This is my take on the Line Of Duty Drama series 6 screened on BBC1 which recently came to an end with what has been criticised as a disappointing ending.
Normally I never watch these types of drama series especially if they have already begun and have missed a few episodes. There have been times when the recorder has been set to record a series to watch later but have never got around to watching them.
This time however there had been such a positive recommendation for the series that the recorder had been set to record from episode one but was was later aware that episode 5 had not recorded as set by the timer so had to set the recorder at two thirds into the episode manually, and what I thought was the final episode which seemed to be number 6 was in fact episode number 7.
So this was the first time that I had ever watched In The Line Of Duty and by the second episode I had the strong notion, at the time when Ted Hastings was called into the office at Police HQ to be told about the prospect of his retirement as well as the scaling down of his department, that he in fact was the master manipulator. However when I came to watch this episode again on BBC iPlayer, because I wanted to see episode 5 in full, and discovered that there was an episode missing and did not know in what order it was set, I decided to watch again from the beginning.
The good thing about watching again was that there was a more clear understanding of the interrelationships in the first episode but when it came to the scene in the office of Police HQ in episode 2 I could not see the reason for the inspired thought that Ted Hastings was possibly the Master manipulator. However I continued to watch with this in mind and was expecting it to be revealed at the end, but it seemed to go to the wire with no obvious indication that this was the case.
However with this point of view, it could be taken that Ted’s involvement as a possible manipulator is more sophisticated than is obviously portrayed, whereby there are several circles of intrigue regarding corruption taking place within the series that are made clear and solved, by Ted’s involvement and instigation.
It could be that Ted Hastings resistance to retirement as well as the reduction of the manpower of AC12 is because he must maintain his advantageous overall control that he has enjoyed for years. It is the case that illicit organisations that intend no good are compartmentalised so that those in a particular level or compartment only know what is taking place within their own group and not at levels above or below, and that foot soldiers are expendable in the bigger picture. This would be the same for the organised crime group as well as those going after them if there should be an interrelationship between corrupt officers which is what the series seems to be all about.
Chief Constable Philip Osbourn is shown on TV criticising political meddling at Control Police HQ, and the character personas and acting in the series are so convincing that we are led to instinctively believe that he is up to no good but there was no judgement taken on this by myself. Its an open question and possibly a red herring inserted by the writers of the series.
From the very first episode it was known that a CHIS stands for covert human intelligence source, so therefore I wondered what SNITCH denotes. In the series, to organised crime groups, a CHIS or snitch is a rat and the consequence of being a rat is certain death.
We were led to believe that Marcus Thurwell was the person responsible for directing decisions from Spain but, but as a result of a raid by Spanish police in communication with their
British counterpart it was discovered on camera that he was already dead. The response of Ted Hastings looked like one of introspective anguish, possibly realising what could happen to himself, rather than one of losing a lead. On the other hand it could be that Hastings himself ordered the hit on Thurwell because they were closing in on him, though there may have been a relationship of any convoluted type yet to be revealed.
Another thing is that Steve Arnott is as straight as a die, and when he discovers £50k stashed in the loft of a person he is fond of, Stef Corbett, the wife of a colleague who lost his life while on duty, he mentions the money to Ted Hastings who only at that point discloses that it was he himself who had given the money but we do not know if she really is aware of it, though we are led to believe that she does or whether it had been given to her husband as part of a corrupt relationship. Also it is revealed that the fifty grand was half of the hundred grand that went missing which meant that the other half had originally been dismissed as being part of a known theft. There must have been an investigation in which Ted Hastings must obviously have kept quiet about at the time. Also now it is known,Ted Hastings felt compelled to disclose the reason why Ted Hastings felt remorse as his disclosing the identity of Officer Corbett which then led to his death to Carmichael who had become head of the department but nothing was made of this by the writers of the series, at this stage. There is obviously more to come.
Perhaps if Ted Hastings had been disclosed as the culprit at this stage it may have been a bombshell finish instead of the damp squid that everybody has supposedly complained of due to the circle of intrigue surrounding Ian Huckles being wrapped up and dropped in as the finale.
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