UK Series Line Of Duty

Willie Oleson

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I'm very much enjoying my potpourri watch. Whatever pops into my head, I pop it into the DVD player or click it on youtube.
Shameless, unapologetic self-indulgence, and so it happened that I started watching Line Of Duty.

A hit and run by respectable characters (e.g. Marion Fowley, and the duchess in the original HOTEL story) and specifically the anguished cover-up thereof, is just as exciting as a murder mystery.
I...I just can't believe how much this situation has spiraled out of control in just TWO episodes. It's become one big mess.
"Big and sexy" as detective Tony Gates would say. Policeman of the year, father of the year, husband of the year. Good luck with that.
Things aren't looking too rosy for Steve Arnott either now they're trying to pin the shooting debacle on him.
Kate Fleming is undercover so I guess her loyalty will be tested.
How bad is Tony Gates, really? That is still the question. Or does somebody have a personal agenda? It could be!

Like THE WIRE, Line Of Duty cleverly intertwines various aspects of the economic infrastructure - legal and illegal - to broaden the canvas of the story. This means that a big plot twist can be derived from a big or small development, a main character or an eenie-meenie-tiny-supporting character. They're all part of the domino effect.
The rookies will stumble upon/accidentally sabotage something important.
In terms of TV entertainment it's a rollercoaster ride and I'm already feeling a bit bruised and nauseous.
But will it maintain its savage story telling? Is it the British answer to THE SHIELD?

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Thanks, Rita. You're a star!
 

Long Lashes

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Thanks, Rita. You're a star!
... and with that quote I hear Tony Gates voice. :D

I never binge watch anything, well rarely, but during our first Lockdown LINE OF DUTY had me completely addicted, I always needed to know what happened next.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did Willie, I'm looking forward to reading what you think.


Jed Mercurio has written quite a few other things, one of which is another series called BODIES , I binge watched this too.

 

Willie Oleson

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LINE OF DUTY had me completely addicted
Yes, it's criminally addictive, like THE FALL.
After I had posted this thread I watched another episode and yet again the situation has changed completely!
Tony Gates appears to be the corrupt one in this story but I usually have a soft spot for characters clutching at straws to make a problem "go away", only to make it worse.
On the other hand, I don't find the righteous Steve Arnott a very likeable person.
And then there's that nasty little kid, I know we're not supposed to hit children but...gosh!

 

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Enjoy the ride Willie.


This is British drama at its best, not because it keeps you gripped, not because it has great character development, not because it keeps you guessing, not because it has you questioning your own speculations, not because it's brilliantly written, not because it's well acted, not because the interrogation scenes are some of the best from any drama.

But, because of all those and more, much more.



:roll:
 

Willie Oleson

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But, because of all those
Haha, I knew you were going to say that.
and more, much more
but I wonder what that is.

Rather unexpectedly, my EMPIRE seasons 1 to 3 DVDs have already arrived so I'm going to add that to my shameless potpourri watch.
I don't know how and when I'll be able to watch seasons 4 to 6 but I'll deal with that when the time comes.
Speaking of which, Sunday is DALLAS day so I better get moving!
 

Willie Oleson

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Series 2 episode 1.
What the hell is going on here? There's bits and bobs of everything but I'm still none the wiser.
A police woman is pushed out of the window, Hollyoaks style. :yikey:
They showed Jackie Laverty's missing persons file and I wonder if there's going to be some overlapping between stories.
 

Willie Oleson

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I wonder if there's going to be some overlapping between stories.
Ah ha, there was!
Series 2 is another winner, it has lots of deceit and - to be honest - a little bit more contrivance because of all the relationships between characters, both the law and criminals/victims.
What could possibly happen in series 3? It's not a blank DVD so I guess something is going to happen.
 

Willie Oleson

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The beginning of series 3 is the opposite of the confusion in the first episode of series 2. It's almost too straightforward, and that makes me very nervous because I know they're going to spring some wicked and shocking twists on me.
Danny has been shot but I'd hate to lose him. The actor is doing such a fantastic job with his role of the troubled copper.
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James from London

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I love this show! The interview scenes are the best, totally realistic and written in a way that the interviewee becomes completely snared by the end. Can’t wait for the next season. Class act from the writing to the acting to the direction :)
 

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I can't stop now!
I hope you realise how spoiled you are watching this back to back. We had to wait a long time, sometimes two years between each series.

When its done and dusted I'm going to have the same luxury and watch it all back to back. In the meantime, it's a blast watching it through your eyes.
 

Willie Oleson

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I hope you realise how spoiled you are watching this back to back
But I do! I never take all that luxury for granted and I guess that justifies the purchases of these luxury items (see what I did there? I'm not greedy at all).

The combination of the storylines from series 1 and 2 gave the third series a very epic feel, like the final part in a trilogy, but I don't know if this is actually the end of it.
Somehow I sensed that it wouldn't end during Dot aka The Caddy's interrogation, but that didn't make the action scenes less exhilarating.
Since the actress playing Kate Fleming also features on the artwork of the series 4 discs I knew nothing would happen to her, that's the spoilerish part of these complete series DVDs.
The eagle-eyed viewer will notice that, every now and then, some tiny evidence or new information is pulled out of the hat in order to allow the story to progress.
And modern cops can always rely on the technobabble regarding phone calls and traffic cameras and whatnot.
But this advantage doesn't necessarily make it easier for the writers since those details can be counter-argued by the suspect characters like Lindsay and Dot.
LINE OF DUTY does smart, but it's smart from every angle and not just to bedazzle their viewers.
I can't begin to imagine how much plotting, organizing and double-checking it takes to write such a detailed script.

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Oh my gosh!

It's not better or more exciting than THE SHIELD, but the very comparison says it all, I guess.
British TV is usually a bit more reserved when it comes to character presentation/exploitation, whereas American TV tends to pull out all the stops.
Line Of Duty may be smarter, but it doesn't have a Shane Vendrell or David Aceveda.

That said, character Lindsay Denton certainly marched to the beat of her own drum, I never knew whether to love or hate her.
Maybe they made her unlikeable to manipulate the viewer into hoping that she'd dunnit. The psychology behind it is that the character shouldn't be punished for his or her crimes, but for being unlikeable and for not trying to please us with a pretty smile. How dare they.
We are so emotional and complex.
 

Willie Oleson

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I knew it, I knew it.
But I expected him to jump out of the window, not to kill Steve Arnott!! It was so shocking I even forgot to enjoy the staircase moment.

I haven't mentioned yet how much I enjoy the character of Ted Hastings. There's something very enjoyable about his no-nonsense speech and body language.
They're all great, really. If I'd meet a person like Steve Arnott in real life I would instinctively dislike him.
He's a relatively short guy, maybe it's meant to be a free pass for his (sometimes) irritating, provoking and bullying behaviour.
I don't dislike-dislike the character, and of course it makes perfect sense for the whole set up since Kate pressures from the inside (as the "friend") and he does it from the outside.
Maybe he survived the attack? I'll find out tomorrow.
 

Long Lashes

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I haven't mentioned yet how much I enjoy the character of Ted Hastings. There's something very enjoyable about his no-nonsense speech and body language.
You've answered the question I was waiting to ask you Willie. I was wondering what you would make of Ted? isn't he a great character so realistically played by Adrian Dumbar. I used to look out for all his funny one-liners.

"Superintendent Hastings... like the battle" :lol:
 

Willie Oleson

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I knew it, I knew it.
I knew nothing at all!

My theory was that she protected her husband, not because she suspected him but because she knew he was the baklava balaclava man.
With the twist that the husband didn't know because he suffered from a multiple (or at least double) personality disorder. Come to think of it, that plot twist is based on a story from Brian Clemens' THRILLER series.
I've been watching too many naff 70s British anthology series.
like the final part in a trilogy, but I don't know if this is actually the end of it.
Not quite.
Because every time there appears to be a top villain above the top villain.
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But where will it end?
The way this pyramid story unfolds reminds me of the RED RIDING TRILOGY, which I plan to rewatch very soon.
Another thing that intrigued me was the actor playing ex-chief Fairbanks in series 3. I couldn't place him but there was something very familiar about his eyes.
After an IMDB search I managed to identify him as - surprise, surprise - George "Bob from Rita and Sue" Costigan.

There is another, much bigger surprise. This DVD boxset is not complete at all because now there's also a sixth series. Where is it?? I must watch it a.s.a.p.
Furthermore, it has not been confirmed (yet) that series 6 is going to be the final installment in the Line Of Duty series.
(!!)

I used to look out for all his funny one-liners.
"(.....) is like granny's nightgown. It covers everything".

But for me it's mostly the characteristic speech itself.
Document 6 in your folder, item reference S4-E2.
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That is not what we are talking about. here. detective. chief. inspector. Huntley. as. well. you. know.
It's the kind of stuffy, old-fashioned boardroom emphasis that you don't often hear in this type of series. Instead of changing the tone of his voice he does it "to the letter", so to speak.

Maybe he survived the attack?
Yes, he survived the imperilling staircase moment! How very Dynasty of him.

And now it's time to start with series 5. Is there still enough story for the AC-12?
 
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