Brit DVD Review: Line of Duty, Series 1 by Acorn Media


I have truly come to appreciate the British crime drama during my tenure as an Anglotopia reviewer.   They are short and sweet, highly dramatic and almost always offer the viewer a sense of closure when they are over.   Line of Duty from Acorn Media is no different–it grabs the viewer from the get go and does not let go until the final frames of the series (season) finale.

The two-disc, 5 part series begins by introducing DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston of Monarch of the Glen fame), a young “by the book” member of a counter-terrorism unit.  After a raid goes horribly wrong, he stands his ground and will not go along with the concocted cover story.  As a result, he is assigned to the British version of Internal Affairs and begins investigating a “top cop,” DCI Tony Gates (Lennie James). When  Gates comes to the attention of the department, because of his stellar arrests record and his seemingly “untouchable” status,   Arnott and unit newcomer DC Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure), investigate him and the bigger crimes that seem to follow Gates wherever he goes. Gates is a great anti-hero.  I really liked him in the beginning and was rooting for him to “beat” Arnott and Fleming.  However, by episode three, it became clear that he was in over his head—he was having an affair, was covering up crimes linked to the affair—the whole” good cop goes bad” cliche.   I was really torn between rooting for him to be either innocent or guilty.

I have only two real complaints about the series:

  1. I love the way many British crime dramas film their series as if it is one movie.  I suppose it would have been a really long movie (with 5 epsiodes), but I felt like having to sit through the opening and closing credits were distracting.
  2.  Too much graphic violence.  There were times I had to turn my head and wonder if I was watching an updated version of Game of Thrones.  *Shudder*  Let me imagine the violence instead of showing it to me—my imagination can come up with far worse than you can ever show me—we don’t need to test that theory!

All in all, another stellar police procedural.  I understand that it has been renewed for another series and I enjoyed the first one enough to give the next series another go.

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