Line Of Duty fans, Adrian Dunbar has dropped an exciting hint about season 7

Adrian Dunbar, who plays Ted Hastings in the BBC’s hit series Line Of Duty, has dropped some hints about a potential seventh season… 

Whether you loved it or hated it, there’s no denying that Line Of Duty’s season 6 finale got people talking – not least of all because it left us with so many unanswered questions.

Think about it: the nefarious Osborne (Owen Teale) is very much still in power, despite his links to Buckells (Nigel Boyle) and Marcus Thurwell (James Nesbitt). Anna Maxwell Martin’s Carmichael, meanwhile, has happily promoted all of her pals to senior ranking roles at AC-12.

It seems unlikely that Buckells’ crimes, let alone his trial, will ever become public knowledge. And, despite Hastings (Adrian Dunbar)delivering an impassioned statement to Carmichael and begging her to use it if she cares about “truth and accountability,” it seems his role in the death of Stephen Graham’s John Corbett, too, has been brushed under the carpet.

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With so many loose ends to be tied, then, is it any wonder that Adrian Dunbar (aka Ted Hastings) has been hinting at a potential seventh season return?

Appearing on ITV’s Lorraine, the actor said there is “every possibility” of another series, explaining: “The story can continue, put it that way. In terms of the story finishing, I think was a really interesting ending, that’s what reality is like. It’s usually one guy. It’s not a Mr Big, it’s just somebody along the line who decides to discard a piece of information and not make the call.”

“So, in that respect, I think it was a very realistic ending but it didn’t satisfy the sensational need in the public.”   

Adding that the cast are keen to get back to Belfast, where the show is filmed, Dunbar said: “It was lockdown the last time we did it, so we were all in bubbles and everything was shut. So we’d like to get back to Belfast for a bit of fun.”

Dunbar’s comments come after he admitted that “there’s a big appetite for more Line Of Duty“.

“It could be three or four episodes, I don’t think there’s going to be six for some reason,” he told The Times earlier this year. “It might be two 90 minute-episodes. But it’s all entirely down to Jed [Mercurio] what the storyline is going to be. It’s a big ask for him.”

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Dunbar isn’t the only one gunning for more Line Of Duty episodes; Nigel Boyle (also known as the series villain H and the enigmatic ‘fourth man’) played Ian Buckells throughout the drama and in that tense sixth season finale, we found out he was the bad guy we’d been looking for all along.

Speaking to RadioTimes about the possibility of season seven, though, Boyle revealed that the Line Of Duty team have not yet decided whether to bring the show back.

He did admit that he does have ideas for a way his character Buckells can return if season seven is green-lit. He’s such a fan of his plotline idea that he’s actually already pitched it to one of the show’s bosses. Boyle explained: “I said, ‘What’s the official line?’ and [producer Simon Heath] said, ‘Well, there isn’t one.’

“So I said, ‘I’ll tell you the official line. Buckles is going to be involved, right? OK, AC12 are gonna get him in. He’s gonna get whacked. OCGs are gonna get exposed. We’re sorted.’ And he just laughed.”

And, as if that weren’t enough fuel for the fire, remember that Martin Compston, who plays police officer Steve Arnott in the anti-corruption unit of the fictional Central Police Force, has also hinted a seventh season of Line Of Duty is currently in the works.

With that, here’s what we know so far.

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What’s the plot of Line Of Duty season 7?

At the moment, a seventh season of Line Of Duty is very much a mere twinkle in Jed Mercurio’s eye.

In an interview with GQ Magazine, though, Dunbar has said: “I’m sure the BBC want to do another series. We [the cast] do, because we want to get together again.”

Dunbar added: “I have a couple of ideas – we all have ideas that we share – but I’d rather not say what they are. There are things embedded in the storyline that could come together to make up a very interesting series seven.”

What has Martin Compston said about Line Of Duty season 7?

Though it may feel like a lifetime since the beloved cop drama was on our TV screens, Compston has shared his belief that the show will return, and that the extended hiatus is perfectly normal give that the series has aired a new season once every two years since its premiere in 2012.

“I’m delighted with the response,” Compston told The Chris Moyles Show. “People are now really intrigued to see if there is another one, but there’s nothing changed for us in terms of where we’re at after we finish a series.

“We always take a year between [seasons] at least. The dust settles and [creator Jed Mercurio] figures out whether there’s a story to tell,” he continued. “So I’m delighted that people are so excited and so desperate to find out but, as I say, this is what we’ve done after every series so we’ll just wait and see what he thinks.”

Line Of Duty’s Martin Compston on the season 6 finale and the possibility of a season 7.

Compston also added that he’d welcome the chance to reunite with the cast and crew, especially since filming the last season during the pandemic affected team morale.

“It’s no excuse to do a show because you want a night out or whatever, but it’s such a sociable show in terms of us, pals, and going out with crew and all that stuff,” he added. 

“We filmed the last one during Covid-19 and it was a tough shoot and kind of miserable, because we were one of the first jobs back. We couldn’t even mix with each other. So I think for us, it wouldn’t be nice to go out that way. We’d like to do one more with everybody. And that’s no reason to go back but I think there’s definitely scope for it.”

What has Jed Mercurio said about Line Of Duty season 7?

Mercurio, the master of keeping us forever in suspense, has said it’s “too soon” to say if the hit cop drama would be back for another season.

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Despite this, though, the showrunner has admitted there’s potential to explore Osborne’s role as the “fourth man” – not to mention his much-needed downfall.

“I think that if there is more Line Of Duty then clearly there’s potential there,” Mercurio told Den Of Geek.

“He’s someone who retains high office who is an outright liar and has been involved in corruption in the past in terms of the Karim Ali case and the Lawrence Christopher case. And clearly there would be potential there if we wanted to explore it, but it’s too early to say whether we ever would.”

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Asked if series six could be considered “a finale, or a clearing-out of the past” ahead of a fresh start, Mercurio replied: “I’d say it’s too soon. It’s too soon to draw that conclusion. It could be either of those, or it could be something different.”

Which cast members would return for Line Of Duty season 7?

It feels as though AC-12’s beloved trio – Ted Hastings (Dunbar), Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) – are the backbone of the show. And, based on the former’s comments, it seems Dunbar is very keen to return, despite the fact that his character was in a bit of a pickle when we last saw him.

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McClure and Arnott, however, are both incredibly busy; she’s working on Mercurio’s new thriller, Trigger Point, and Arnott – who can currently be seen in BBC One’s Vigil – has an exciting new project out this autumn in The Rig.

Considering how much they both loved the series, though, we’re fairly confident in predicting that Kate and Steve will return should Mercurio wish to continue AC-12’s story. And we hope that they bring Chloe Bishop (Shalom Brune-Franklin) along for the ride, too, considering she was the MVP of season six.

What has the BBC said about Line Of Duty season 7?

Considering that the S6 finale of Line Of Duty recorded its highest ever overnight ratings as 12.8million (56.2% audience share) tuned in to discover the identity of ‘H’, is it any wonder that the BBC is keen for another series?

“I’m looking forward to having a conversation with the team about where we go next and what the future of the series might be,” states chief content officer Charlotte Moore.

Intriguing. We guess we’ll have to wait and see what comes of all these whispered promises, eh?

Images: BBC

This article was originally published in September 2021, but has been updated throughout to include new information.

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