Published On: Thu, May 13th, 2021

Line Of Duty’s Martin Compston says audience ‘needs time away from’ the show after backlash

Line Of Duty star Martin Compston has said viewers ‘need time away’ from the show after a backlash over the ‘disappointing’ finale. 

The BBC police drama wrapped up season six earlier this month by finally revealing who the ‘Fourth Man’ was, but viewers were left underwhelmed, taking to social media in droves to share their upset. 

Speaking to ES Magazine about the show’s future, the 37-year-old actor admitted he would be ‘heartbroken’ if it doesn’t return, and the fate of the series is currently hanging in the balance.  

Time out: Line Of Duty star Martin Compston has said viewers ‘need time away’ from the show after a backlash over the ‘disappointing’ finale

Martin, who played DI Steve Arnott in the series, also admitted he understood why some fans were disappointed by the finale, in which DSU Ian Buckells was unveiled as ‘H’.  

He said: ‘You’ve got to respect people have invested so much in this thing and everybody has a different version of their ending, but yes… it’s been a pretty wild few days.’

Martin added that there would have been ‘riots in the streets’ if the series didn’t give away H’s identity, but praised the show’s creator Jed Mercurio for not taking the ‘easy option’ and showing a ‘crazy gun shoot-out’, which he believed would have been a ‘cop-out’.  

Underwhelming: The BBC police drama wrapped up season six earlier this month but viewers were left underwhelmed (pictured Martin as Steve Arnott and Vicky McClure as Kate Fleming)

Underwhelming: The BBC police drama wrapped up season six earlier this month but viewers were left underwhelmed (pictured Martin as Steve Arnott and Vicky McClure as Kate Fleming)

There has yet been no word on whether Jed has decided to end the show or will write season seven to air in the future. 

Although this has been the case after every season, Martin revealed that there is extra significance this year following the fan backlash. 

He explained: ‘The idea that I would never work with all the guys again together would be heartbreaking.

‘But also with everything that’s just gone on this week, I think everybody, including the audience, needs a bit of time away from it. So we’ll see.’  

Line Of Duty fans across the nation were left ‘fuming’ earlier this month as the nail-biting series finale drew to a close and the mysterious antagonist ‘H’ was finally unmasked.

Seasoned fans took to social media in their droves to share their frustrations as officers from the police anti-corruption unit AC-12 discovered the identity of the elusive ‘fourth man’, who had been colluding with the organised crime group (OCG), was none other than DSU Ian Buckells.

It saw the words ‘fuming’, ‘disappointing’ and ‘underwhelming’ all trend on social media in the aftermath of the show.

Really? Line Of Duty fans across the nation were left 'fuming' earlier this month as the nail-biting series finale drew to a close and 'H' was finally unmasked as DSU Ian Buckells

Really? Line Of Duty fans across the nation were left ‘fuming’ earlier this month as the nail-biting series finale drew to a close and ‘H’ was finally unmasked as DSU Ian Buckells

And the disbelief it could be him was compounded by the way he was only caught because of his repeated mis-spelling of the word ‘definitely’ – hardly the blunder of a hardened criminal mastermind.

The detective – widely thought until Sunday to have been just a bungling stooge – was first introduced to viewers in series one as the SIO in the case of murdered businesswoman Jackie Laverty by then Chief Superintendent Derek Hilton.

He later went on to become Detective Chief Inspector in series four before being promoted once more to Detective Superintendent in this final series.

One to watch: BBC bosses are yet to confirm whether the show - which began in 2012 - will return, despite an average of 13 millions viewers tuning in for the latest series

One to watch: BBC bosses are yet to confirm whether the show – which began in 2012 – will return, despite an average of 13 millions viewers tuning in for the latest series

While the finale tied up many unresolved storylines, there were still some gaping plot holes and storylines left unanswered.

The sixth series also saw DI Arnott finally called in for a meeting with Occupational Health, who noted that while he had not broken the law through his excessive painkiller use, he would have to surrender his firearms licence.

However, the 60-minute episode’s end failed to offer any resolution on whether the team of DI Steve Arnott, DI Kate Fleming and Superintendent Ted Hastings would return, ending on the revelation that the team has ‘never been weaker.’

The mystery surrounding the identity of ‘H’ has been up for speculation since his character was first mentioned at the end of series three, which aired in 2016, and detectives at the anti-corruption unit discovered there were four officers working within the force who had links to the underground criminal network.

BBC bosses are yet to confirm whether the show will return, despite an average of 13 millions viewers tuning in for the latest series, which faced multiple delays due to the Covid pandemic. 

Jed also admitted that he ‘doesn’t know’ if there will be a series seven of the hit show, which began in 2012.

Speaking to The Radio Times he said: ‘We don’t know. Since probably season four, we’ve been talking to the BBC about the realistic longevity of the series.

‘I’ve experienced broadcasters pulling the plug while we were still developing a storyline –Bodies and Cardiac Arrest both ended prematurely on the BBC. So it’s an ongoing discussion, is all I can say.’

MOTHER OF GOD! WAS THAT IT? VIEWERS LEFT ‘FUMING’ AFTER MINOR CHARACTER BUCKELLS IS UNVEILED AS THE FOURTH MAN… 

Line of Duty fans across the nation were left underwhelmed and disappointed by the identity of mysterious antagonist ‘H’.

Loyal viewers took to social media in their droves to share their frustrations as officers from the police anti-corruption unit AC-12 discovered the identity of the elusive ‘fourth man’.

But the revelation the bent copper colluding with the organised crime groups (OCGs), was actually DSI Ian Buckells infuriated many seasoned Line Of Duty fans.

It saw the words ‘fuming’, ‘disappointing’ and ‘underwhelming’ all trend on social media in the aftermath of the show.

And the disbelief it could be him was compounded by the way he was only caught because of his repeated mis-spelling of the word ‘definitely’ – hardly the blunder of a hardened criminal mastermind.

The detective – widely thought until last night to have been just a bungling stooge – was first introduced to viewers in series one as the SIO in the case of murdered businesswoman Jackie Laverty by then Chief Superintendent Derek Hilton.

He later went on to become Detective Chief Inspector in series four before being promoted once more to Detective Superintendent in this final series. 

Sharing their disappointment on the revelation, one disgruntled Line of Duty fan wrote on Twitter: ‘Can’t believe I watched six seasons of line of Duty for Ian Buckells, the most pointless character to be the fourth man. Fuming.’

While another viewer added: ‘Buckells, the most pointless character’.

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