Line of Duty - An opener that grips from the outset

DC Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure), Sgt Danny Waldron (Daniel Mays), DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) in the thrilling Line of Duty
DC Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure), Sgt Danny Waldron (Daniel Mays), DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) in the thrilling Line of Duty
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I had him pegged from the outset of Line of Duty (BBC2, Thursdays, 9pm). You know, that one who looks like he would have been less out of place as an inside-right alongside Tom Finney in the 1950s, he’s rotten through and through, him.

Look, you see, told you. Waldron, that’s his name, see, chases that moody geezer down an alley and shoots him, in cold blood. And now he’s coercing his team to back his story, tell the higher-ups that the moody geezer fired first, it was self-defence guv. “We’re all in this together, it’s the best way,” he says.

Now the anti-corruption cops of AC12 are on his case, and he’s still brazening it out. Quoting common law and the Police and Criminal Evidence Act as if they’re his bedtime reading.

The lanky northerner, the hard-nosed Irish inspector, the one who looks like he’s on work experience from the local comp, they can’t get anything out of him. It’s like they’re talking to a brick wall.

And here’s the final proof of his bad eggness – he comes to his team’s regular drinking session, and orders a mineral water. A still mineral water, not even fizzy.

But hang on a minute, what’s this? A nice-looking girl’s making eyes at him. Uh oh, he’s a bad’un, she doesn’t want to do that.

Oh. He’s perfectly nice. A bit awkward, maybe, but he’s walking her home like a gentleman, sharing a tender kiss on the doorstep, they’re swapping numbers.

And why is his team in such disarray? Arguing between themselves, there’s a lot of tension there.

AC12 have sent undercover Kate in to get the inside track. She’s a bit obvious, frankly, “did it really go down the way he said?” she asks.

But Waldron saves her from shooting a kid during a drugs raid, and seems straight up when he says she’s not up for the job.

Maybe he’s not so bad, maybe he’s undercover as well. And why is one of his team – Hari, his name is – getting anonymous mobile phones dropped off on his doorstep, and why is Waldron so interested in that guy at the moody geezer’s funeral?

I’m all confused, nothing is as it seems, but I’m gripped, and I’ve got a knot in my stomach watching this, and I didn’t know watching people sat at a table quoting PACE 1984 at each other could be so exciting and OMG! I did NOT see that coming.

Seven days now to think about episode two. I cannot wait.