AC-12 is back, fellas. Adrian Dunbar, Vicky McClure and Martin Compston have returned as our favourite fictional anti-corruption officers Hastings, Fleming and Arnott.
But that’s not all – because writer Jed Mercurio brought back some familiar faces (Maneet Bindra, Gill Biggeloe…) as well as series five’s brand-new guest leads, John Corbett (the actor Stephen Graham) and Lisa McQueen (Rochenda Sandall).
- Line of Duty fans finally get a proper look at the mysterious balaclava gang in new trailer
- From Tony Gates to Roz Huntley: how are all four series of Line of Duty linked together?
Here’s everyone you need to know…
Adrian Dunbar plays Supt Ted Hastings
Who is Ted Hastings? Superintendent Hastings is set on “one thing and one thing only, and that’s catching bent coppers.” He has a reputation as a zealot who is determined to bring down corrupt police officers – and he is the lynchpin of AC-12, sometimes clashing with his juniors and sometimes sharing a joke. But by series five, we’re starting to wonder: could Hastings actually be ‘H’, the high-ranking police insider with an organised crime network at his command?
In series two, we learnt that Hastings was estranged from his wife Roisin, although he was trying to maintain a façade that their relationship was totally fine. Their marriage had broken down thanks (apparently) to Hastings’ bad financial decisions, but he was still trying to win her back and repair the damage. Since then we’ve only seen glimpses of his private life, but we’ll be taking a deeper look in this new series, in which he starts off living in a poorly maintained hotel room.
What else has Adrian Dunbar been in? Aside from writing and starring in the Bafta-nominated 1991 movie Hear My Song, Adrian Dunbar has played Father Peter Flaherty in Broken, Martin Summers in Ashes to Ashes, Maguire in The Crying Game, and Ralph Nickleby in The Life and Adventures of Nick Nickleby.
Martin Compston plays DS Steve Arnott
Who is Steve Arnott? One of AC-12’s leading investigators, who was recruited into Hastings’ team in series one after he refused to take part in a police cover-up of a botched anti-terrorism operation. Steve can be arrogant, angry, and extremely determined. He is also ambitious.
In his personal life, Arnott is very keen on the ladies – sometimes breaking the rules and flirting or sleeping with witnesses – and he had a serious relationship with murder cop DS Sam Railston until she left him when he was detained on suspicion of being “The Caddy.” Arnott was seriously injured in series four when a Balaclava Man chucked him down a stairwell.
What else has Martin Compston been in? After starting his career as a professional footballer, Martin Compston switched to acting and won the lead role in Ken Loach’s 2002 film Sweet Sixteen. Since then he has appeared in Monarch of the Glen as Ewan Brodie, played Roy James in The Great Train Robbery, and starred as serial killer Peter Manuel in In Plain Sight. He recently appeared alongside Saoirse Ronan in Mary Queen of Scots.
Vicky McClure plays DI Kate Fleming
Who is Kate Fleming? AC-12’s undercover specialist, although that role is behind her now she’s moved up to Detective Inspector. Fleming prides herself on being a professional and is utterly dedicated to the job.
She is a mother-of-one and separated from her son’s father in series two after having an affair; after that, she was briefly homeless and then got a flat of her own. So far, work has taken precedence over Fleming’s personal life.
What else has Vicky McClure been in? The actress starred as Lol Jenkins in This is England as well as the TV spin-offs This is England ’86, ’88 and ’90. She has also played Paula in The Replacement, Winnie in The Secret Agent, and Karen White in Broadchurch. In 2018 she appeared in TV movie Mother’s Day.
Anna Maxwell Martin plays DCS Patricia Carmichael
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’ll soon play Beelzebub in Neil Gaiman’s much-anticipated Amazon series Good Omens, and back in 2003 she starred on stage as the child Lyra in His Dark Materials.
Stephen Graham plays John Corbett
*Warning: spoilers ahead for Line of Duty series five episode one*
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 — Corbett was later revealed at the end of episode one to be an undercover police detective.
What else has Stephen Graham been in? With 100 acting credits to his name, Stephen Graham is known for playing Tommy in the film Snatch, as well as starring alongside Vicky McClure as Andrew “Combo” Gascoigne in the movie 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, Decline and Fall, Taboo, and Save Me.
Rochenda Sandall plays Lisa McQueen
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.
Tony Pitts plays Les Hargreaves
Who is Les Hargreaves? The boss of the Murder Squad, although we originally met him when he was working on the Murder Squad at 4th Street Station. DS Sam Railston is his junior officer. Hargreaves (a potential candidate to be “H”, given his surname) has historically been antagonistic towards Hastings and AC-12.
What else has Tony Pitts been in? Tony Pitts spent a solid decade playing Archie Brooks in Emmerdale before the character died in the famous plane crash of 1993. Since then, roles have included Chloe’s dad in My Mad Fat Diary, Adrian Scott in Scott & Bailey, Inspector Moss in Peaky Blinders, and Edgar Massinger in Jamestown.
Aiysha Hart plays DS Sam Railston
Who is Sam Railston? We first met DS Sam Railston in series three, when she and Steve Arnott were celebrating their one-year anniversary – but their happy relationship was not to last. Sam became suspicious that there was something between Steve and DI Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes), and when Matthew “Dot” Cottan (Craig Parkinson) framed Steve as “The Caddy,” it was the final straw; she cut him loose. But when you break up with someone from work, inevitably you will keep bumping into them, and so murder squad cop Sam will be back for more awkwardness in series five.
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.
Amy De Bhrun 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; Ryan and his mates used to push their way into his flat and “make themselves at home”. The OCG took things one step further in series one when they used his freezer to store Jackie Laverty’s dismembered body parts as a way of blackmailing DCI Tony Gates, and since then they’ve moved him into the flat across the road from the Kingsgate printing shop so he can keep an eye on comings and goings. Laverty’s remains are still stored in his kitchen freezer.
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.
Has the role of Terry been re-cast? Yes. In series one, the role was originally played by Elliott Rosen.
Rosa Escoda plays Amanda Yao
Who is Amanda Yao? The police’s cyber crime expert who is called in to AC-12 to trace those instant messages from ‘H’.
What else has Rosa Escoda been in? Appropriately, she popped up in Justice League as a cop. You may also have spotted her in the TV series Wanderlust.
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.
Peter De Jersey plays Rossport
Who is Rossport? A solicitor.
What else has Peter De Jersey been in? The actor has starred in the likes of The Bill, Holby City, Doctor Foster and Atlantis. You might also recognise him as forensics officer Brian Young from Broadchurch
Who is Jackie Laverty? At the moment, a dead body stuck in Terry’s freezer. However, before she was murdered by the OCG, Laverty was a property developer who enjoyed an affair with DCI Tony Gates in Line of Duty’s first series.
What else has Gina McKee been in? From roles in comedy In the Loop, to Notting Hill and Atonement, there’s a good chance you’ve seen her on screen before. She recently played Commander Anne Sampson in Bodyguard, another drama from Line of Duty writer Jed Mercurio.
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.
Gregory Piper plays Ryan Pilkington
Who is Ryan Pilkington? The longest-serving member of the balaclava gang known to the LoD audience. He was the bicycle-riding 13-year-old in series one who served as an envoy between Tommy Hunter (Brian McCardie) and Tony Gates (Lennie James). He now works under John Corbett.
What else has Gregory Piper been in? He appeared in one episode of BBC darma Frankie, as Richard Preston.
Alastair Natkiel plays Lee Banks
Who is Lee? A member of John Corbett’s gang.
What else has Alastair Natkiel been in? He had a small role in Casualty in 2010, and starred in thriller The Innocent.
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. Now she wants a proper divorce.
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
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. Ace Bhatti recently played Bomi Bulsara in Freddie Mercury movie Bohemian Rhapsody.
Polly Walker plays Gill Biggeloe
Who is Gill Biggeloe? A lawyer who was previously assigned as legal counsel to AC-12. Her job in series three was to ensure that anti-corruption cases were watertight before an police officers were charged, or any cases went to court; she also had an interest in preserving the reputation of her employer. Gill was disappointed when Ted Hastings refused her advances, and Hastings was infuriated by Gill’s part in the “Caddy” debacle. Now she’s back as the PCC’s legal counsel.
What else has Polly Walker been in? In recent years, Polly Walker has starred in Pennyworth, Age Before Beauty, Paranoid, The Syndicate, and Mr Selfridge. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance as Atia of the Julii in the TV series Rome, and has also appeared in Emma, Clash of the Titans, and Restoration.
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. This is the same role previously held by series two’s DCC Mike Dryden.
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 Detective Superintendent Alison Powell
Who is Alison Powell? A new character in series five, Detective Superintendent Alison Powell oversees “Operation Pear Tree,” which included placing Detective Sergeant John Corbett in deep undercover.
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.
Caroline Koziol plays Mariana
Who is Mariana? A human trafficking victim who was held captive by the balaclava gang.
What else has Caroline Koziol been in? The Polish writer and actress has made appearances in Dark Heart, Tracey Breaks the News, and Bad Times at the El Royale.
Richard Sutton plays PC Bloom
Who is PC Bloom? We first meet this character in episode three, when he calls in a “status zero” and reports an ambush leading to a “car crash”
What else has Richard Sutton been in? You may have seen him in The Terror as Sir James Ross, or in Humans as SCO19 Lead Officer. Further credits include Gigglebiz, Sherlock, Jekyll & Hyde, and Our Girl.
Maya Sondhi plays PC Maneet Bindra
Who is Maneet Bindra? A constable in Central Police who is assigned to AC-12. She is married with two young children, and within the team she has a reputation as a hard-working, capable officer. Fans were shocked in series four when it was revealed that Maneet was passing on key information to ACC Hilton, downloading Dot’s dying declaration onto a memory stick; she seemed deeply uncomfortable about this arrangement. In episode one series five, Hastings and his team confronted Maneet about her actions, with ultimately devastating consequences.
What else has Maya Sondhi been in? The actress starred as Shazia in Citizen Khan, and Shireen Taymour in Family Affairs. Since first appearing in Line of Duty in series three, Maya Sondhi has popped up in The Split (as Dawn McKenzie) and Warren (as Paula).
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 Vihan 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 series five continues on Sunday at 9pm on BBC1