Line of Duty: Jed Mercurio reveals clue to identity of ‘H’ was hidden back in season one

Identity of the villainous ‘fourth man’ was revealed during the sixth series finale

Line of Duty series six trailer

Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio has revealed that a clue was left foreshadowing the identity of “H” way back in series one.

The mystery of “the fourth man”, formerly known as “H” (the name given to a criminal mole working within the upper echelons of the police), was finally resolved during the sixth season finale which aired last Sunday (2 May).

Spoilers follow for Line of Duty series six, episode seven...

In the episode, it was revealed that the OCG rat was none other than DCI Ian Buckells (Nigel Boyle), who had hid his rank criminality behind a veneer of shabby incompetence.

Speaking to BBC Sounds’ Obsessed With... Line of Duty podcast, Mercurio said that a clue to Buckells’ corruption was left in the show’s first season, but was overlooked by viewers.

“It was always really important to me that it was someone who had been in season one, someone who had been there the whole time,” he said.

“We did introduce some characters late. Thurwell came in late. Fairbank, the Chief Constable... but I don’t think he would have been a satisfying candidate, because he’d been absent for so long.”

According to Mercurio, the hint came when Buckells allows Dot “The Caddy” Cottan to speak with OCG boss Tommy Hunter in the back of a van, unsupervised.

Ian Buckells (Nigel Boyle) was revealed to have been ‘the fourth man’ all along during Sunday’s finale

He said: “It was really about the heritage of the series, going all the way back to in season one, where Dot Cottan says, “Can I just have a quick word with Tommy Hunter in the back of the van?” and Buckells goes, “Yeah, alright”. OK, like, really? Is that what you should be doing? Of course, not.

“You think he’s just a bit rubbish and doesn’t care. But it ends up being part of the character.”

Line of Duty series six can be viewed on BBC iPlayer.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in