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Westside Steve

Line of duty review

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Line of duty
BBC
4 seasons so far.   TV MA
So because of our changing release schedule rather than to pick something worthless from four or five weeks ago I’ll throw in a cable series once in awhile. I assume everybody knows BREAKING BAD or THE WALKING DEAD so I’ll try to pick some that are a little bit off the radar but still easily accessible. This one is an English police series available on Amazon Prime video, albeit at a price but certainly less than going to 6, 12 or 24 movies. To date there are four series available which is nice because, unlike the old days, you didn’t have to schedule a weekly episode, or worry if you miss one. Plus, as I often do, it’s simple to go back and recap an episode if you miss something. Just watch these at your leisure. You can also grab a free trial of the production company BBC or Acorn and probably download the available shows so there’s that.
As we know there are plenty of American cop dramas that have police corruption at the core but not so many in which members of the Rat Squad, internal affairs, are the lead. The main characters who will continue through the first four seasons are Martin Compston Vicky McClure and Adrian Dunbar as Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott, Kate Fleming and their superior officer Ted Hastings. DS Arnott in the very first episode is part of an operation to apprehend some suspected terrorists in a lower-class neighborhood when something goes wrong. Apparently the police have been sent to the wrong address either accidentally or on purpose, and an innocent man is killed. The police immediately fall into the cover your butt formation, but Arnott refuses to go along with the subterfuge. He’s not a weasel, but a good cop and a straight arrow and Hastings select him to be a part of the anti-corruption squad. From then on he and his partner DS Fleming work their way through a series of heinous crimes that lead them and the audience on a merry chase as each season rolls along.  I think I can tell you without spoiling any of the fun that these characters remain throughout at least the first four series and each of the series seems to be at least somewhat connected to the others. New characters weave in and out of the fabric of course. If you are a fan of procedural dramas you should love this one because clues and evidence are really at the heart of all the mysteries instead of action and shooting the bad guy.  It’s more Sherlock Holmes than Mike Hammer.
An odd aspect is that each of the series is comprised of 6 individual episodes. There also seems to be a longer than usual delay between shooting each season. Season 5 isn’t slated until 2019 unless something changes and the entire show began 2012. 
It is one of the most popular cop shows ever on British television and that has not been well received by the real English police who reportedly refused any kind of cooperation with the producers. I personally don’t think it paints the coppers in a bad light really because it’s a small handful of bad apples well the majority are good at honest people. Looking forward to season 5.
Let me know if you find any other cable series you love that might have gotten under the radar. WestsideSteve@aol.com
A
WSS
 

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