Line of Duty returns with a menacing new villain

The acclaimed BBC crime procedural Line of Duty is returning to screens for a fifth series.

Created by Jed Mercurio, who found similar success with last year’s Bodyguard, the drama has become one of the BBC’s most popular outputs ever since it first premiered in 2012

The show follows AC-12, a fictional police squad assigned with uncovering corruption within the police force, and has previously starred the likes of Lennie James, Thandie Newton, Keeley Hawes and Craig Parkinson.

Who’s in the cast?

Original stars Martin Compston, Vicky McClure and Adrian Dunbar all reprising their roles as Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott, Detective Sergeant Kate Fleming, and Superintendent Ted Hastings.

Maya Sondhi (Maneet Bindra), Polly Walker (Gill Biggeloe), Andrea Irvine (Roisin Hastings), Aiysha Hart (DS Sam Railston) and Tony Pitts (Lester Hargreaves) are also all set to return.

They will be joined by Stephen Graham who will play the nefarious Balaclava Man – the mysterious character at the centre of the fourth series, which also starred Thandie Newton and Jason Watkins.

What’s the plot? 

The fifth series will shift focus from a single corrupt police officer to an entire “organised crime group”, led by Balaclava Man.

“That is the fresh ground that we break in the series,” Mercurio told Pilot TV magazine.

“We’ve had these shadowy figures, ‘the Balaclava Men’, who are part of an organised crime group and have featured on and off all through the previous four seasons. But we’ve never really gone behind the mask and identified them as proper characters and found out about them.”

A brief sneak peek of the fifth series was released after the finale of Bodyguard last year, revealing the return of AC-12, with Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) is looking unhappy as he discussed the team’s next challenge.

This was followed up by an official trailer, which hinted that we’ll discover the identity of “H”, the corrupt cop at the top teased in the closing episode of series four.

The new series will kick off on Sunday, 31 March at 9pm on BBC One.

TNT Entertainment

Photo Credit: BBC

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