In the final episode of Line of Duty series four fans were both shocked and thrilled to see Adrian Dunbar's Ted Hastings whip out his gun and take aim at a mysterious man in a balaclava, taking him down in a single, terrifyingly accurate shot.
"We got very kind of action hero, didn’t we?" Dunbar joked with RadioTimes.com on the red carpet at the National Television Awards. "I’m hoping to get a bit more of that next year, hopefully. That’d be a laugh."
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The actor, who plays Superintendent Hastings, the famously upstanding head of police anti-corruption unit AC-12, has no idea what awaits him when the cast return to work as he hasn't seen any scripts yet.
"We’ll be shooting the next series at the end of this year, some time in the autumn, so sadly we’ll all have to wait until 2019 to find out what happens to us all," he explained. "I haven’t seen anything, Jed hasn't told us anything, we’re all keeping our fingers crossed that we’re not bumped off."
Mercurio has previously hinted that we'll learn more about Hastings – who was one of very few Catholic officers to serve in Northern Ireland's RUC – in later series of the BBC drama.
"The fact is that Line of Duty has a very big story arc across all the series and one of the things that we haven’t done is to delve into Hastings’s past. That will happen in future series,” Mercurio told RadioTimes.com last year.
"I’m really excited," said Dunbar when asked how he felt about getting back to work on set and finding out where the story takes him. "We never thought it might end up going to five and possibly six series, so you know Jed’s byzantine mind will be working on something equally devious and dark for the next series hopefully."
The first thing they'll need to do is source some new guest stars to follow in the footsteps of Thandie Newton's devious DI Roz Huntley and Keeley Hawes' enigmatic Lindsay Denton.
"It’s going to take somebody really good to top the fabulous actors we’ve had so far, but I’m sure Jed’s got his eye on somebody out there," said Dunbar.
And speaking of people we have our eye on, does Dunbar have any theories about the identity of the mysterious 'H', the corrupt cop who fans believe is still very much alive and well?
"Yes," he teases, "but I’d have to kill you, obviously."