Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio reveals big change he made to first series

The detective drama's writer has been tweeting behind-the-scenes facts during the first series' rerun on BBC One.

Lennie James as Tony Gates in Line of Duty

Fans of Line of Duty have been enjoying BBC One’s reruns of the first ever series, during which creator Jed Mercurio has been tweeting fun facts about AC-12’s origins.

Advertisement

Earlier today however, the writer revealed a particularly mind-blowing insight into season one: that Lennie James’ character Tony Gates was originally given a different name.

“Last night’s episode featured the first ever clandestine meeting between Steve and undercover Kate, filmed in Paradise Circus, Birmingham. Sharp-eyed viewers may have spotted that you never see their faces when they say ‘Tony Gates’,” Mercurio tweeted.

He continued: “That’s because a couple of days into filming, we had to change the name of Lennie James’ character. The actors re-voiced their lines in postproduction and we had to hide their mouths delivering the original names.”

James’ character, DCI Tony Gates, is the first subject we see AC-12 investigate, with DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston), DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) joining forces to determine whether the senior officer has been wrongfully pinning numerous charges on the same defendant.

While Mercurio is yet to reveal Gates’ original name, a few viewers have jokingly guessed “bent b*****d” – Hastings’ chosen moniker for the suspicious cop.

BBC One began airing Line of Duty from the very start last Monday, with the coronavirus pandemic having delayed filming on the upcoming series six.

The detective drama, which first began in 2012, has seen the Anti Corruption Unit investigate a number of potential “bent coppers” played by Keeley Hawes (series two), Daniel Mays (series three), Thandie Newton (series four) and Stephen Graham (series five).

Season six is set to star Kelly Macdonald as DCI Joanne Davidson – “the senior investigating officer of an unsolved murder, whose unconventional conduct raises suspicions at AC-12”.

Advertisement

Speaking to RadioTimes.com during an exclusive Q&A with the Line of Duty cast and crew, Mercurio said that he’s hoping filming will be wrapped by Christmas to ensure a 2021 air date.

Line of Duty is available to stream on BBC iPlayer. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.