Anorak News | Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio: how to commit murder and get away with it

Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio: how to commit murder and get away with it

by | 12th, May 2017

ted hastings line of duty


Line Of Duty creator Jed Mercurio has been talking about the hit TV show. The last series was blistering entertainment. There is nothing worse than a bent copper, which means there’s something for everyone – those who love watching police nab wrong ‘uns and those who like it when the police are exposed get to enjoy the show. Adrian Dunbar, Vicky McClure and Martin Compston, the actors given flesh and blood to AC-12’s characters, who can spend 15 coiled minutes interviewing a suspect in a bog-standard open-plan office and erupt into dizzying burst of action.

On Murder:

If I were ever to find myself alone in a room with a dead body I’d created in self-defence and pondering my next move, “plead guilty to manslaughter,” Jed Mercurio tells me. “For the minimum three years sentence. If you take the risk of fighting a murder plea with self-defence and you fail, then you will be convicted of murder and that is a mandatory life sentence.” Getting off with self-defence is really, really hard, says Mercurio, really hard. “I did the research.”






And On Ted Hastings:

Ted’s from a different era, isn’t he? Hence his reference to Pan’s People earlier in the series…

That was a cultural reference that was appropriate to his age. In terms of how he conducts himself in the workplace, he is the boss and people are often intimidated by bosses. Possibly, female colleagues haven’t said to him in the past, ‘I’d really rather you didn’t call me darling, however neutrally you’re saying it’.

Talking to [Ted Hastings actor] Adrian Dunbar about it, he felt it was something that the character possibly would do and he would be shocked by someone thinking that it was sexist. I think it’s about finding that grey area.

Ted’s idioms like “now we’re sucking on diesel”, do they come from Adrian, him being a local lad?

That particular one did, yeah. Some do and some don’t. What happens is Adrian will say something and that gets put into the script at a later point. There is a desire to keep him idiomatic in line with his background.

Those phrases are key to the attraction of the character. I remember writing once that Ted’s bilingual – he speaks both police and human. In the middle of all the jargon, he’s our translator, he’ll say “you hoodwinked them” and all of a sudden, we understand what’s going on.

I think you’re right. It’s part of making those scenes transparent to the audience. You can have chunks of jargon that are opaque but what you can’t do is keep the audience out for any length of time, you have to let them in at points to understand the to and fro of the dialogue.

Spotter: Den of Geek

Posted: 12th, May 2017 | In: TV & Radio Comment | TrackBack | Permalink