Line of Duty: Stellar Cast in Police Corruption Drama

Line of Duty, the addictive BBC police drama that gripped audiences for six seasons, boasts not only a suspenseful script and gritty realism but also a cast that delivers phenomenal performances. 

From the core AC-12 team to the guest stars who bring each investigation to life, the actors breathe authenticity and complexity into their characters, making the world of police anti-corruption feel both thrilling and uncomfortably familiar.

The AC-12 Trio: Anchoring the Moral Compass

At the heart of Line of Duty lies Anti-Corruption Unit 12, or AC-12. The core team of Detective Superintendent Ted Hastings, Detective Inspector Steve Arnott, and Detective Constable Kate Fleming forms the unwavering moral compass of the show.

Adrian Dunbar as Ted Hastings: The gruff but ultimately decent Ted Hastings, played by Adrian Dunbar, is a mainstay throughout the series. Hastings’ unwavering belief in “bent coppers” and his catchphrase, “Now listen up!”, are iconic. Dunbar portrays the character with a blend of vulnerability and fierce determination, making him a leader viewers can root for despite his occasional moments of stubbornness.

Martin Compston as Steve Arnott: Martin Compston brings to life Steve Arnott, the by-the-book detective who clashes with Hastings’ more intuitive approach. Compston’s portrayal is nuanced, showcasing Arnott’s dedication to uncovering the truth while hinting at a past that may influence his methods.

Vicky McClure as Kate Fleming: Vicky McClure shines as Kate Fleming, the detective who walks the tightrope between loyalty to her colleagues and her unwavering commitment to justice. McClure’s performance is both steely and empathetic, making Kate a relatable character who embodies the moral dilemma at the center of police work.

Guest Stars: Bringing Each Investigation to Life

Each season of Line of Duty features a stellar guest star who portrays the police officer under investigation by AC-12. These actors breathe life into complex characters, often blurring the lines between good and bad cop.

Lennie James (Series 1):  In the first season, Lennie James takes on the role of DCI Tony Gates, a charismatic leader with a dark secret. James delivers a captivating performance, making Gates a character that is both flawed and oddly sympathetic.

Keeley Hawes (Series 2 & 4):  Keeley Hawes portrays the enigmatic DI Lindsay Denton in the second and fourth seasons. Hawes’ masterful performance keeps viewers guessing about Denton’s true motives, making her a compelling adversary for AC-12.

Daniel Mays (Series 3):  Daniel Mays brings a chilling intensity to the role of DC Danny Waldron in season three. Mays’ portrayal showcases the manipulative tactics corrupt officers can employ, creating a character that is genuinely unsettling.

Thandie Newton (Series 5):  Thandie Newton delivers a powerful performance as DCI Roz Huntley in season five. Huntley is a complex character caught in a web of her own making, and Newton portrays her with a captivating mix of strength and vulnerability.

Stephen Graham (Series 6):  The final season boasts Stephen Graham in the role of John Corbett, a charismatic but potentially corrupt police officer. Graham’s nuanced performance keeps viewers on edge, questioning Corbett’s true intentions until the very end.

Supporting Cast: Adding Depth and Grit

The supporting cast in Line of Duty plays a vital role in fleshing out the world of AC-12 and the police force they investigate. 

Actors like Craig Parkinson as the enigmatic Matthew “Dot” Cottan and Maya Sondhi as the ever-reliable DS Sam Railston bring depth and realism to their roles.

A Collaborative Effort: The Power of Ensemble Acting

Line of Duty’s success is a testament to the power of exceptional ensemble acting. The cast members work together seamlessly, creating a dynamic that feels both believable and electrifying. 

Whether it’s the tense standoffs between AC-12 and the investigated officers or the camaraderie within the AC-12 team, the actors create an atmosphere of constant suspicion and high stakes.

Beyond the Badge: Exploring Morality and Corruption

The brilliance of the cast lies not only in their ability to portray the procedural aspects of police work but also in their exploration of the moral complexities at the heart of the show. Each character grapples with the line between loyalty and duty, highlighting the gray areas that exist within the justice system.

Line of Duty’s cast isn’t afraid to show the emotional toll that police work takes. The constant pressure to uncover the truth while facing internal resistance and external threats creates a sense of vulnerability in the characters. This vulnerability allows viewers to connect on a deeper level, making the fight against corruption all the more compelling.


Who are the main cast members of Line of Duty?

The heart of the show lies with Anti-Corruption Unit 12 (AC-12):

Adrian Dunbar portrays the gruff but dedicated Detective Superintendent Ted Hastings.

Martin Compston plays the by-the-book Detective Inspector Steve Arnott.

Vicky McClure brings to life the conflicted Detective Constable Kate Fleming.

Who are some of the notable guest stars?

Each season features a lead suspect investigated by AC-12. Some standouts include:

Lennie James (Season 1) as the charismatic DCI Tony Gates.

Keeley Hawes (Seasons 2 & 4) as the enigmatic DI Lindsay Denton.

Daniel Mays (Season 3) as the chillingly manipulative DC Danny Waldron.

Thandie Newton (Season 5) as the powerful but conflicted DCI Roz Huntley.

Stephen Graham (Season 6) as the enigmatic John Corbett.

Who plays the supporting roles in Line of Duty?

Several actors add significant depth to the show:

Craig Parkinson as the mysterious Matthew “Dot” Cottan.

Maya Sondhi as the reliable DS Sam Railston.

What makes the acting in Line of Duty so good?

The brilliance lies in the ensemble approach. The cast works together seamlessly, creating an atmosphere of tension and realism. Whether it’s the internal dynamics of AC-12 or the confrontations with suspects, the acting feels natural and electrifying.

Does the cast go beyond portraying police procedures?

Absolutely! They delve into the moral complexities of police work. Each character grapples with loyalty, trust, and the gray areas within the justice system.

How do the actors portray the emotional toll of the job?

The constant pressure to uncover corruption takes a toll on the characters. The cast masterfully showcases this vulnerability, allowing viewers to connect with their internal struggles.

Line of Duty’s cast has left an indelible mark on television. Their exceptional performances have not only driven the show’s immense popularity but also sparked important conversations about police corruption and the complexities of upholding the law. 

From the unwavering dedication of AC-12 to the morally ambiguous guest stars, each character adds a layer of depth and intrigue to the narrative.

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