Line of Duty is a BBC One “drama about the investigations of AC-12, a controversial police anticorruption unit” (BBC, n.d.). It was first broadcast on 12 February 2014 and has currently reached its fourth season with a fifth and sixth on the way. But what makes it so gripping and engaging?
This programme suits the BBC One drama commissioning guide perfectly because it has a “strong investigative aspect … [explores] how the world around us is changing and the hidden complexities of ordinary life” (BBC, n.d.) through the personal and work lives of the characters. Line of Duty does this very well by “blurring lines between fiction and reality” (Wilson, 2016), which creates a believable carbon copy of how the story would be in reality, with some embellishment to remove the boring bits, making it engaging for the audience.
Jed Mercurio, the series creator, said that the series is “founded in truth” (Wilson, 2016) and this can be evidenced through the real life cases that Mercurio took inspiration from to influence the series. For example, Mercurio states that every part of the police action must be “close to the right procedures as possible” (Radio Times, n.d.) to ensure the programme delivers the highest realism possible.
In the first episode of series one, an office worker in the police station says that she is not a police officer and is taking the witness statement due to cutbacks. When the series was released the police service was undergoing “deep public spending cuts” (Travis, 2014) which directly affected the police, this gave the series a peg and made it even more relevant for being broadcast.
In my opinion, Line of Duty gives a good in-depth factual look into police corruption whilst keeping it fictional with an engaging and gripping plot. All drama programmes are grounded in factual, truthful research and present real stories in ways that are enjoyable for the viewer.