Warning, spoilers alert from Line of Duty season one! While it was made clear that poor Tony Gates was killed off in the season one finale, the actor behind the role, Lennie James, admitted that he thought he was coming back for the second series - and told everyone!
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Chatting to Radio Times about the situation, he explained: "I don't know what [creator Jed Mercurio] was thinking – and I slightly revealed a little bit too much of myself when I showed him how excited I was at the possibility of Gates coming back to Line of Duty."
Lennie originally thought he was returning to Line of Duty
He continued: "It was literally a day. Jed came in and said, ‘I’ve written a scene where Gates appears, comes back’ and I was like, ‘Fantastic, excellent,’ and went around and told everybody. Then he came back in the next day, and I was like, ‘So what’s the details, when can I see it?’ and he was like, ‘I’ve scrapped it, it’s a stupid idea’. He was absolutely right, it was a stupid idea but if anyone could pull it off it would probably be him." Poor Lennie!
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Although he couldn't include him in future episodes, Jed was full of praise for Lennie's performance. Following the season finale on Monday night, he tweeted: "The dramatic ambition of #LineofDuty has been to push the guest lead character into their deepest dilemma. Series one set the template. Tony Gates must choose between his honour and his family."
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Giving behind-the-scenes tidbits, he added: "S1 Ep 3 was the first ever to feature a prolonged interview, when AC-12 grill DCI Tony Gates (in Millennium Point, Birmingham). I'm grateful @RealLennieJames backed filming in long takes, but I'm not sure all his successors have been!"