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Line of Duty season six is a welcome return to form: review

Read our spoiler-free review of Line of Duty season six, episode one 

line duty s6 kelly
Emmy Griffiths
Emmy GriffithsTV & Film Editor
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Line of Duty is one of the nation's staple shows - and it's easy to see why. Talking along with Ted Hastings' one-liners, frantically Googling police acronyms and taking a shot every time Kate and Steve call one another 'mate' has become just a few of the many reasons that viewers adore the police procedural drama - but after two years of the show being missing from our screens, will season six measure up to our lofty expectations? Read our spoiler-free review here...

MORE: Line of Duty: who are the new detectives in series six? 

In the opening episode, 18 months have passed since the events of season five, and AC-12 continues to plod along dishing out small fry yellow notices with DCI Ted Hastings at the helm... when suddenly a truly juicy case gives the gang something to get their teeth into. 

WATCH: Line of Duty's season six trailer

A clear cut perp is set up from the beginning, this time in the form of Kelly Macdonald as Detective Chief Inspector Joanne Davidson, the lead investigator into a murder that remains unsolved - and a deliciously ambiguous suspect the likes of which we haven't seen since the Lindsey Denton days. 

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Kelly Macdonald plays Joanne

By keeping the premise relatively straightforward, the personal lives of AC-12's new suspect, and those on AC-12's team themselves, are upfront and centre, giving us a whole list of new questions about the golden trio, as well as the seemingly earnest cooper Joanne.

ted hastings s6

Get ready for more Teddisms!

Much like the other Line of Duty openings, the episode also throws the viewer straight into unbearably tense action in a way that only Jed Mercurio can truly master - giving us a reminder of exactly why the show is so immensely popular since its last airing in 2019 - and leaving us desperate for more. 

MORE: Line of Duty star reveals major time jump in season six

MORE: 6 questions we need answering in new series of Line of Duty

The opener is a return to form for the beloved show, that some felt stumbled during season five thanks to a somewhat convoluted plot as well as bringing poor, infallible Ted Hastings into suspicion as a potential 'H' corrupt officer. Criticism aside, it did also bring about the downfall of Gill Bigelow, and for that we'll always be grateful. 

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The show will premiere on BBC One on 21 March

While H is still on the periphery, the season six premiere has brought back the one thing that the show does best: catching bent coppers. 

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