The cliffhanger last Sunday night gripped millions of viewers, making it TV’s most watched drama this year, and launched thousands of conspiracy theories.
Soon, we will find out who Acting Detective Superintendent Joanne Davidson is related to in Line Of Duty. But with a labyrinth of characters in the police corruption hit, it is easy to get lost.
ALISON BOSHOFF looks at the ties of the main movers — with a ‘bent barometer’ rating out of ten — and gives the lowdown on the rest.
Start with the main players…
Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) served in the RUC, where he knew undercover officer John Corbett’s birth mother, Anne- Marie McGillis, before she was killed by a paramilitary group
The commanding officer of AC-12, Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) served in the RUC, where he knew undercover officer John Corbett’s birth mother, Anne- Marie McGillis, before she was killed by a paramilitary group. Accused — and cleared — of being underground criminal ‘H’ in series five. Now we’re sucking diesel!
LINKS: NUMEROUS — Steve Arnott and Kate Fleming, whom he recruited. He also recruited Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan, who was later unmasked as OCG (Organised Crime Group) member The Caddy. Separated from wife Roisin, who was injured by undercover officer John Corbett with a power drill. Romanced by dodgy legal adviser Gill Biggeloe (Polly Walker), another OCG recruit. Old pals with Assistant Chief Constable Derek Hilton (Paul Higgins), later revealed to be an OCG member, who was found shot at the end of series four. Also friends with Chief Superintendent Patrick Fairbank (George Costigan), a paedophile now in prison.
BENT BAROMETER: 7+ — Ted has terrible judgment — or could it be something more sinister?
Buckells (Nigel Boyle) played a key role in series one and four and is now at the forefront of series six. Not the brightest copper, there is evidence that he has nobbled (or bungled) the Gail Vella murder investigation
Detective Superintendent Buckells (Nigel Boyle) played a key role in series one and four and is now at the forefront of series six.
He is in prison on suspicion of perverting the course of justice and has just witnessed the OCG murder of slippery solicitor Jimmy Lakewell (Patrick Baladi).
Not the brightest copper, there is evidence that he has nobbled (or bungled) the Gail Vella murder investigation.
Or was he framed by Joanne Davidson?
LINKS: 4+ — Jackie Laverty, the millionaire property developer and mistress of Tony Gates in series one. He was in charge of investigating her disappearance (she was never found). Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan and crime boss Tommy Hunter, whom he knows through Edge Park Golf Club. Ryan Pilkington, a ‘family friend’ he is thought to have recruited on to the Gail Vella investigation.
BENT BAROMETER: 9 — The friendship with Pilkington surely moves him from fool to stooge.
DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) is now working on Operation Lighthouse, the investigation into the killing of TV journalist Gail Vella. She spent the first five series working alongside boss and mentor Ted Hastings and Steve Arnott at AC-12
She of the short haircut and multiple cross-body bags, DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) is now working on Operation Lighthouse, the investigation into the killing of TV journalist Gail Vella. She spent the first five series working alongside boss and mentor Ted Hastings and Steve Arnott at AC-12.
LINKS: Numerous — Has worked undercover investigating, and exposing, just about everyone: Tony Gates (Lennie James), Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes) Danny Waldron (Daniel Mays) and Roz Huntley (Thandiwe Newton). She took the dying declaration of Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan (Craig Parkinson) in series three in which he attempted to say who the mysterious ‘H’ is — after he took a bullet for her.
BENT BAROMETER: 3 — Increasingly evasive.
Davidson is clearly in league with the organised crime group (OCG), although there are clues that she is conflicted
The new key player, Acting Detective Superintendent Davidson (Kelly Macdonald) is at the centre of a sizzling plotline after Steve Arnott revealed to Ted Hastings that DNA on a database has revealed that she is related to someone unexpected but significant. She has been leading the investigation into the murder of Gail Vella.
Davidson is clearly in league with the organised crime group (OCG), although there are clues that she is conflicted. She was given a burner phone and had an online chat using an encrypted instant messaging app identical to the one used previously by the OCG.
LINKS: 8+ — Sergeant Farida Jatri, her ex-lover. When she was moving out, she told Jatri that she had ‘no family.’ Does this mean she was in foster care — hinting at a link to the previous paedophile ring storyline from series three involving councillor Dale Roach and Chief Supt Patrick Fairbank, abusers of Danny Waldron. Also, that photo on her table, at which she threw a glass of wine. Is that Anne-Marie McGillis? Davidson is Scottish, like OCG boss Tommy Hunter. Ian Buckells, whom she seems keen to drop in it at every opportunity. Ryan Pilkington is clearly controlling her.
BENT BAROMETER: 10 — Unquestionably bent. We just need to find out why.
Danny Waldron — Pilkington’s social worker appears in a picture with Dale Roach, who abused Waldron
Recruited into the OCG, as a feral youth by Tommy Hunter, PC Pilkington (Gregory Piper) passed burner phones to drug dealers. Now deeply embedded in the OCG.
LINKS: 8 — Jo Davidson and Ian Buckells, who got him a job on the force. Vulnerable Terry Boyle (Tommy Jessop), who has Down’s Syndrome, and the ‘cuckoo’ gang, including Lee and Carl Banks, who take over his flat to store Jackie Laverty’s body in his freezer.
Danny Waldron — Pilkington’s social worker appears in a picture with Dale Roach, who abused Waldron.
DI STEVE ARNOTT
Waistcoated Casanova AC-12 officer Arnott (Martin Compston) transferred from counter-terrorism after leading a bungled raid in series one
Waistcoated Casanova AC-12 officer Arnott (Martin Compston) transferred from counter-terrorism after leading a bungled raid in series one.
LINKS: 8+ — Kate Fleming (friend and former colleague), Ted Hastings (boss and mentor). Chloe Bishop (Shalom Brune-Franklin, working partner). Chief Constable Philip Osborne (Owen Teale, former boss from counter-terrorism days).
DI Lindsay Denton, star of series two and three played by Keeley Hawes, with whom he had an ill-judged ‘thing’ while investigating her.
Stephanie Corbett (Amy De Bhrun), widow of undercover agent John Corbett (Stephen Graham) with whom he’s having another ‘thing’ (albeit platonic so far). Plus various other ‘liaisons’.
New recruit PC Ryan Pilkington was the juvenile offender who tried to cut off his fingers with a bolt cutter in series one — now a psychotic ‘mole’ on the murder squad.
BENT BAROMETER: 1 — He’s addicted to pills and booze. But surely not bent?
Link to supporting cast…
A new recruit to AC-12 (played by Shalom Brune-Franklin), working closely with Steve Arnott (but hasn’t slept with him yet). Some are convinced the detective constable is the daughter of corrupt cop Tony Gates, who was in series one.
A lawyer involved with the OCG, Gill (Polly Walker) recruited DS John Corbett to go undercover to root out links between corrupt cops and organised crime. She made Corbett believe Ted Hastings was responsible for his mum’s death.
An OCG leader and paedophile (played by Brian McCardle). Got ‘Dot’ Cottan into crime, and persuaded him to join Central Police as his man on the inside. He was killed after he turned informer.
Arnott’s former boss (Owen Teale). When an innocent man was shot by police, he ordered a cover-up. Chief Constable Osborne was confronted by Gail Vella on camera.
DETECTIVE Insp Matthew Cottan (Craig Parkinson) caddied for Tommy Hunter as a teen, and joined the police to act as an OCG mole. Saved Kate from a bullet and while dying tried to reveal the name of the top corrupt cop — H.
The developer (Gina McKee) was having an affair with Tony Gates and laundered money for the OCG. She was murdered.
disgraced former det insp ( Thandiwe Newton) was pushed through the ranks by Hilton, whom she exposed.
Vulnerable victim of a gang who take over his flat to store the body of Jackie Laverty in his freezer, and try to frame him for Gail Vella’s murder. Terry (Tommy Jessop) survives a drowning attempt by Ryan Pilkington, which kills a cop.
Convicted of perverting the course of justice after an OCG operation to assassinate Tommy Hunter goes wrong. Investigated by — and nearly sleeping with — Steve Arnott. DI Denton (Keeley Hawes) is murdered by The Caddy.
Head of serious crime unit TO-20, Detective Chief Inspector Gates (Lennie James) had an affair with Jackie Laverty. Kills himself after the OCG frame him for her murder — but gang boss Tommy Hunter confesses to Jackie’s killing.
Old friend to Roz Huntley, foe to Ted Hastings, Assistant Chief Constable Hilton (Paul Higgins) is seen steering investigations badly and is unmasked to be in the control of the OCG. Ordered the hit on Steve Arnott that put him in a wheelchair.
Firearms officer Sergeant Waldron (Daniel Mays) was in care as a child and abused by paedophiles.
Undercover detective (Stephen Graham) in OCG as a forger. Killed when cover was blown.
THE widow of John, she now has her eye on Steve Arnott, but has also been linked to Ted Hastings who, it is suspected, has been giving her money. Played by Amy De Bhrun.
A lawyer (Patrick Baladi) who was best friends with Nick Huntley, husband of corrupt cop Roz. Caught on tape talking to Gail Vella about Operation Trapdoor (led by Roz Huntley). Killed last week in jail by Lee Banks.