Line of Duty is “A drama about the investigations of AC-12, a controversial police anticorruption unit.” (BBC, 2018). It looks at the corruption in the police based on real-life incidents that the creator of the series, Jed Mercurio, has personally experienced. “I’ve followed authorised firearms officers under investigation, even on trial for murder. Before I was a writer I was a cop” (The Guardian, 2016). He can use his personal experiences to make the show as authentic and engaging as possible.
This programme suits the BBC One drama commissioning guide because it has a “strong investigative aspect” and it explores “how the world around us is changing and the hidden complexities of ordinary life” (BBC, n.d.) Line of Duty applies to this by “blurring lines between fiction and reality” (Wilson, 2016), which creates a believable, realistic story, with embellishment to remove the boring bits.
Mercurio said that the series is “founded in truth” (Wilson, 2016) and this can be evidenced by the real-life cases that he took inspiration from to influence the series. 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.
The show opens with a large-scale raid, managed by DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston). These opening scenes featured various crosscuts of the action occurring, taken from the points of view of the different characters involved. This method of editing, with heavy use of cross-cutting between various characters points of view “creates suspense” (Daseler, 2012) and makes the audience feel rushed and compelled to pay close attention to all the different perspectives.
In my opinion, Line of Duty clearly demonstrates how much research and first-hand knowledge has contributed to creating a believable, authentic programme that gives a good in-depth factual look into police corruption whilst its dramatised elements are engaging but not distracting.
BBC. (2018). Line of Duty – BBC One. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00yzlr0 [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].
Daseler, G. (2012). Cutters’ Way: The Mysterious Art of Film Editing. Bright Lights Film Journal. [online] Available at: http://brightlightsfilm.com/cutters-way-the-mysterious-art-of-film-editing-the-mysterious-art-of-film-editing/#.WpHNzKhl_IV [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].
Duty, T. (2018). The real AC-12: discover the police anti-corruption officers who inspired Line of Duty. [online] Radio Times. Available at: http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2017-11-10/the-real-ac-12-discover-the-police-anti-corruption-officers-who-inspired-line-of-duty/ [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].
the Guardian. (2016). Line of Duty: why I think accuracy in police drama is so important. [online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/apr/02/line-of-duty-bbc-police-kate-london [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].
Travis, A. (2014). Police predict fresh crisis as cuts threaten one in six jobs. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/nov/21/police-fresh-jobs-crisis-funding-cuts [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].
Wilson, B. (2016). Jed Mercurio: Lies have been the making of Line of Duty. [online] The Telegraph. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/2016/04/27/jed-mercurio-line-of-duty-interview/ [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].