54 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on 9 June 2013
This is what The Shadow Line should have been. A brilliantly terse and tense conspiracy drama with twists that make sense and good performances. Ironically, unlike Good Cop which ended on a cliffhanger and irritatingly didn't get recommissioned, Line of Duty ends in such a way that it honestly doesn't really need or warrant a second series, yet is getting one. I'm not sure how they'll top the first series but I have faith they'll give it a good go. Neil Morrissey seems to revel in playing a nasty little man for once instead of his usual matey/geezer roles. All the performances from the main cast are strong and it's nice to see a major drama set in Birmingham, which much like Liverpool in Good Cop is portrayed as a good place with flaws as opposed to what might have been sensationalised as a hell hole by a lesser writer.
The only big criticism I have is the over-abundance of references to police procedure, mostly paperwork and unnecessary red tape. It's too obvious, not quite as prescriptive as Natural Born Killers which has to be the benchmark in anti-subtle ideology, but it's just a bit repetitive and isn't needed. It could have worked if it was actually the focus of the drama, but it isn't. Luckily though, the show isn't cluttered like Blackout or unfocused like Good Cop, so I'll take a slightly out-of-place thread in exchange for an otherwise tight narrative.
Highest recommendation possible for this.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 March 2014
I started watching the second series and couldn't wait to also watch the first series as i missed it on BBC2 when it first aired. It literally had me not wanting to switch off, ended up watching the whole series in one day all episodes back to back. All I can say is superb British writing and acting, roll on the third series quickly please, I don't know what I'm going to do on a Wednesday night. Not very often will I love a whole series, normally there are a couple of episodes a tad boring but certainly not this!! Edge of your seat stuff, don't miss it!
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
This five part BBC drama screened on BBC2 in 2012 and became one of the most successful dramas on BBC2 of the year.
This two disc set features all five episodes of the drama along with a half-hour Behind the Scenes extra featuring the whole cast.
If you enjoy a good quality thriller set in the modern world, Line of Duty will not let you down.
Don't wait for it to be released on amazon in 2014, go straight to [...] where it is available now with free postage.
on 26 October 2015
This could have been a very good police procedural but during episode 3 of series 1 the producers introduced loud background music that drowned out much of the dialogue between characters. I had experienced no difficulty hearing dialogue in the first two episodes of this series because the dialogue was not drowned out by loud background music. In this situation, we can often resort to English subtitles to learn what is happening on screen but my commercial DVD strangely lacked any English subtitles. At the insistence of my wife, we persisted with this series and watched episode 4. Obviously, the producers of this series had realised their error in playing loud background music in episode 3 while characters were talking because the loud background music during conversations was missing from episode 4. I could actually hear what the characters were saying in episode 4. Just a word of advice to the English police. When investigating organised crime, and you receive a message from an anonymous caller offering to pass on vital information about a criminal gang but only if you come alone, then make sure you tell your police colleagues where you are going so that they can be able to save you when the inevitable happens.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
When a cop starts thinking that the 'sexy cases' are all his, you know that man is in trouble. DCI Tony Gates is that man, played by Lennie James, who has it all and wants more. 'Line of Duty' is a dark, brooding, gripping police drama, that will have you on the edge of your seat. It is violent, prepare yourself. Not much to smile about in these five episodes.
The series starts off with a terrorist case that was bungled by the police, and a cover-up is underway. Except DS Arnott, played by, one of the bunglers won't play and wants to tell the truth. He is transferred to A-12, the Corruption Unit. This is not a popular unit, investigating your own. DS Arnott , as it turns out has an 'off' and 'on' personality, sometimes he is with his team, and sometimes he is not. What he does have is a brilliant investigative mind, and a good boss, DCI Hastings. Hastings is after DCI Tony Gates, he believes what is purported to be all good, is in fact a method of inventing statistics and cases to make Gates look good. His mission is to bring Gates down, and it doesn't take much. However, to get there takes five harrowing episodes, blood and gore, manipulation, police cover- ups, and a great deal of disbelief. As I said, this is really dark, you will need to take some breaks. Prepare.
Lennie James as Tony Gates is superb, we watch him manipulate us right before our eyes. Gina McGee, as Jackie, Gates lover, is the perfect mistress , Vicky McLure, plays Kate, the officer undercover who plays up to Gates, is in a position to find the truth, and she never wavers, ever! DS Arnott, has the series play around his investigation, however, his wishy-washy character takes away from his performance. This series is true grit, what we believe may really occur in the real world of policing in the UK. Series Two has been given a green light by BBC2, look forward to the next session. All in all the series was dark and contained more violence than I was prepared for. The new head of Gate's old unit needs looking after. I caught the clues, did you?
Recommended. prisrob 01-12-14
on 21 March 2014
An unexpected gem that I missed when it was originally transmitted. Good performances from the leads, but incredible writing from Jed Mercurio. It's extremely hard to put in plot twists and turns and still keep a story credible, but Mercurio makes it look easy.
Nothing is black and white, as they often are in corruption/conspiracy dramas and I love how he's made the protagonist in this, too good to be true copper Tony Gates, ambiguous - is he a bent cop or not, he's certainly willing to bend the law for friends, but is it circumstance that forces him down the road we see?
If you like intelligent drama, this delivers and BBC2 deserve all the accolades the series received for commissioning it.
on 3 July 2014
Remember the 1990's BBC series "Between the Lines" starring Neil Pearson as Detective Superintendent Tony Clark seconded to CIB?
Well this is an updated and grittier version of the police investigating internal corruption. A refreshing change to the normal run of the mill police series, with a first rate script, excellent acting and "edge of the seat action". For me the makings of a good series is, "Do I want (or care) if I see the next episode?" With this, I'm pleased I bought the DVD as I couldn't wait a week to see what happened next.
on 22 May 2015
Excellent - a well written, twisty-turny plot about police corruption being investigated from within the force. Violent at times, but necessarily so and cleverly done. Gripping is the word. I had to watch all of this in one sitting once it got started. Nothing and no-one is quite what they seem to be, and it's all beautifully plausible yet surprising. Great performances too, though I thought that, as a lead performer, Martin Compston as Arnott looked a bit out of his depth at times, more at home working in a shoe shop than a cop shop. Now to watch series 2...
on 3 April 2014
I watched this series on BBC2 last year and quite honestly couldn't understand how such a great series was not put on one of the main channels i.e. BBC1. It is very well acted and a very good story line about the anti corruption team AC12 investigating what they saw as a corrupt detective. there are a few twists ands turns along the way, all together a very good series, I would highly reccommend this. This was despatched so quickly too, great service.