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Is Line Of Duty Worth Watching?

Line Of Duty is arguably one f the most gripping, high-stakes, well-written, climatic, crime dramas I’ve ever enjoyed watching. With 6 brilliant seasons of Line Of Duty and maybe even a 7th one on the way, you can bet anything that this is a great crime drama to get started on especially if you enjoy police drams and ones about corrupt cops. In this post, I will answer the all-important question: Is Line Of Duty Worth Watching? and do my best to give a balanced Line Of Duty Review.

Overview – Line Of Duty Review

Line Of Duty is a crime drama which focuses on a police branch of the Central Police in the West Midlands known as Anti-Corrupt Unit 12. The series follows 3 main characters and many other characters such as sub-characters like Higher ranking police officers, civilians, organised crime group members and many more.

In this post, I will discuss them all, go over the story of Line Of Duty, as well as many other reasons that you would want to watch this show, such as the soundtrack, settings, cinematography, and more. As well as this I will also provide a list of reasons why Line Of Duty is not worth watching. All to give you a balanced view of Line Of Duty so you can totally decide if you want to watch it or not.

Main narrative

If you’re asking the question: Is Line Of Duty Worth Watching, then the narrative of Line Of Duty is very important. It can be difficult to understand and follow as it develops, however with some simple explanations we can understand the whole Line Of Duty saga. The story begins with a firearms officer named Steve Arnott and his mission into a suspected terrorist in London.

During the operation, the police shoot dead a man with a child by mistake, thinking he is a terrorist with an armed explosive device. After his death, it’s revealed that the police read the door number wrong as one of the 9s on the number 69 was hanging down, showing it to be 66.

Main characters

The main character in Line Of Duty is arguably Steve Arnott but we also follow DSU Ted Hastings and DS Kate Flemming as well. In the first series, Kate starts off as a DC and Steve a DS.

The characters in Line Of Duty were incredibly well-written and believable, with names that didn’t sound stupid or unrealistic, as well as great chemistry between all of them.

The corrupt police officers were very believable and fun to watch, as well as the hero characters like Kate, and of course, Ted Hastings, played by Adrian Dunbar were very entertaining.

Steve Arnott

Steve Arnott is one of the main characters and lead member of AC-12, or Anti-Corruption Unit 12 and is a DS when the first series airs. On September 23, 1985, Arnott was born to Mr. and Mrs. J. Arnott.

His accent from South East London suggests he was not born in the Midlands, where the drama is set. Arnott underwent training at Hendon Police College in London and then joined Central Police in 2007.

It is not specified whether he worked for the Metropolitan Police Service, which Hendon primarily trains, prior to this. During the series, Arnott becomes a DI and helps with many investigations.

Is Line Of Duty Worth Watching?

Ted Hastings

Edward Hastings was a Superintendent in the Central Police and had previously commanded Anti Corruption Unit 12. He has since left the force, although he is fighting his forced retirement.

He leads the AC-12 unit with pride and is a great boss for our characters to get behind and support, as well as some great chemistry for both Kate and Steve. Ted starts off being the boss in Series 1 and carries on for all of the series. If you’re wondering Is Line of Duty Worth Watching, then Ted Hastings is certainly a character that will play a big part in that choice.

Ted is everything about running straight, and he conducts his officers to the letter of the law. This makes sense since he heads Anti-Corruption Unit 12.

Is Line Of Duty Worth Watching?

Kate Flemming

Next on the list and certainly someone who would come to mind when you think of a Line of Duty Review would be Kate Flemming. She starts out at the rank of DC but later DS and then DI. Fleming was conceived on November 3, 1985. She eventually got married to Mark Fleming, and the two welcomed Josh Fleming as a son.

She and her husband are separated from Series 2 to Series 5. This is as a result of the stifling nature of her job and her liaison with Richard Akers. During this time, he kept custody of their son and changed the locks on the house where they lived. In Series 5, they momentarily patched things up and resumed living together as a family. However, Series 6 shows them to have broken up once more.

Kate is no doubt an incredibly important character in the series. She is part of many investigations that lead to arrests. She also goes in undercover operations. Kate is noted for being a great undercover officer and she goes undercover many times.

Is Line Of Duty Worth Watching?

Sub characters – Line Of Duty Review

There were many different sub-characters like PC Maneet Bindra or DS Manish Prasad who were wonderful characters with great potential. Some notable characters include DI Lindsy Denton, Tommy Hunter, DI Mathew Cotton and of course, DSU Ian Buckells. Without these sub-characters, Line of Duty would be nothing. They play a vital part in furthering the story of Line of Duty.

I can’t lie when I say that I am obviously biased, as this is one of the best Crime Dramas to have ever been produced. A large part of the series’ success in my opinion would be the characters. They are believable & really fun to watch. You truly believe in the goals and needs they have as characters, as well as their wants.

Reasons Line Of Duty is worth watching

Here are many reasons why the crime drama on BBC TWO known as Line of Duty is worth watching. There are a whole host of different reasons that this crime drama is worth watching.

The brilliant, multi-layered story, is worth getting invested in

The first reason that Line of Duty is worth watching is the story that our characters find themselves in. Steve has been spotted by Hastings because he refuses to go along with his squad.

This is when he does not lie about a failed Counter-Terrorism Operation in which a young man was killed. Hastings sees his potential and asks Steve to join AC-12, to which Steve agrees.

With Steve, we also have Kate, who is in some way a similar character. However, she has a family and is a DC during the series where they both meet. Throughout the series, Arnott, Flemming, and Hastings will uncover treacherous plots. They also discover murderous conspiracies & unexpected turns.

Memorable & awesome soundtrack

Another answer to the question Is Line of Duty Worth Watching? would be the soundtrack, which was produced by Carly Paradis. The Line of Duty soundtrack was very memorable. It was also one of the best crime drama soundtracks I’ve listened to so far. This was along with season 1 of True Detective. Have a listen:

You will not be disappointed with the Line of Duty soundtrack as it is not too over the top. It was also memorable and really does set out the mood correctly for each scene. The signature ending song will be cemented in your mind for weeks. There’s no doubt you’ll be thinking about Line of Duty for a long time.

Believable characters

This Line of Duty Review would not be complete without mentioning the series’ characters. The reason I think for the most part why they were so believable was because of their name.

Many of the characters had names like Steve Arnott, Kate Flemming, Lindsy Denton, or Tommy Hunter for example are really believable names. And they didn’t have stupid names which were not believable like “Louisa Slack” from Better on BBC iPlayer.

is Line of Duty worth watching?
© BBC TWO (Line Of Duty)

The characters were well-written, likable, and most of all enjoyable to watch. I was very immersed in the scenes in which the characters appeared in because they were so fun to watch. They totally filled the role right, and there are only a few I didn’t like to see.

Awesome settings

Line of Duty takes place in a variety of places in the West Midlands. Since the Central Police does not represent a single police station or County Police Force. However, we see some great shots from the series. It is a bit similar to what we see in the Happy Valley.

The 6 different series showcase a variety of different locations in urban and rural environments from skyscrapers, to dock dockyards, seedy gold fields, packed courtrooms and hidden country lanes are all featured in the series, as well as many other places.

6 series to enjoy with maybe a 7th on the way

The complete story of Line of Duty is one that is more than just a simple journey. It follows a whole host of different characters featured in the story who will advance and be killed off.

This is in a bid to reveal who is the link between police officers and organised crime group members. There is a sense that AC-12 are the bag guys & the normal police are just good, hardworking decent people.

AC-12 is portrayed as a dishonest, shameful branch of the police who go after their fellow officers for simple infractions. However, as the series progresses, you will begin to realize that AC-12 is a necessary and much-needed police branch. They are the first line of defence when it comes to growing corruption within the Central Police.

The more we go into the series, the deeper we see the corruption runs. More officers are added to a growing list of corrupt police officers. These officers are part of a clandestine network of officers linked to the OCG. With Line Of Duty Season 7 potentially coming out next year, now is the time to get started.

Wonderful cinematography

Another thing I notice all the time when re-watching Line of Duty is how great the cinematography is. As well as how much I’ve come to appreciate it. It doesn’t feel cheap or misguided at all. every shot felt purposeful, and the camera quality is phenomenal. Every scene is a beauty to behold.

If you’re wondering Is Line Of Duty is Worth Watching then the cinematography is something you should consider. It’s an area where you will not be let down. I can assure you that.

50 Minute episodes

This Line of Duty review would not be complete without mentioning the length of the episodes. They are about 50 minutes long meaning there isn’t too much of a cliffhanger in the end. However, the episodes usually end on a cliffhanger especially the later ones in the series.

A 50-minute episode will take up a decent chunk of time from someone’s evening. This means they can be great for winding down at the end of a day for example. However, the 50-minute episodes, lead the series to be quite short. They are usually only 5 episodes long, with series 6 being 6 episodes long for obvious reasons.

Multiple, high-stakes, cleverly written sub-plots

If you still find yourself wondering: Is Line of Duty Worth Watching, let’s talk about the many different sub-plots. These are between both characters and old alliances. Right from the start we can see that there are many different subplots in which are characters become involved.

I think that it goes a long way to mention that even without some of these most prevalent subplots, the series would still be great, and I would still be able to write a positive Line of Duty Review.

Line of Duty Review
© BBC TWO (Line of Duty Series 2)

There are many different subplots explored, even from series 1, such as Kate’s problem with her partner and her son, who she rarely gets to see because of her hard-working job, and especially because she works undercover a lot.

Two other characters who appear in a few subplots are Steve and Ted, who deal with their problems separately, Steve has issues with Girlfriends, and a work injury he gets from series 4 onwards when he is pushed over some stairs by Balaclava Man, and Ted has issues with debt, his marriage and leadership issues with AC-12.

Unified theme

another great thing about Line of Duty and something that will really add to the list of reasons in my Line of Duty Review why it is worth watching, and that is the uniformity of all 6 series. Each series and episode feels like it is part of a wider franchise and this builds loyalty between fans and the series, giving us something to wait for when the next series is due.

Line of Duty review
© BBC TWO (Line of Duty Series 2)

All of the series are linear and I really enjoyed this approach during the series. It does not mean that all the series are the same, but they feel like they are part of the same family, and every episode has that distancing gritty, seedy, and corrupt tone to it where everything is never as it seems.

I think a large part of this is due to the colour pallet of Line of Duty. However, this starts to change in series 5 and series 6, where the colour palette changes and takes on a lighter and more saturated appearance.


If you still find yourself asking the question: Is Line of Duty Worth Watching then another reason to consider would be that it is action-packed. Most of the episodes have some kind of action in them, and this is exaggerated when we go into both series 2 and series 3, which both revolve around shootings.

If action is something you were hoping to come up in this Line of Duty Review then you’ll be happy to know there are lots of action scenes in Line Of Duty and it is a vital part of the series.

Fantastic & high-level dialogue

This Line of Duty Review would definitely not be complete without mentioning the fantastic, brilliant and frankly underrated dialogue that we see in Line of Duty.

I would say if you want a feel of how good it can get, simply watch the interview scene featuring PS Danny Waldron, DSU Ted Hastings, DI Mathew Cotton and DS Steve Arnott. The dialogue is expertly written, with real-life police knowledge of laws, regulations, proceedings, operations, command tactics, lingo, and much more.

You really feel like you’re in the police, with all the advanced jargon and code names being featured in every episode, it’s hard not to get used to them, and as I said, this really adds to the realism of the series, and makes the interactions between characters really believable, as well as the characters themselves.

Decent pacing

If you are asking Line of Duty Worth Watching then another thing you might want to consider would be the series pacing, which in my opinion is fairly decent. Each scene is balanced and we move through each episode at a steady pace. I’m certain that the producer does not change this at all throughout the series, and this all adds to the Unified theme I mentioned a few points earlier.

is Line of Duty worth watching?
© BBC TWO (Line of Duty Series 5)

Each episode wraps up perfectly and it never feels like anything is left out. This is in contrast to the ending of Happy Valley, which did not see Pharmacist Faisal even arrested, and only a brief mention right at the end of the final episode indicating his guilt.

Heros to root for

I hate having to use this terminology but the fact of the matter is, Line of Duty provides a host of characters you can really get behind, for a cause that anyone can get behind. And that is catching bent coppers! Steve, Kate and Ted are a great trio to root for.

The whole idea of a police anti-corruption unit going after corrupt copers is not a usual police drama setup, and this is what gives Line of Duty an edge over other crime dramas. Of course, with these heroes, comes a similar set of villains to enjoy as well. This brings me to my next point.

Incredibly well-written villains

Of course, this Line of Duty Review would not be complete without mentioning the villains of Line of Duty, who do a great job playing antagonists for our characters in the whole of the Line of Duty series. I would say one of the most notable Line of Duty villains would be Tommy Tommy. Tommy is the leader of an OCG in series 1. During series 1 DCI Gates records Tommy admitting to crimes, and soon after kills himself.

Is Line Of Duty Worth Watching
© BBC TWO (Line of Duty)

Even after Hunter is given immunity from prosecution, he is still killed off by the OCG in an ambush orchestrated by DI Cottan & DSU Buckells. There are many more villains who are more violent and more powerful who come after Tommy but he is the first and arguably one of the most important villains in the series.

Ultra Realism

What I think above most things is that Line of Duty provides a sense of ultra-realism. Like I said before, the jargon, code names, police uniforms, vehicles, weapons, and even the corrupt private prisons we see: Blackthorn Prison or HMP Blackthorn and Brentiss Prison or HMP Brentiss are grounded in real-life instances.

Some police dramas just don’t feel right, the characters don’t fit their roles and we can’t take them seriously as characters playing roles in the police force. This is especially true in my opinion for English county police like the Centra Police in Line of Duty. Speaking about the Central Police, here are just a few of the different units we see in the show:

Scenes retain emotional anchors

It can be safely said that the character’s actions in the series have major consequences down the line. Characters become very emotionally impacted by their actions in the series, whether they be negative or positive.

Kate’s domestic & identity issues

When Kate dedicates herself to her work undercover, spends too much time on the job, and rarely sees her son, Josh, her boyfriend puts distance between the two and even changes the locks in series 2, where Kate has the police called on her for shouting to be let back in outside her own house.

Steve’s severe back pain & prescription drug problem

On the other hand, Steve’s willingness to investigate a suspect and not wait for a backup in series 4 leads to a serious assault where he is tipped over at the top of a flight of stairs, falling a great distance & becoming temporarily mobile. Later on in series 5 and 6, we see her suffer from pain and have issues with sex. He is normally in pain and seeks relief via non-prescribed pain medication.

Hasting’s reveals John Corbert as a UCO without realizing he is Anne Marie’s Son

After learning that John Corbert brutally assaulted his wife, DSU Hastings travels to HMP Brentiss where he tells Lee Banks that John Corbert is an embedded UCO. Hastings doesn’t realize that Corbet is actually Anne Marie‘s son, a woman who Hastings cared very greatly for when he was a PC in Northern Ireland in the 1980s.

These are just some of the emotional devices that Jed Mercurio uses in order to make the connection and empathy we feel for the characters much more palpable.

Climatic series finale

If in fact we are wrong and a Line of Duty series 7 is not on the way, then you can count series 6 of Line of Duty as the final series of the series. The great thing about Line of Duty is that it follows a single narrative the whole way through the series, with the final man being revealed in episode 7 of series 6.

The series focuses on the actions of AC-12, but for each series, the main character will investigate a police officer (usually a DCI) and their station, focusing on corrupt elements of their work and more. After finding out in series 2 that there is a corrupt officer known as “The Caddy“, who has links between organized crime and police officers. In other words, he operates a clandestine network of corrupt officers in work with the OCG.

In series 3, Mathew Cotton reveals The Caddy to be named: “H” and this leads to a new investigation. During the final episode of series 6, “The Caddy” is revealed, bringing an end to around 2-3 series of speculation from fans, celebrities, and even returned police officers. Obviously, we won’t spoil who it is but we advise you to watch Line of Duty to find out.

The Caddy’s identity is revealed by Mathew Cotton to be “H” in season 3, which prompts a new investigation. The mystery of “The Caddy” is finally solved in series 6 and the final episode, putting an end to a few series’ worth of fan, celebrity, and even returned police officer conjecture. We won’t reveal who it is, of course, but we do suggest that you watch Line of Duty to find out.

Reasons Line of Duty is worth watching

Now I will detail some of the reasons that Line of Duty is not worth watching. This will be followed by a conclusion shortly after.

Overall, an incredibly complicated story

Much like Game of Thrones, and other long-standing TV series Line of Duty is a very complicated and delicate story, which features many different subplots, characters and overarching themes that are really hard to follow, especially for the average viewer.

You will really have to pay careful attention to the dialogue and interview scenes because otherwise, you’re really going to be lost along this journey. With 6, action-packed series there is quite a bit to get through with Line of Duty, so are you ready?

Lengthy episodes

This reason is really not going to apply to everyone, as really long episodes which are just under an hour are pretty standard for most BBC productions like Death in Paradise. However, for some people, these episodes are just too long. If this is something you can’t deal with, we wouldn’t suggest watching Line of Duty.

So many characters

A final reason not to watch Line of Duty in my opinion would be the fact that there are so many different characters to pay attention to. Not only villains, civilians, cops, Governors, politicians, Counsecollors, Fire Arms officers and many more. With may different names and faces to keep track of, especially since each season feature a new host of side characters, it may be hard to keep up.


I really hope you decide to give this series a go. Line of Duty is more than worth watching and I would totally recommend it. I can say without a doubt that Line of Duty is the best British Crime drama I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen a lot of crime dramas so I can say for sure that this means something. It really is a great series to get into with a brilliant ending. There may even be a chance to see a 7th series on the way. See our post on that here: When Is Line Of Duty Season 7? – Possibility & Premiere Date Explained.

The brilliantly written, high stakes, tense and emotional story combined with the expertly written characters, and realistic and immersive dialogue, provide a wonderful world to escape to when you watch this series. If you’re still unsure of whether or not you want to watch this series, I would suggest watching the first episode of series 1. It has a gritty and realistic feel but it’s worth it nevertheless.

For more Line of Duty content, please check out our Line of Duty page: Line Of Duty. Other than that I really hope you enjoyed reading this post, and hopefully, you will now be able to decide if you want to watch this series. Please see some more posts below in the Crime Drama and Crime categories:

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