Line of Duty fans have been given their first glimpse at the long-awaited series five — and it’s already got them in a fervour.
In a one-minute trailer aired on BBC1 and posted on the channel’s Twitter account, the three lead characters at police anti-corruption unit AC-12 are seen in the office of squad leader Superintendent Ted Hastings, played by Adrian Dunbar.
But it’s what happens when his two loyal officers leave the room, after discussing a robbery involving a “corrupt senior police officer”, that has viewers sharing wild theories about the latest plot, a closely guarded secret.
🚨SOUND THE ALARM! IT’S THE WHOLE GANG BACK TOGETHER FOR THE NEW SERIES OF LINE OF DUTY. 🚨
— BBC One (@BBCOne) December 26, 2018
Hastings appears shifty and concerned as he gives Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) and Det Sgt Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) his blessing to crack the case and bring down the crime mob lynchpin who doubles as an unknown top cop in the force.
The clip has fuelled speculation that Hastings will be unmasked as the corrupt officer, with some even vowing they’ll “never watch TV again” if he turns out to be the super-villain.
Speaking to his boss, Arnott says in the preview: “Sir, the robbery has been planned with the collusion of a corrupt senior police officer.”
When Hastings asks if he has any details, he replies: “I’ve not been provided with an ID.”
Fleming adds: “This is a chance to crack the highest level link between corrupt officers and organised crime, possibly even the top man.”
Hastings then tells the pair: “You’re my best team. If this is how you want to call it, I will back you to the hilt,” before dismissing them and looking worried about what they might discover.
Fans flocked to Twitter to share their excitement, with many begging AC-12’s top officer not to be the culprit.
One posted: “If it’s Ted, I’m never watching TV again.”
Addressing their message to writer Jed Mercurio and the BBC, another said: “If Hastings turns out to be bent, we are going to have words.”
A third wrote over and over: “Please don’t let it be Ted Please don’t let it be Ted Please don’t let it be Ted Please don’t let it be Ted…”
One fan tweeted: “Crikey a few seconds of a clip and I am blown away. Well done @jed_mercurio this will be another cracking series.”
Crikey a few seconds of a clip and I am blown away.
Well done @jed_mercurio this will be another cracking series 👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍
— Derek Napier (@dallsheed) December 26, 2018
Please don’t let it be Ted Please don’t let it be Ted Please don’t let it be Ted Please don’t let it be Ted Please don’t let it be Ted Please don’t let it be Ted Please don’t let it be Ted Please don’t let it be Ted Please don’t let it be Ted Please don’t let
— 🎄☃️ dimac ☃️🎄 (@MrsFinkelstein1) December 26, 2018
If it’s Ted, I’m never watching TV again…
— James Currie (@JCBelfast) December 26, 2018
The BBC has not yet confirmed a start date for the new series, although Martin Compston recently told ITV’s Lorraine that he expected it to be April.
Martin told fans last week that filming, which began in September, had been wrapped.
Acclaimed actor Stephen Graham will be the main guest star, joining the regular cast as a baddie for series five, and has already been teased as “Balaclava Man”.
Do you think Ted Hastings is the top corrupt police officer? Will it ruin the show if he is? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think!