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Line of Duty series 6

Line of Duty series 6

The sixth series of Line of Duty, consisting of seven episodes, began broadcasting on BBC One on 21 March 2021. The story follows the actions of AC-12, led by Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) and DI Steve Arnott (Martin Compston), as they investigate DCI Joanne Davidson (Kelly Macdonald) and her team, including former AC-12 officer DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure).


Main cast

  • Kelly Macdonald as DCI/Acting DSU Joanne Davidson
  • Martin Compston as DS/DI Steve Arnott
  • Vicky McClure as DI Kate Fleming
  • Adrian Dunbar as Superintendent Ted Hastings
  • Anna Maxwell Martin as DCS Patricia Carmichael

Supporting cast


Background, production and release

On 5 May 2017, Line of Duty was renewed by the BBC for a fifth and sixth series. The fifth series began broadcasting on 31 March 2019, and finished on 5 May. In November 2019, it was announced that Kelly Macdonald would join the cast of the sixth series. Filming took place in Belfast, beginning in February 2020, but stopped the following month due to the COVID-19 pandemic, before resuming in September and finishing in November. The sixth series is over seven episodes rather than the usual six.

We have taken lots of precautions for cast and crew. We have filmed on studio sets which is a departure from previous series where we have shot in an actual working building. The reason why is because we can ventilate the set and social distance our cast and crew. We have had rigorous measures in place during the shoot.

On 5 March 2021, Vicky McClure and Adrian Dunbar appeared on The Graham Norton Show to promote the sixth series, and the full-length trailer was released on 9 March. The series's initial broadcast date was brought forward because of its popularity, with some episodes still being in post-production only days before the premiere of the first episode.

The sixth series was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 31 May 2021.


Following Kew Media's collapse in early 2020, it was announced that ITV Studios would be handling global sales and distribution for Line of Duty's sixth series. BritBox exclusively premiered the sixth series in both the United States and Canada on 18 May 2021.


Viewing figures

The series averaged 9.9 million viewers and maintained a 46.1% share. The finale episode peaked at 13.1 million with a 15.8% share in its final 15 minutes. It was the highest overnight audience for a BBC drama since Doctor Who's 2008 Christmas special, "Voyage of the Damned", which was viewed by 11.7 million. This caused Line of Duty to be the highest rated drama since modern records began in 2002. Across all channels and other genres it was the fifth highest rated broadcast since 2014 when those records began.

Critical response

The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the series a 84% approval rating, with an average of 7.20/10, based on 25 reviews. The critical consensus reads, "Unnecessarily dense storytelling and an oversaturation of acronyms gives the sense that this sturdy procedural may be overextending itself, but Kelly Macdonald reports in for duty to provide some fresh blood and intrigue.”. On Metacritic, the series has a weighted average score of 85 out of 100 based on 5 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim”.

Episode 1

The Guardian's Lucy Mangan gave the first episode a rating of four out of five, writing that the show "seems just as good, if not better, than ever", while Anita Singh of The Daily Telegraph gave it the same rating, stating that the episode "played to all of Line of Duty's strengths – taut, edge-of-the-seat stuff." Ed Cumming of The Independent gave it five out of five, noting that the "first episode of series six returns to what Line of Duty does best". Carol Midgley of The Times, however, criticised the series debut, describing it as "wilfully turgid".

Episode 2

The Daily Telegraph's Singh dropped her rating for the second episode to two out of five, describing it as "exhausting" and "frustrating", while Midgley of The Times saw it as a "slight" improvement on the first episode, though still a "little dull".

Episode 3

Both Singh of The Daily Telegraph and Midgley of The Times awarded the third episode three out of five, with the former stating that it saw the series "heating up nicely", and the latter writing that "there was more intrigue in episode three than in the previous two combined".

Episode 4

The fourth episode was well received. Singh of The Daily Telegraph gave a perfect rating and described it as an "absolute belter" delivered after "three lacklustre weeks". Similarly, Louisa Mellor of Den of Geek praised the episode, and described the ambush scene as "tremendous television". In the Radio Times, David Butcher stated that the episode is "Line of Duty at its best", and Midgley of The Times awarded a rating of four out of five.

Episode 7

The final episode received mixed reviews. Rachel Cooke with the New Statesman said that the series "ended with a whimper, not a bang". Lucy Mangan of The Guardian gave episode seven a three out of five rating. Harry Fletcher of Metro gave the same rating. The Times' Ben Dowell gave the episode a four out of five rating, as did Singh of The Daily Telegraph, describing it as "genuine edge-of-the-seat stuff".




Text submitted to CC-BY-SA license. Source: Line of Duty series 6 by Wikipedia (Historical)