After two years away, the sixth series of Jed Mercurio’s bent-copper juggernaut began with a bang. An armed unit led by DCI Joanne Davidson (guest star Kelly Macdonald) shot a robber in the street. Amazingly, Davidson noticed a getaway van on the way to deal with another case. This aroused the suspicions of Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), head of the anti-corruption unit: “You’d do well to spot a pipe band,” he noted. “The set piece played to all of Line of Duty’s strengths,” says Anita Singh in The Daily Telegraph. This was “taut, edge-of-the-seat stuff”.
The series’s love of jargon returned too, with a “fusillade of acronyms and police-speak”, says Katie Rosseinsky in the Evening Standard. “Who or what is a chis? What’s the PNC? Is 1A on the matrix good or bad? I have precisely no idea, and that’s part of the fun.” Still, there were enough complaints on social media from the 9.6m viewers of episode one that, at the end, a continuity announcer explained that “chis” stands for “covert human intelligence source”.
“As a Line of Duty fangirl it grieves me to sound like a disappointed bride on her wedding night. But… was that it?” asked Carol Midgley in The Times. “It rarely moved out of second gear.” Still, I am keeping the faith. “Mercurio set himself a high bar by creating one of the best cop shows, so we must hold him to it. From here on, please, less jargon and more jaws-on-the-floor.”
Line of Duty is on BBC1 and iPlayer. Watch the trailer here.
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My Father and Me
The Bafta-winning documentary director Nick Broomfield has tackled a dazzling range of subjects over the years, including Margaret Thatcher, white supremacists and Leonard Cohen. At 73, he has made his most personal film yet. My Father and Me explores his relationship with his father, Maurice, a celebrated industrial photographer. If it sounds like a “comfortable, almost cosy” project, says Sight & Sound, it is “anything but”.
Their styles couldn’t have been more different. Maurice would make factories look “sexy”, shutting down production lines and using Hollywood-style lighting to achieve the desired majesty. Nick prefers unvarnished verité. The pacifist Maurice abhorred conflict; Nick thrives on it. In one early film, Nick featured a Lancashire policeman reducing a young boy to tears. “Maurice evidently found that almost unwatchably painful, as did I,” says Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian. “That kind of casual violence would only be inflicted on a working-class boy.”
The film is a lament as well as a family portrait, says Tom Birchenough in The Arts Desk. The father-son tension “speaks resonantly about a generation of British social history”, and the archive shots – of factory workers, dances at a nylon plant, marchers on rent strike – “capture the period outstandingly”. We are left to wonder how the next generation will come to assess Nick.” This “beautiful” documentary will be “hard to beat”.
My Father and Me is on iPlayer. Watch a clip here.