Line of Duty season six introduces us to a new character called Carl Banks – although, so far, we’ve only met him via a mugshot rather than in the flesh. This violent criminal also apparently goes by the name of “Ross Turner”, and he may have narrowly escaped arrest in a police operation led by DCI Joanne Davidson (Kelly Macdonald).
But who is Carl Banks – and how does he fit into the story? Could he be related to another character we met before in season five? Here’s what we know.
Is Carl Banks the real “Ross Turner”?
In the opening episode of Line of Duty season six, Terry Boyle was arrested on suspicion of the murder of journalist Gail Vella (Andi Osho). But it’s starting to look like this was a case of mistaken identity.
Acting on information from a “CHIS” (covert human intelligence source) that “Ross Turner” had boasted he was involved in killing Gail Vella, the police (directed by DCI Joanne Davidson) raided a flat at 4F Beechwood House.
But, thanks to a diversion ordered by Davidson, there was a delay in arriving at the property – and the man who actually goes by the name “Ross Turner” (probably Carl Banks) seems to have slipped the net.
Sadly, the CHIS who originally passed on the information has just fallen to his death (in suspicious circumstances), so it’s going to be hard for the police to completely verify that Turner = Banks. Plus, Terry is giving “no comment” about whether he knows Banks.
However, Carl Banks’s prints are all over the flat at Beechwood House, and the other residents describe the inhabitants of Flat 4F as “dark haired and stocky”, which matches Carl Banks’s picture.
So who is Carl Banks?
A hardened criminal.
As DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) puts it when he explains the situation to Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), “One initial line of inquiry in Vella was a contract killing. According to my informant on the Hill, Operation Lighthouse has detected forensic evidence linking to this suspect, Carl Banks. Carl Banks has an extensive history of violence, including firearms offences, and a long association with organised crime.”
A look at Banks’s criminal record bears that out.
Interestingly, his address (likely out of date) is listed as Creechurch Street, Moss Heath. We’ve come across this run-down area of town in Line of Duty before; it contains crime-ridden council estate “The Bog” (real name Borogrove Estate), where Ryan Pilkington grew up. In season five, the Organised Crime Group (OCG) were also running a brothel and sex trafficking operation out of Pulton Estate in the Moss Heath area.
All of this information makes it probable that Carl Banks is a member of the same OCG we’ve come up against in previous seasons.
Is Carl Banks related to Lee Banks?
Banks is a common surname, so we can’t say for sure. But it seems incredibly likely that Carl Banks is related to OCG member Lee Banks (Alistair Natkiel), who we met in season five.
A quick recap: Lee Banks is a career criminal and longtime member of the OCG, working alongside Miroslav and Ryan and the rest. He is the one who shot Sergeant Jane Cafferty during the set-up ambush, and who slit the throat of PC Maneet Bindra.
He was arrested while delivering the bribe to Cafferty at her home, as AC-12 had placed the property under surveillance.
In prison, he was visited by Hastings, who told Lee that he had a few things to say to him – and that he’d be glad to hear them. The contents of that incredibly-suspicious conversation were not explicitly revealed, though series creator/writer Jed Mercurio has implied that Hastings told Lee Banks that Corbett was an undercover cop (leading to his death).
“Hastings went to visit Lee Banks, and the fact that he did, circumstantially, does suggest that he revealed something to Lee Banks, which could then have been used to identify Corbett as some kind of informant,” Mercurio told Digital Spy.
“I think that was pretty clearly established. Without actually seeing those words come out of his mouth, I think it’s pretty clear that that’s what he did do.”
Lee Banks presumably still resides at HMP Blackthorn. But does he have a brother or cousin still in the OCG? And will Hastings’ actions come back to haunt him?
Line of Duty continues on Sundays at 9pm on BBC One. If you’re up to date with series 6, you can read our Line of Duty episode 1 recap, Line of duty episode 2 recap, or check out our broader Line of Duty recap on all that occurred before the new series. Take a look at the rest of our Drama coverage, or check out what else is on with our TV guide.