Line of Duty is a television drama broadcast by BBC One, and created by Jed Mercurio. The series focused around “the investigations of AC-12, a controversial police anticorruption unit” (“Line of Duty – BBC One”, 2018), with the pilot episode introducing the leading characters.
The show opens with a large-scale raid, managed by DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston). These opening scenes featured various crosscuts of the action occurring, taken from the points of view of the different characters involved. The method of editing, with crosscutting between various character points of view, is “to create suspense” (Daseler, 2012) . When this is combined with the close-ups/extreme close-ups which “lack any points of reference to the surrounding environment” (Bowen, 2013), it creates both an intense sense of urgency whilst also causing a lack of understanding of what is happening.
This was done to build-up anticipation for the climax, creating a more emotive twist when the calm resolution of the criminal finally being killed was revealed to instead be a mistake. Another purpose however was to display to the audience how quick and complicated the routine of a raid can be, capturing the process and the large quantity of people involved accurately and subsequently displaying how mistakes can occur quite easily. The entire sequence, which went on to drive the fictional Steve Arnott into joining the AC-12, was based on the true story of “the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes in 2005” (Smith, 2017) and how the “lies dishonoured the service” (Smith, 2017).
Throughout the episode the level of research is clear and has been used to create a narrative which is believable and accurate, portraying messages the writer feels are important whilst also incorporating fictional and exaggerated elements to entertain.
Bowen, C. (2013). Grammar of the Shot (February 3rd ed.). Hoboken: Focal Press.
Daseler, G. (2012). Cutters’ Way: The Mysterious Art of Film Editing. Bright Lights Film Journal. Retrieved 24 February 2018, from http://brightlightsfilm.com/cutters-way-the-mysterious-art-of-film-editing-the-mysterious-art-of-film-editing/#.WpHNzKhl_IV
Line of Duty – BBC One. (2018). BBC. Retrieved 24 2018, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00yzlr0
Smith, R. (2017). Line of Duty season 4: Is Line of Duty real? Does AC-12 exist?. Express.co.uk. Retrieved 24 February 2018, from https://www.express.co.uk/showbiz/tv-radio/797857/line-of-duty-season-real-truth-exist-based-on-ac-12