Martin Compston discusses Line of Duty's future after series 6

Naomi Gordon
·3-min read
Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

From Good Housekeeping

This article contains spoilers for Line of Duty series 6, episode 1.

Line of Duty star Martin Compston has addressed the show's future after series 6, saying he'd like to do one more to have a "proper send off" post-Covid.

The police thriller erupted onto our TV screens last night (Sunday, 21 March) and was as tense and compelling as ever as a flagging AC-12 prepared to investigate the unconventional conduct of DCI Jo Davidson (Kelly Macdonald).

The drama revealed that DCI Kate Fleming had left the anti-corruption squad to investigate the murder of journalist Gail Vella, but was being coaxed back by colleague Martin Compston's DS Steve Arnott.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

On the possibility of another instalment, Compston told The Guardian: "It always depends on audience reaction and whether there's a desire for more. We want to leave a good legacy and be remembered as one of the great shows, not for a disappointing final series."

The actor explained that the atmosphere on set "wasn't the same" as it had been while making previous series because filming restrictions introduced by Covid meant the crew had to keep a distance and masks made it hard to forge a connection. Therefore, he'd love to one more series when 'normal' life resumes.

"But this was a strange one to make, thanks to the horror show we’ve all been living through. We had a seven-month filming break, then came back under all the restrictions. The crew had to keep their distance.

"Masks made it harder to make a connection. The atmosphere on set wasn’t the same. It would be tough to end it that way. So on a personal level, it would be nice to do at least one more when life was back to normal and we could have a proper send-off."

Arnott is in unhappy place in series 6, as he's developed an addiction to painkillers which he took for a back injury he sustained after being thrown down the stairs by a member of the OCG in series 4.

"He's struggling with back problems and painkiller issues after getting thrown down the stairs in series four," the star explained. "As an actor, that’s a gift to play, because there’s duplicity. Steve’s putting on a brave face at work, still turning up in his flashy suits and trying to run the show, but at home he’s falling to pieces. He's a workaholic who defines himself by his job, but he's in danger of losing it all."

Compston also disclosed the reason DS Steve Arnott is inseparable from his beloved waistcoats.

"The waistcoats are partly because he thinks he’s Sherlock Holmes, one of the great detectives, and partly because he’s the overdressed p***k at work, having all the office affairs," he joked.

Line of Duty continues on Sunday, 28 March at 9pm on BBC One.

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