Line Of Duty

BBC Two's police corruption drama returns

Interview with Adrian Dunbar

I’ve got a great character to play who I’m allowed to invest my ideas in. We’ve got a fantastic script written by one of the best writers out there at the moment in Jed Mercurio. I’m working with some fabulous actors all the time, and I think the series has a lot of merit because of its authenticity. You put all that together, and I just feel very lucky that I’m involved with it."Adrian Dunbar
Category: BBC Two; Drama

How are we introduced to your character Ted in series two of Line Of Duty?

We find Ted Hastings arriving as the head of AC-12 right at the top of the investigation into an ambush, which sees some police officers who have been killed whilst moving a prisoner.

Can you tell us a bit more about Georgia, who is a new addition to the team this year?

There’s a complication with the ambush, because one of the people involved in it is known to one of the members of my team. Kate has a personal interest in a case, so she is taken off the investigation and Ted has to find someone else to partner with Arnott, so that’s where Georgia comes in.

What’s your relationship like this series with Fleming and Arnott?

This series is interesting because it allows the development of the central characters to take place, and they’re all under stress one way or another in their personal lives, which puts pressure on their work. The relationship between Hastings and Arnott gets more strained as the series goes on, because of personal aspects of their lives - whereas the relationship between Hastings and Fleming gets tighter and stronger, as he supports her pursuit of justice along the way.

Do we see a bit more an insight into of Hastings' background this series?

We certainly get to see into his personal life a bit more, and we find he’s under certain family pressures. These are pressures that may directly or indirectly affect his work, so he has quite a lot going on in the background as well.  It’s the background noise of the characters' personal lives that feeds into their public work that makes this series different to the last.

We have some new characters introduced this series – Dryden and Lindsay. How is it working with Mark and Keeley?

I’ve worked with Keeley before on Ashes To Ashes, and I knew what a fabulous actress she was. I was looking forward to seeing her play this role and I think she brings a huge amount to it. Mark is a top professional, and has a brilliant interpretation of the role – his work has been really wonderful. I think we’ve got two incredible actors and really strong performances from both of them, which is what Line Of Duty really needs in those central roles.

Was there anything you found really challenging to film this series?

Because of Line Of Duty’s proper adherence to police procedure, by definition we end up doing some very long interrogation scenes which are difficult to learn, and require lots of concentration to sustain them across shooting. We all felt that coming up to those huge scenes there was a pressure to make sure we really got it right on the day – so hopefully that will pay off! The big scenes were the difficult scenes for the actors, as they’re not the norm for television scripts.

What made you want to come back to Line Of Duty?

Everything. Everything is right with it. I’ve got a great character to play who I’m allowed to invest my ideas in. We’ve got a fantastic script written by one of the best writers out there at the moment in Jed Mercurio. I’m working with some fabulous actors all the time, and I think the series has a lot of merit because of its authenticity. You put all that together, and I just feel very lucky that I’m involved with it.

What was it like to film up in Belfast?

It was a big change as Birmingham was so easy for us all, because most of us live in and around London. Suddenly we were in Belfast - but for me Belfast is my home city, I was able to go home and see family - I have lots of friends in Belfast.  For me it was really very enjoyable, we we’re very well served by the city and the crew that we had.