ENTERTAINMENT
28/05/2021 09:46 BST

Line Of Duty Creator Jed Mercurio Outlines How Seventh Series Could Work

The screenwriter still insisted it was “too soon” to say if the hit BBC show would definitely be back, though.

Line Of Duty creator Jed Mercurio has revealed what plot could take centre stage if the show is to return for a seventh series. 

While the screenwriter admitted it was “too soon” to say if the hit cop drama would be back for another season, he admitted there’s potential to explore Chief Constable Philip Osborne

While Osborne was not unmasked as the so-called “fourth man” in the divisive series six finale earlier this month, there were questions as to whether he colluded in the murder of journalist Gail Vella that remained unanswered

BBC
Chief Constable Philip Osborne

Speaking to Den Of Geek, Jed said: “I think that if there is more Line Of Duty then clearly there’s potential there.

“He’s someone who retains high office who is an outright liar and has been involved in corruption in the past in terms of the Karim Ali case and the Lawrence Christopher case.

“Clearly there would be potential there if we wanted to explore it, but it’s too early to say whether we ever would.”

Asked if series six could be considered “a finale, or a clearing-out of the past” ahead of a fresh start, he replied: “I’d say it’s too soon. It’s too soon to draw that conclusion. It could be either of those, or it could be something different.”

BBC/World Productions/Steffan Hill
Jed Mercurio said it was "too soon" to say if we would see AC-12's Fleming and Arnott again 

Osborne – played by Owen Teale – was introduced back in series one, when he was the leader of the Counter Terrorism Unit that DI Steve Arnott was working on at the time, and instructed his officers to lie about what happened in the killing of Karim Ali. 

In series six, it was also revealed that Osborne was previously on the same team as corrupt officers Ian Buckells and Marcus Thurwell on the Lawrence Christopher murder case, suggesting he was also involved in the obstruction into the investigation.

At the end of the series, fans learned that “close colleagues” of the Chief Constable had been appointed to senior positions in anti-corruption, following his cuts to the departments, suggesting he is suppressing information. 

Despite the mixed reception to the series six finale, it has become the UK’s most-watched episode of a drama series in the 21st century so far, after official ratings showed it had an audience of 15.24 million.

This is 80,000 higher than the previous record, which was set by an episode of Heartbeat on ITV in February 2000 with an audience of 15.16m.

The entire Line Of Duty boxset is available to stream on BBC iPlayer.