Following the explosive fourth episode of the BBC drama, Martin will reprise the role of senior anti-corruption Detective Chief Superintendent Patricia Carmichael.
The actor, who has won Baftas for Bleak House (2005) and Poppy Shakespeare (2009), first impressed critics with her portrayal of the intimidating copper in 2019.
Her character was brought in for the final two episodes of series five as an independent investigator from the East Midlands Constabulary’s AC-3 to interview AC-12 chief Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), who had raised suspicions over his integrity.
Carmichael was accompanied by her team, consisting of DI Michelle Brandyce (Laura Elphinstone) and Sergeant Tina Tranter (Natalie Gavin), and she dismissed Hastings’s junior officers DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston).
She questioned Hastings about the large amount of money found in his room and pointed out that he has sunken further into financial debt over the years, something he had failed to disclose to Central Police.
Carmichael also interrogated Hastings over his alleged misconduct, accusing him of informing career criminal Lee Banks (Alastair Natkiel) of undercover cop John Corbett’s (Stephen Graham) true identity, blowing his cover and resulting in him being killed by the organised crime group. She suggested Hastings did this as revenge for the torture Corbett inflicted on his wife. She arrested Hastings for conspiracy to murder.
The superintendent then met with Fleming and Arnott to commend them for their bravery in being able to report their own commanding officer. She said she was determined to prove that Hastings is H, the corrupt senior police officer.
Carmichael demanded that Fleming and Arnott reveal everything they know about Hastings to her and her team, which Arnott refused to do.
Eventually, she gathered enough evidence on Hastings – after bringing him to tears in the interrogation suite – and she decided to charge him with the murder of Corbett.
However, Fleming and Arnott came to save the day by producing evidence that implicated lawyer Gill Biggeloe (Polly Walker) as the guilty party, for framing Hastings and manipulating Corbett into bringing him down.
Carmichael was finally persuaded to drop the case, even though she was still convinced that Hastings was bent. The reason she decided to let it go was because she had a corrupt officer on her own team, AC-3. This was Tranter, who attempted to murder Gill Biggeloe after she was revealed to be a member of the OCG.
She was reminded that “those who live in glass houses should not throw stones”.
Carmichael’s return to the series is not good timing for Hastings, given that he has just discovered he’s being forced into retirement.
Speaking about her return, Maxwell Martin said: “Pat’s back, I can’t remember what she’s doing there, nor would I be allowed to blab, but suffice to say she’s got some new clobber and she’s ready to bust some balls.”
She previously told The Independent: “It’s such good fun to play an absolute cow, or very misunderstood person.”
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