Line of Duty actor defends show from viewer backlash

Line of Duty: Ian Buckells star Nigel Boyle defends finale from viewer backlash

‘You can’t have every series end with a big shoot out,’ actor said

Jacob Stolworthy@Jacob_Stol
Monday 03 May 2021 14:28
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One of the stars ofLine of Duty has defended the finale following a backlash from “disappointed” viewers.

Following the conclusion to the show’s sixth series, fans expressed their disdain over what they claimed was an unsatisfying resolution to the long-running “H” storyline.

*Spoilers follow – you have been warned*

It was revealed that the seemingly hapless Detective Superintendent Ian Buckells (Nigel Boyle) was “the fourth man” and final corrupt member of the crime organisation known as “H”.

The twist was that Buckells was not a “criminal mastermind”, as AC-12 believed “the fourth man” to be, but instead an individual who did small favours for several organised crime groups. Some fans have since pointed out that the reveal has been teased as early as series one.

Now, Boyle – who played Buckells in the show’s first, fourth and sixth series – has addressed the criticism of how creator Jed Mercurio decided to wrap things up during a TV appearance,

“The fans have been brilliant, so many people have invested so much,” he said Monday (3 May) on BBC Breakfast.

He added: “There’s always going to be some element of disappointment. You can’t have every series end with a big shoot out and ‘urgent exit required’. Sometimes a subtler message is more important.”

Boyle said that if viewers have heightened “expectations” with finales of TV shows, “you’re setting yourself up sometimes for disappointment”.

Nigel Boyle as Ian Buckells in ‘Line of Duty

He continued: “That’s not to say that all the fans are doing that – [but] everyone’s got their own ideas and theories about how something’s going to pan out, and if everyone does that then someone’s not going to be happy somewhere along the line.”

Boyle also suggested that people will feel better about the conclusion in a few days.

Following the broadcast of the episode on Sunday (2 May), which was the most-watched single night TV episode of the year to date, the BBC hinted it would be happy to make more episodes if Mercurio wished to do so.

Read the channel’s full statement here.

Find all the talking points from the finale here as well as all of the show’s unanswered questions here.

All six series of Line of Duty are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

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