The Version Interview... Vicky McClure on the return of Line of Duty

Determined to uncover the truth, Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston), Detective Sergeant Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) must work together to tackle their most devious opponent yet. They are aided by PC Maneet Bindra (Maya Sondhi) and newcomer Detective Constable Jamie Desford (Royce Pierreson).

Creator, writer and Executive Producer Jed Mercurio says: “Thanks so much to the fans who've made Line of Duty such a success. Thanks to the BBC for all their support in making the series. It's incredibly flattering we've been able to attract such amazing talent as Thandie Newton, Jason Watkins and Lee Ingleby to join our brilliant regular cast of Martin Compston, Vicky McClure and Adrian Dunbar. We're all looking forward to tormenting the nation with ever more diabolical plot twists!”

The award-winning series moved to BBC One after its huge success since launching on BBC Two in 2012. This third series was the highest-rating BBC Two drama series ever since current measuring system began in 2002, with a series consolidated average of 5.1 million. The exhilarating 90-minute finale consolidated at 5.6 million.

 

Vicky McClure tells us more.

Where do we pick up with Kate this series?

She’s been promoted to the same rank as Steve Arnott and she’s pretty raring to go actually. She’s got a lot to prove and she wants to make sure she makes Hastings proud and we see her ambition and drive are as strong as ever. Her personal life is not ideal but is settled.

Kate and Steve have a continued strain on their relationship but they really look after each other. It’s a bit like a brother and sister relationship.

You’ve played the role for four years, is she easy to slip back in to?

She’s quite a nice easy character to get into, because Kate is so secure and settled in her job which is obviously where we mostly see her.

I love playing Kate, she’s a bright woman. She makes me seem like I know what I’m talking about and I love her determination. I think we’d be mates but she’d scare me a little bit as well, I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of her.

Tell us about DCI Roz Huntley…

From the get-go there is this false trust because she seems like she genuinely cares about the job and that she’s doing all the right things. We’re lulled into a false sense of security with her. She’s got a real strength to her, which puts Kate on the back foot a little bit straight away.

What was it like working with Thandie?

Amazing. She’s such a great actress and such a good laugh, we had a real giggle. She came in and was really just open to wanting to create a great character. She loved the show and was just really passionate about it and that’s all you can ask for when people are coming in as newbies to something that’s returning. We try to make it as welcoming as we could.

Forensics is at the heart of this series, was that interesting to learn about?

It was interesting but it was a real challenge because dialogue wise there were certain things that were completely new to me. I had to ask Jed lots of questions, but forensics makes for very intriguing drama.

Does the fact you’re so close to Adrian and Martin help with the AC-12 scenes, especially the interrogation ones?

We just all get on really, really well and have a genuine friendship. We speak regularly outside of the show and they’re my lifelong friends, so it makes it a lot easier to be at work.

Line Of Duty has moved from BBC Two to BBC One due to its success, why do you think the show is so popular?

Because it’s very honest and Jed tries to make it as truthful as he can. I also think the audience out there are way more intelligent than we give them credit for. We don’t need to spoon-feed them, they like to work things out for themselves and they like to get things wrong and to get involved.

Also it’s not a pretty show, it’s gritty. The casting is never obvious. Giving me and Martin the opportunity to look after a big cop drama was something I never expected, they always make really interesting casting choices.

What can viewers expect from the new series?

Everything! Oh so many twists and turns, more than spaghetti junction. There’s so much going on this year! Thandie Newton is in it, what more could you want!