Derek Hilton? Hilton is Chief Superintendent of Central Police.
What else has Paul Higgins been in? Higgins plays press officer Jamie McDonald in The Thick Of It and Michael Dugdale in Channel 4 thriller Utopia.
Gina McKee plays Jackie Laverty
Who is Jackie Laverty? Laverty is a businesswoman associated with Antony Gates, who he helps to cover up a dangerous secret.
What else has Gina McKee been in? McKee recently appeared in Bodyguard, another Jed Mercurio drama, where she played Commander Anne Sampson. She also appeared in Oscar contender Phantom Thread, which starred acclaimed actor Daniel Day-Lewis.
Kate Ashfield plays Jools Gates
Who is Jools Gates? Gates is Antony’s wife, with whom he has two children.
What else has Kate Ashfield been in? Ashfield recently played Yvonne Fulcher in hard-hitting ITV drama A Confession (pictured) and appeared as Mary Parker in Jane Austen adaptation Sanditon.
Keeley Hawes plays Detective Inspector Lindsay Denton
Who is DI Lindsay Denton? Denton comes under the attention of AC-12, after a protected witness transport she arranged is ambushed, resulting in the deaths of several police officers.
What else has Keeley Hawes been in? Hawes is another actor who returned for Jed Mercurio’s Line of Duty follow-up Bodyguard, famously playing Home Secretary Julia Montague. She has also starred in ITV comedy-drama The Durrells, BBC One’s Ashes to Ashes and spy thriller Spooks.
Tony Pitts plays Detective Chief Superintendent Lester Hargreaves
Who is DCS Lester Hargreaves? Hargreaves is a high ranking officer who comes into conflict with AC-12.
What else has Tony Pitts been in? Pitts has recently had roles in two major BBC dramas, appearing as Steve in the BAFTA-winning Giri/Haji and Sergeant Moss in Peaky Blinders.
Mark Bonnar plays DCC Mike Dryden
Mark Bonnar in Shetland BBC
Who is DCC Mike Dryden? Dryden is a police official involved in the scandal that leads to the investigation into Denton.
What else has Mark Bonnar been in? Bonnar has had roles in Shetland, Psychoville and Unforgotten, as well as co-starring in the BBC’s acclaimed Scottish drama Guilt. Earlier this year, he was seen in “Coughing Major” drama Quiz, which proved a big hit for ITV.
Jessica Raine plays DC Georgia Trotman
Who is DC Georgia Trotman? Trotman is an officer brought in to help AC-12 on the Denton case.
What else has Jessica Raine been in? Raine is known for playing Jenny Lee on BBC One drama Call The Midwife, follow it up with roles in Sky’s Fortitude and BBC Two’s Baptiste.
Daniel Mays plays Sergeant Danny Waldron
Who is Sergeant Danny Waldron? An ambitious sergeant in a police armed response unit whose file crosses AC-12’s desk after the fatal shooting of a criminal suspect.
What else has Daniel Mays been in? He played train robber Ronnie Biggs opposite Sheridan Smith in Mrs Biggs, and diarist Samuel Pepys in ITV’s The Great Fire. More recently, he has appeared in Sky Comedy’s Code 404 and Netflix drama White Lines.
Polly Walker plays Gill Biggeloe
Polly Walker stars in Line of Duty on BBC One BBC
Who is Gill Biggeloe? She is AC-12’s department lawyer.
What else has Polly Walker been in? She’s had regular TV roles in Rome (which earned her a Golden Globe nomination), Battlestar Galactica spin-off Caprica, The Syndicate and Mr Selfridge, where she played Delphine Day.
Jonas Armstrong plays Joe Nash
Jonas Armstrong plays Dylan Shepherd in Death in Paradise BBC
Who is Joe Nash? He is working with DC Arnott to bring perpetrators of a childhood trauma to justice.
What else has Jonas Armstrong been in? Armstrong is best known as Robin Hood, appearing in the BBC drama of the same name for three series in total. He has since had roles in The Body Farm, Ripper Street and ITV’s Joanne Froggatt drama Dark Angel. He has also appeared as a guest star on Death in Paradise (pictured).
Will Mellor plays PC Rod Kennedy
Will Mellor stars in No Offence Channel 4
Who is PC Rod Kennedy? A member of Sergeant Waldron’s team.
What else has Will Mellor been in? Mellor has been a regular TV face for more than 25 years since making his debut on Children’s Ward, with roles ranging from Jack Vincent in Casualty to 10 years as Gaz Wilkinson in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps. More recently, he played Steve Connolly in Broadchurch, and starred in sitcoms White Van Man and In with the Flynns.
Arsher Ali plays PC Harinderpal ‘Hari’ Bains
Arsher Ali plays Imran Aziz in Informer BBC
Who is PC Harinderpal ‘Hari’ Bains? Another member of Waldron’s firearms team.
What else has Arsher Ali been in? Ali rose to prominence in Chris Morris’ Four Lions. Since then, he’s had major roles in the likes of Beaver Falls, Complicit and The Missing, co-starred alongside Martin Clunes in ITV’s adaptation of Julian Barnes’ Arthur & George, and appeared in Doctor Who two-parter Under the Lake / Before the Flood.
Leanne Best plays WPC Jackie Brickford
Who is Jackie Brickford? Another member of Waldron’s firearms team.
What else has Leanne Best been in? A veteran of such Brit TV staples as Casualty, New Tricks and Doctors, Leanne Best – here playing a firearms officer – is probably best known as Jane Cobden in Ripper Street, Celia Donnelly in Fortitude and teacher Teresa Fenchurch in ITV’s Home Fires.
George Costigan plays Patrick Fairbank
Who is George Costigan? Retired from the force, Fairbank becomes a person of interest for DC Arnott and DS Fleming.
What else has Patrick Fairbank been in? George Costigan first found fame as adulterous businessman Bob in Rita, Sue and Bob Too. He’s since gone on to appear in The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes, Kavanagh QC, Inspector Morse and New Tricks, plus a guest role in the 2007 Doctor Who Christmas special.
Shaun Parkes plays Chief Supt Terry Reynolds
Shaun Parkes in Small Axe (BBC)
What else has Shaun Parkes been in? He played Rocco in Russell T Davies’ Casanova, and reunited with David Tennant for The Impossible Planet / The Satan Pit – the 2006 Doctor Who two-parter that gave the world the Ood. In 2009, he played the title role in BBC2’s acclaimed detective thriller Moses Jones, assisted by another Time Lord, Matt Smith. He has also starred in Netflix’s Lost in Space remake and will appear in Steve McQueen’s Small Axe.
Aiysha Hart plays DS Sam Railston
Who is DS Sam Railston? A police officer who becomes close with Arnott.
What else has Aiysha Hart been in? The actress starred as Ariadne in the TV series Atlantis, and played Leila Sayyad in New Blood, before bagging the role of Miriam Shepherd in A Discovery of Witches.
Thandie Newton plays DCI Roz Huntley
Thandie Newton stars in BBC One’s Line of Duty BBC
Who is Roz? Roz is the lead investigator on a huge case, she’s trusted by her superiors to get a conviction and she executes her work with precision and skill. Respected by those she works with, Roz juggles a family with the demands of her job and the pressure from above – but is she nailing the right guy?
What else has Thandie Newton been in? Thandie has appeared in several major films, including Mission: Impossible II, Beloved, The Pursuit of Happyness, Crash and Solo: A Star Wars Story. On TV, she played Kem in ER and has recently starred in HBO’s hit sci-fi series Westworld.
Jason Watkins plays Tim Ifield
Who is Tim Ifield? Forensics expert Tim comes into conflict with Roz when he raises concerns he has with her investigation.
What else has Jason Watkins been in? Jason Watkins is a veteran of British television, acting since the late 1980s and appearing in the likes of Being Human, Conviction, Trollied, Doctor Who and W1A. He won a BAFTA for Best Actor in 2015 for his lead role in The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies and on film has cropped up in the Nativity series, Confetti and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.
Lee Ingleby plays Nick Huntley
Lee Ingleby stars in The A Word on BBC One BBC
Who is Nick Huntley? Nick is Roz’s husband. They have two children together.
What else has Lee Ingleby been in? Ingleby starred as Martin Shaw’s in BBC’s long-running detective drama Inspector George Gently. He is also known for his appearance as Knight Bus conductor Stan Shunpike in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaba and his portrayal of Paul Hughes in BBC drama The A Word.
Scott Reid plays Michael Farmer
Who is Michael Farmer? 24-year-old Michael Farmer is charged with the murder of two women and the kidnap of another – but did he do it?
What else has Scott Reid been in? Scott has delighted audiences in cult comedy Still Game as Methadone Mick and showed up in TV movie Sketchland. On stage, he played the lead role of Christopher in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
Claudia Jessie plays DC Jodie Taylor
Claudia Jessie in Doctor Who (BBC) BBC
Who is DC Jodie Taylor? Young copper Jodie works in Roz Huntley’s unit and plays a role in the team’s pursuit of Michael.
What else has Claudia Jessie been in? If you’re a fan of daytime drama, Claudia played lead Annie Taylor in the third series of WPC 56. She also appears in CBBC web series Dixi as Shari and has showed up in Call the Midwife, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell and Doctors.
Royce Pierreson plays DC Jamie Desford
Royce Pierreson plays DC Jamie Desford BBC iPlayer
Who is DC Jamie Desford? Jamie Desford is a newcomer to AC-12 joining old hands Hastings, Arnott and Fleming.
What else has Royce Pierreson been in? He gave a chilling performance in BBC Three’s Murdered by My Boyfriend and has since appeared in Death in Paradise and Our Girl.
Maya Sondhi plays WPC Maneet Bindra
Maya Sondhi plays PC Maneet Bindra BBC
Who is WPC Maneet Bindra? Maneet was a new recruit to the AC-12 team for series three and played a role in uncovering the web of lies spun by Dot Cottan. In many ways the unsung hero of the unit, she’s back for another investigation into a potentially bent copper.
What else has Maya Sondhi been in? As well as appearing in Line of Duty, Maya has played Shazia Khan in Adil Ray’s BBC sitcom Citizen Khan and has had small roles in DCI Banks, Silent Witness and Family Affairs. She’s also credited as a writer on Mount Pleasant, The Kumars and EastEnders.
Anna Maxwell Martin plays DCS Patricia Carmichael
Anna Maxwell Martin as Patricia Carmichael BBC
Who is Patricia Carmichael? A senior anti-corruption detective brought in from outside of AC-12. On joining the show, Anna Maxwell Martin said, “I’ve been a fan of Line of Duty for years, so was dead chuffed to be part of series five. I’m so pleased I no longer have to keep it a secret! I feel honoured to follow in the footsteps of the host of great actors who make up the Line of Duty family, and Jed Mercurio – of course – has written a brilliant character in Carmichael. She’s a woman on a mission.”
What else has Anna Maxwell Martin been in? The actress has starred in Motherland, The Frankenstein Chronicles (as Mary Shelley), The Bletchley Circle, and Death Comes to Pemberley (as Elizabeth Darcey). She played Beelzebub in Neil Gaiman’s Amazon series Good Omens.
Stephen Graham plays John Corbett
Who is John Corbett? Details of Stephen Graham’s character were shrouded in secrecy ahead of series five, and with good reason. Initially established as the leader of a “deadly organised crime group” that is “known to have links with corrupt police officers and suspected to be under direct command of the shadowy figure known only as ‘H’” – i.e. the legendary balaclava men.
What else has Stephen Graham been in? Stephen Graham is known for playing Tommy in Snatch, as well as starring alongside Vicky McClure as Andrew “Combo” Gascoigne in This is England and its TVs sequels. He was Baby Face Nelson in Public Enemies, Scrum in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, and Al Capone in Boardwalk Empire. More recent projects include Little Boy Blue, Taboo, and Save Me.
Rochenda Sandall plays Lisa McQueen
Rochenda Sandall in Line of Duty (BBC)
Who is Lisa McQueen? One of the “balaclava men” is actually a woman! Lisa McQueen plays a pivotal role in this organised crime network, viewers were initially led to believe that she was an undercover police detective after she spared an officer’s life.
What else has Rochenda Sandall been in? You may recognise her from Netflix’s choose-you-own-adventure Black Mirror episode Bandersnatch. Other credits include Anna in Love, Lies and Records, Jean Reid in Broken, and Nadia in Into the Badlands.
Amy de Bhrún plays Steph Corbett
Who is Steph Corbett? John Corbett’s wife. Since he went undercover, she has been looking after their two daughters alone and kept in sparse contact with him.
What else has Amy De Bhrun been in? The actress has starred as Jarl Hrolf in Vikings, and as Adele McHoughton in Coronation Street.
Tommy Jessop plays Terry Boyle
Who is Terry? Terry is a man with Down’s Syndrome who lives independently, but has been preyed on by the balaclava gang.
What else has Tommy Jessop been in? The actor starred in BBC drama Coming Down the Mountain, and has also appeared in Off their Rockers, Casualty, and Doctors.
Laura Elphinstone plays DI Michelle Brandyce
Who is DI Michelle Brandyce? A member of Carmichael’s team at AC-3.
What else has Laura Elphinstone been in? You might recognise her from appearances in Doctors, Holby City, Call the Midwife and Vera.
Natalie Gavin plays PS Tina Tranter
Who is PS Tina Tranter? A member of Carmichael’s team at AC-3.
What else has Natalie Gavin been in? Gavin has enjoyed roles in the second series of BBC lottery drama The Syndicate and ITV’s Jericho. We’ll also soon be seeing her in Suranne Jones drama Gentleman Jack as Alice Hardcastle.
Taj Atwal plays PC Tatleen Sohota
Who is Tatleen Sohota? A new Police Constable who has joined AC-12 in series five. She is diligent and hard-working.
What else has Taj Atwal been in? You may recognise her from her roles in Stella (as Jasminder) or In The Club (as Jasmin). Taj Atwal recently starred in the BBC1 Wales drama Pitching In, and has also appeared in No Offence, Death on the Tyne, and Thunderbirds are Go.
Tomi May plays Miroslav Minkovic
Who is Miroslav? A faithful member of the balaclava gang, who we first encountered in series one when he was working for Tommy Hunter.
What else has Tomi May been in? A prolific character actor, Tomi May has appeared in TV shows including Silent Witness, Emmerdale, Killing Eve, Save Me, Jamestown, Doctor Foster, and Doctor Who, as well as movies including Justice League. He played Jarl Olavsonn in Vikings.
Andrea Irvine plays Roisin Hastings
Who is Roisin Hastings? Ted’s estranged wife. The couple, who are both from Northern Ireland, married when they were 18; in series two we discovered they were living separately, although Roisin had agreed to keep up the appearance of a happy marriage when meeting his work colleagues.
What else has Andrea Irvine been in? Andrea Irvine stars in the Irish soap opera Red Rock, playing Garda Det. Angela Tyrell. She has also played Alison Burns in 6Degrees, and a district judge in The Fall.
Ace Bhatti plays Sindwhani
Ace Bhatti plays Sindwhani BBC
Who is Sindwhani? Central Police’s new Police and Crime Commissioner.
What else has Ace Bhatti been in? The actor played the villainous Yusef Khan in EastEnders until 2011. He is also known for playing Calvin Sarwar in Shetland, DCI Jahan Kapoor in Black Work, Nazir Afzal in the award-winning mini-series Three Girls, and Mayor Hassan in comedy drama No Offence.
Richard Pepple plays PS Kyle Ferringham
Who is Kyle Ferringham? A new character in series five, who joins the staff of AC-12.
What else has Richard Pepple been in? He played Dublin Hilton in the recent BBC adaptation of Andrea Levy’s The Long Song, and has also appeared in Cleaning Up, Krypton, Little Women, The Dumping Ground, Motherland, and Death in Paradise.
Patrick Fitzsymons plays Mark Moffatt
Who is Mark Moffatt? A former DCI who acted as Roz Huntley’s Police Federation Rep during her AC-12 interviews in series four. He’s now retired and approaches Ted with a new opportunity.
What else has Patrick Fitzsymons been in? He has featured in The Fall, Doctors, ITV’s 2018 Vanity Fair adaptation and starred alongside Line of Duty star Vicky McClure in last year’s Mother’s Day.
Elizabeth Rider plays DCC Andrea Wise
Who is DCC Wise? Detective Chief Constable Wise is a newcomer in series five.
What else has Elizabeth Rider been in? The actress starred as DCI Lynette Driver in Doctors, and also recently played Lady Justice Spencer in Informer. She was Gladys Wilson in the TV drama Mrs Wilson, and further credits include Lewis, Doctor Who (as Linda in The Time of the Doctor), Waking the Dead, and Vera.
Susan Vidler plays DS Alison Powell
Who is Alison Powell? A new character in series five, Detective Superintendent Alison Powell oversees “Operation Pear Tree.”
What else has Susan Vidler been in? Having first hit the big screen as drug-addicted mum Allison in Trainspotting, Susan Vidler has appeared in TV shows and movies including The Jump, Shetland, The Coroner, A House in Berlin, and Doctor Who – playing Aunt Sharon in 2010 episode The Big Bang.
Sian Reese-Williams plays Jane Cafferty
Who is Jane Cafferty? One of the police officers who is ambushed by the “balaclava men” in series five.
What else has Sian Reese-Williams been in? You may remember her from the TV series Requiem, where she played Trudy Franken. Other credits include Hidden, Welsh drama 35 Diwrnod, Hinterland, and Emmerdale – where she spent five years starring as Gennie Walker.
Maanuv Thiara plays Vihaan Malhotra
Who is Vihan Malhotra? A new character in series five, Vihan is PC Maneet Bindra’s cousin and also works within the police force. He helped pass information on to the “balaclava men” prior to the events of episode one series five.
What else has Maanuv Thiara been in? Since leaving theatre school in 2016, the young actor has appeared on stage in a series of productions including Hamlet at the Harold Pinter theatre. He also played young Uncle Mohinder in BBC2’s The Boy with the Topknot.
Line of Duty is available to stream on BBC iPlayer and Netflix. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best TV series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, or visit our TV Guide.