Action Zones 

The Rockin' Rev June 2021

ROCKIN REVLine of Duty


An eccentric, maverick, or flawed protagonist! Unconventional investigating techniques! High speed car chases! Grisly murders! Plot twists! When it comes to police dramas on TV my personal taste gravitates more towards, Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes, and Death in Paradise. Others have different tastes when it comes to policing on TV
 
For many years, Line of Duty fans have been gripped by the investigations of AC-12, an anti-corruption unit under the supervision of Superintendent Ted Hastings, tasked with hunting ‘bent coppers’ all the way to the top echelons of the Police Service. It’s been a hugely popular TV series, but I must confess that I wasn’t one of the thirteen million viewers who tuned in for the Season Six finale
 
Up until the finale, the identity of AC-12's nemesis "H" or the “Fourth Man” was a closely guarded secret. But as the credits rolled, many fans of the show were left disappointed and underwhelmed by the finale. Thinking that Hastings and his team were chasing some criminal mastermind or supervillain, a howl of disbelief was heard across the nation at 9.43pm on Sunday 2nd May 2021 when “H” was revealed as the rather poorly dressed, dim-witted, even gormless, Detective Superintendent Ian Buckells
 
As I said, I’m not a devotee of the show but it seems to me that Line of Duty writer, Jed Mercurio, has masterfully created a window into culture, society, and humanity
 
Far from the escapism many of us seek in our Sunday night viewing, he made viewers feel uncomfortable. Evil supervillains may be the stuff of Disney, but humanity’s brokenness might lead any one of us to a decision where the reality we all live in?
 
When quizzed on the finale, Mercurio himself noted that he wanted to make a point about how someone can do a lot of harm without necessarily being an evil mastermind
 
Reminiscent of the usually mislabelled quote: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”, Line of Duty suggests that evil acts aren’t necessarily done by ‘evil people’ but led by the systems and circumstances in which they find themselves
 
Line of duty presented characters who are flawed in ways that many of us might relate to. A guy, for example, with little integrity or care, who was fed by simple greed and turned a blind eye to what was going on around him
 
Is it not a neglect of our “line of duty” as good citizens, if we stand by and do nothing when we witness wrongdoing?
 
Rev Brian Hall

Vicar, St Andrew’s Church

 

published by St Andrew's Church in the Gorleston Community Magazine

 


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