The sixth series of the BBC’s hit crime drama drew to a close on Sunday (2 May) – and it left fans feeling majorly underwhelmed.
Many believed they were watching the final ever episode of the series, which began in 2012, and expressed disdain over the conclusion to the long-running storyline involving an unknown corrupt copper known as “the fourth man”.
*Spoilers follow – you have been warned*
In the episode, the hapless Detective Superintendent Ian Buckells (Nigel Boyle) was identified as the final member of “H”.
However, the twist was that Buckells was not a “criminal mastermind”, as AC-12 believed “the fourth man” to be, but instead an individual who had risen through the ranks by doing small favours for several organised crime groups.
On Monday (3 May), Mercurio wrote on Twitter: “We knew attempting to explore the real nature of corruption in our society wouldn’t appeal to everyone, but we do sincerely thank you all for watching. It’s been our privilege to share your Sunday nights.”
Mercurio also addressed the viewing figures, which saw the episode watched by an overnight audience of 12.8m. that number is set to increase when combining BBC iPlayer views.
“We’re honoured and flattered by the viewing figures for #LineofDuty6,” he wrote.
There is no official word on whether show will return for a seventh series, but while announcing the figures, the BBC hinted it was happy to continue broadcasting the show should Mercurio wish to write more.
Meanwhile, Nigel Boyle – who played Buckells – defended the show from “disappointed” viewers while appearing on BBC Breakfast, stating: “You can’t have every series end with a big shoot out.”
All six series of Line of Duty are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.
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