Line Of Obligation: 32 Behind The Scenes Secrets and techniques You By no means Knew About The Police Drama

Line Of Obligation fever is at present sweeping the nation as soon as once more because the AC-12 group sink their tooth right into a model new case on the sixth sequence of the hit BBC present. 

Whereas the twists and turns have gotten viewers on the sting of their seats, we’re turning our consideration to what’s been occurring behind the cameras. 

Because the BBC’s flagship police drama, a hell of loads goes into bringing the world of AC-12 to life, and we’ve hunted down all of the behind-the-scenes secrets and techniques that you simply in all probability received’t have identified concerning the present – as a result of Hastings and co aren’t the one detectives spherical right here, you realize….

1. Sequence one was shot in a very completely different metropolis to the remainder of the present


The lobby of AC-12’s HQ belongs to the Make investments NI places of work in Belfast

Whereas Line Of Obligation is about in an unspecified a part of the east Midlands, two cities have acted because the backdrop for the present. 

In sequence one, it was filmed in Birmingham, with the outdated Municipal Financial institution constructing on Broad Avenue serving as AC-12’s HQ. 

Manufacturing moved to Belfast for sequence two onwards. A ground within the BT Riverside Tower on Lanyon Place has served because the anti-corruption places of work, with the outside and lobby scenes shot on the Make investments NI places of work within the coronary heart of Belfast on Bedford Avenue. 

The Belfast Central Library on Royal Avenue doubles because the Police Headquarters the place Hastings typically goes to go to the highest bosses. 

Eye Ubiquitous through Getty Pictures

Belfast Central Library

2. Craig Parkinson (aka The Caddy) initially tried out for the position of DS Arnott


Craig Parkinson as DI Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan, aka The Caddy

Whereas we will’t consider anybody else besides Martin Compston carrying Arnott’s waistcoats, his fellow AC-12er Craig Parkinson truly tried out for his position earlier than touchdown the a part of DI Matthew Cottan. 

3. It was Craig who satisfied Martin to audition for the present

David M. Benett through Getty Pictures

Martin Compston, Vicky McClure and Craig Parkinson pictured in 2015

In an interview with GQ journal, Martin stated he almost by no means went for Line Of Obligation, describing himself as “a bit youthful and naive and type of considering you’re a little bit of a way actor”, however it was a telephone name with Craig that persuaded him to go for it. 

He stated: “I used to be doing a extremely intense movie on the time known as Piggy with Paul Anderson from Peaky Blinders, fortunately with a London accent, which helped me with this audition. However my agent stated, ‘You’re mad’ and I known as Craig – me and Craig have been buddies for a very long time; he’s somebody whose judgement I belief – and he stated it was one of the best factor he’d ever learn for TV. And when he stated that, it put the antennas up a bit.”

4. DI Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan initially had a special nickname referencing one other EastEnders legend


Dame Barbara Windsor and June Brown, aka EastEnders legends Peggy Mitchell and Dot Cotton

Craig instructed The Telegraph that Dot was known as Matthew ‘Babs’ Windsor “for a looooong time” within the early script drafts. 

5. Arnott wasn’t initially known as Arnott, both

He was initially known as Steve Andrews within the early scripts. 

6. Neil Morrissey was the primary actor to be solid 

Former Males Behaving Badly star Neil Morrissey appeared as DC Nigel Morton within the first three sequence of Line Of Obligation, and whereas it was a supporting position, he was truly the primary actor solid for the present, creator Jed Mercurio revealed on Twitter. 

He described Neil as a “revelation” as DC Morton. 

7. Adrian Dunbar was initially a supporting solid member

Whereas Superintendent Hastings is the spine of AC-12 as of late, he initially began out in sequence one as a supporting character, earlier than Adrian Dunbar was promoted to the primary solid in sequence two.

8. Vicky McClure utterly tousled her audition

Steffan HillBBC/World Productions

Vicky McClure as DI Kate Fleming

Vicky McClure instructed GQ journal: “I bear in mind my audition being a shocker. I hadn’t discovered my strains. Some individuals they’re so prepped and I simply wasn’t. I missed my mouth once I went to have a drink of water and all of it went down my high. I assumed, ‘There’s simply no probability I’ve bought this, to be a cop, I can’t even be taught the strains.’ I bear in mind feeling fairly underprepared.”

9. BBC One initially handed on Line Of Obligation

Whereas BBC One is now the house to Line Of Obligation, the channel initially turned down the present, govt producer Simon Heath instructed GQ

The present was finally commissioned by BBC Two, the place its first three sequence initially aired, earlier than it was promoted to BBC One for its fourth sequence in 2017, because of bumper scores. 

10. The police weren’t eager on cooperating when the present began


DS Steve Arnott, Superintendent Ted Hastings and DI Kate Flemming

With Jed Mercurio insistent that the present have to be as genuine in its depiction of police procedures as doable, the group needed to search the assistance of pros within the improvement of the sequence.

Nevertheless, they confronted big resistance, in accordance with govt producer Simon Heath, who instructed HuffPost: “We despatched them the primary episode which options the unintentional capturing of an harmless man suspected of being a terrorist and it was drawing on various real-life incidents, however had a letter again from the police saying we received’t cooperate with you on this present as this might by no means occur. Jed and I had been simply bemused as clearly there had been these incidents.

“So we then needed to do our personal off-the-record analysis and conduct interviews with officers who had been maybe coming to the top of their careers, or had been retired or had been blissful to speak to us anonymously.” 

The present now has a financial institution of individuals with direct expertise of working in several aspects of the police drive, which helps inform how it’s made.

11. There may be nonetheless at all times a police advisor on set to tell the story

World Productions

The solid throughout filming of sequence six

In recent times, this has been the job of former Metropolitan Police officer David Zinzan, who had over 30 years expertise within the drive, proper from the rank of constable as much as commander. In that point, he labored in departments focussing on homocide, counter terrorism, anti corruption and severe and organised crime – all staples in Line Of Obligation.

He instructed HuffPost again in 2019: “My job is to face with Jed and the director and ensure that the procedures, the strategies and the language is appropriate, and I’m additionally a useful resource for the actors, who incessantly ask me questions on what their character can be considering or the expression on their face.”

David can also be despatched the scripts to undergo and verify for language and procedures prematurely, earlier than sending his notes again to Jed. 

He additionally assists with what varied components like interview rooms and suspect boards would appear like. 

12. The artwork and props group are additionally among the many first to get the scripts


The artwork division need to create plenty of props and documentation for the sequence

A lot planning has to enter the creation of all of the paperwork, databases and police information that assist convey the world of AC-12 to life, and the present’s proficient artwork and props group are among the many first individuals the scripts are shared with, to allow them to get a head begin in making and creating the whole lot that’s required.

Exec Simon Heath instructed HuffPost: “They’re second to none. It’s such an enormous job. They get the scripts fairly early to allow them to get stuff accomplished prematurely, which might then be tweaked later within the day if we make some explicit modifications.”

13. The present is shot out of order


Martin Compston throughout filming of sequence 5

It often takes 16 weeks to movie a sequence of Line Of Obligation, and the the primary three episodes are filmed first, adopted by the second three, in what is thought within the TV business as two “blocks”.

Nevertheless, inside these blocks, a lot of the motion is filmed out of sequence, because of the availability of actors and places for instance.

14. Nevertheless, the set-up utterly modified for sequence six on account of Covid

World Productions

Filming on sequence six was disrupted because of the pandemic

Filming on sequence six was suspended after 4 weeks of capturing in March 2020 because the coronavirus pandemic began to take maintain, and when everybody returned to set six months later, the best way they labored modified dramatically, with the blocks deserted.  

Vicky instructed a latest BBC press convention: “The schedule was in all probability one of many largest modifications from an actor’s perspective as a result of it simply meant we had been capturing with completely different administrators on the identical day, completely different episodes on the identical day.

“Chronology simply wasn’t doable as a result of we had been sure by location and security.”

Adrian admitted he discovered this variation tough and needed to have Jed remind him as to what was presupposed to be occurring at sure factors. 

“We had been leaping between scenes and it’s generally tough to know the place to pitch one thing if you’re transferring between administrators and episodes,” he stated.

Whereas the solid are often saved at midnight concerning the ending of the sequence at the beginning, the modifications to the best way they had been working meant that they had been aware of extra storylines than traditional whereas capturing sequence six.

15. Jed is often nonetheless writing the ultimate episode of the present when the primary three are nonetheless being filmed


Jed Mercurio (center) on set throughout filming of sequence 5

Whilst you’d assume a present as sophisticated as Line Of Obligation can be just about set in stone earlier than any actor even stepped on set, seems that’s not how author Jed Mercurio likes to work.

In actual fact, the ultimate episode of the sequence isn’t often totally fleshed out by the point the primary eight weeks of filming begins, as a result of he likes to vary issues up as he reacts to seeing the primary block of three episodes being shot.

Simon instructed HuffPost in 2019: “Jed can have the fundamental construction of episode six, however he’ll permit himself to have the ability to change and modify it because the early rushes are available in. By the point we get to the edit, we’ve locked it down, however definitely within the early phases of filming the place we’ve bought tough cuts, we’re nonetheless engaged on episode six.”

16. The enduring interrogation scenes could be filmed as much as 20 instances every

The interview scenes in AC-12’s headquarters have grow to be synonymous with the present, with some significantly tense ones typically taking part in out on display for in extra of 20 minutes.

Throughout filming, they shoot them in a single steady take, typically repeating the scene as much as 20 instances in order that the editors can lower collectively all one of the best bits and make a TV masterpiece.

Simon instructed HuffPost: “There’s three cameras within the glass field all taking completely different angles and sizes, and as quickly because the assistant shouts ‘motion!’ we do the entire scene till they name lower. Throughout that point, no-one can transfer, in any other case it breaks the entire thing. So that you batten down the hatches, ensure you go to the bathroom and don’t let your abdomen rumble.

“Twenty instances to shoot one scene like that may sound loads, however with the variety of characters and the cameras, it isn’t truly that many. With three cameras, you’re successfully producing 60 pictures wherein to inform the story, they usually then lower collectively these 20 cuts into one scene, with the editors cherry selecting all one of the best seems, the best motion and element.”

And even when somebody messes up – which Simon stated the often “word-perfect solid don’t” – they simply need to “play on, such as you would within the theatre”.

17. There needed to be a duplicate set of the interrogation room constructed to make it extra Covid compliant in sequence six

Twitter/Jed Mercurio

The Line Of Obligation interrogation room needed to be replicated

Vicky stated throughout a latest press convention: “Say AC-12, the [original] interview room shouldn’t be nice for [ventilation] in a glass, contained field – in order a lot as we used the unique set for different issues, we used one other set… and also you genuinely can’t inform a distinction.”

18. Adrian Dunbar is liable for Hastings’ well-known Ted-isms


Hastings has grow to be beloved for his varied catchphrases like “mom of God” over the course of the sequence, which is one thing he delivered to the position. 

He instructed GQ: “The ‘mom of God’ stuff is one thing that my dad used to say on a regular basis. It suits the character, you realize. ‘Sucking diesel’s’ mine. It’s one thing I used to say on a regular basis.

“Jed would ask me what about some actually locked-in Belfast phrases, which of them, and ‘floating up the Lagan on a bubble’ is an enormous Belfast one. So we thought we needed to get it in someplace.”

Adrian just lately revealed that followers of the present typically assist Jed give you his character’s notorious one-liners because the sequence has gone on. 

“Jed has bought some secret helpers on the market,” he stated throughout a latest press convention. “After some Q&As we do, we do ask the viewers ‘is there something Ted ought to say that’s an actual Belfast idiom?’”

19. A earlier AC-12 adversary stopped sequence six visitor lead Kelly Macdonald from rejecting her position

Steffan HillBBC/World Productions

Kelly Macdonald as DCI Joanne Davidson

Kelly Macdonald revealed former star Keeley Hawes needed to speak her out of turning down starring on the present. 

Kelly stated she virtually “ran a mile” after seeing the scripts, and turned to Keeley – who appeared as corrupt officer DI Lindsay Denton in sequence two and three – for recommendation. 

She instructed Radio Occasions: “It’s a horrible factor to ask of somebody! However the true challenge was the sheer variety of phrases I needed to be taught. After I noticed the script, my first intuition was to run a mile. It’s all addresses and dates and police jargon, particularly once I was interviewing suspects.

“Keeley was sensible; she talked me down from the ledge. She stated it would look as if you’re being requested to do one thing utterly not possible, however it’s not.”

20. Each Kelly and Thandie Newton hadn’t seen Line Of Obligation earlier than being provided their roles


Thandie Newton performed DCI Roz Huntley in sequence 4

As a result of Kelly had spent various years in New York filming Boardwalk Empire, she says she “missed an enormous quantity of British popular culture”. 

“I knew about Line Of Obligation as a result of it’s a large present and everyone seems to be so invested in it week to week, however I did have to start out watching the present once I bought the supply,” she stated throughout a sequence six press convention. 

She instructed Radio Occasions that she began watching sequence 4 after taking up the position of DCI Joanne Davidson and admitted she bought “correct nerves” and watching Thandie “wasn’t making it simpler!”

Equally, Hollywood star Thandie Newton – who performed sequence 4 adversary, DCI Roz Huntley – hadn’t seen Line Of Obligation both earlier than she was alerted to the half. 

“I didn’t know something concerning the position, however stated I wished to do it,” she instructed the Sunday Submit. “I don’t watch loads of tv – I’ve youngsters, so the one issues I watch are SpongeBob or Paw Patrol.

“My agent stated: ‘Thandie, a proposal has are available in and in case you ever need to work in British TV, that is it.’ I’ve been with my agent since I used to be 17 so when she stated that, I sat up. I watched it and was utterly knocked out by it.

“I don’t have the chance to work in Britain very a lot as a result of there are loads of interval dramas they usually typically don’t have calls for ladies of color so I went to Hollywood.”

21. Arnott’s waistcoats had been Martin’s concept

BBC/World Productions/Steffan Hill

Arnott’s waistcoats have grow to be a factor in their very own proper

Martin instructed the Night Normal: “Earlier than we began the primary sequence a pal of mine who works in a name centre was telling me about somebody who labored with him.  

“This man was a proper wee dick and he wore waistcoats to work — who would put on waistcoats to work in a name centre?”

Martin went on to clarify the person in query was at all times well-liked with the women, and there was a principle it was the waistcoat that was the key to that success.

So when it got here to his concepts for his character, Martin determined: “That’s him – that’s Arnott, the needlessly overdressed man.”

22. However he had a tough time with them after the filming break throughout sequence six

Martin admitted his well-known waistcoats had been a bit comfortable when he returned to set after lockdown. 

He defined in a BBC press pack interview: “We began [series six], I had simply come off the job known as The Nest and I had a number of topless scenes within the present. I used to be in all probability in one of the best form of my life. So, after we began the job in the beginning of this sequence, I used to be in fairly good nick! Then lockdown occurred. 

“All of us ate an excessive amount of, drank an excessive amount of. After I got here again to the UK and needed to quarantine, I requested our beautiful costume designer to depart Steve’s fits in my room so I might attempt them on as they had been all tailor-made. That was a extremely powerful day – I used to be bursting out of the whole lot! I didn’t realise how the fits had been fairly so tailor-made to my unique form! 

“I assumed quarantine was going to be wine and pizza, however it was water, soup and an train bike for 2 weeks! I used to be happy to get out of it.”

23. Martin is so methodology on set, a number of the crew didn’t realise he was Scottish

BBC/World Productions

Martin has a Scottish accent in actual life

By now, most Line Of Obligation followers know that Martin is Scottish and speaks with a Glaswegian accent. Nevertheless, his methodology means of doing Arnott’s Estuary accent has sparked some hilarious moments on set.

Recalling a particular second on the finish of filming season one, govt producer Simon Heath instructed HuffPost: “On that sequence, he’d stayed in his English accent each on and off display, the entire time. As they shouted ‘wrap!’ on the ultimate scene, which was being shot in a pub in Birmingham, Martin burst in and began speaking ten to the dozen in his traditional Glaswegian accent. Everyone seems to be laughing, however at the least 50% of the crew had been gobsmacked, as a result of they had been so sure he had a London accent that they’d no concept.

“We might be going for dinner or a drink utterly off set and he’d nonetheless be within the accent, however now he feels extra agile in it and is extra blissful to change between it and after we go for a curry his regular accent comes via.”

Nevertheless, he nonetheless very a lot chooses to remain in Arnott’s accent every time he’s on set, no matter whether or not he’s filming or not, Simon confirmed.

24. Martin based mostly Arnott’s accent on a well-known dealer

Stuart C. Wilson through Getty Pictures

Nick Leeson 

In a 2017 interview with the Telegraph, Martin revealed that he based mostly his Estuary accent on rogue dealer Nick Leeson, who famously bankrupted Barings Financial institution in 1995, and who was depicted by Ewan McGregor within the 1999 movie Rogue Dealer. 

25. The solid stay in shut proximity whereas away from dwelling filming

Channel 4

The Line Of Obligation solid even filmed an look on Gogglebox whereas away filming the newest sequence

Adrian, Martin and Vicky all stay in the identical block of flats in Belfast’s metropolis centre when away from dwelling filming the present. 

“We maintain the doorways open between our adjoining flats, so we just about stay in one another’s pockets for 4 months,” Martin instructed the Telegraph.

Vicky’s flat is the place they be taught their strains, Adrian has them over for meals, whereas Martin’s flat is described as “Social gathering Central”. 

The primary solid will often go for a post-work curry with Jed Mercurio a number of instances per week throughout filming. 

The primary trio additionally filmed an look on Movie star Gogglebox whereas away filming the final sequence in 2020. 

26. This was the primary scene of the present ever shot

Given the present is filmed out of sequence, the very first thing dedicated to tape on Line Of Obligation was a scene from episode three of sequence one, the place DCI Tony Gates makes an attempt to eliminate proof.

27. Bosses needed to disguise the very fact they’d modified Tony Gates’ identify halfway via filming sequence one

Lennie James’ character initially had a special identify that was used throughout early scenes that had been filmed on the present, with a choice to vary it solely coming after the cameras had began rolling. 

This meant bosses needed to disguise the place Gates had been referred to by his unique identify, together with a scene from episode three that needed to be dubbed. 

Jed revealed this on Twitter, writing: “Sharp-eyed viewers might have noticed that you simply by no means see their faces after they say ‘Tony Gates’. That’s as a result of a few days into filming we needed to change the identify of @RealLennieJames’ character. The actors re-voiced their strains in postproduction and we needed to disguise their mouths delivering the unique identify.”

28. Jed has made a cameo look – not that you simply’d have the ability to inform

The Line Of Obligation creator has up to now resisted inserting himself into the story, however couldn’t resist a really minor (and even invisible) cameo within the present. 

He truly featured in a scene within the first sequence the place DCI Gates and his lover Jackie Laverty had been driving, with Jed behind the wheel of a gray Golf in entrance of their automotive. 

29. Martin’s real-life spouse has appeared within the present


Martin Compston’s spouse Tianna Chanel Flynn made a cameo in sequence 5 

Again in sequence 5, Martin’s spouse, US actor Tianna Chanel Flynn, made a cameo look on the present. 

Her picture was used because the profile image of a girl known as Tina Watts he was messaging on a relationship app. 

The couple’s Staffie even featured in “Tina’s” image too. 

30. That’s not the one time the present has saved it within the household, nonetheless

DI Kate Fleming’s son Josh has been performed by Vicky’s real-life nephew, Kai. 

31. There’s a hidden reference to a different crime combating duo within the present


Arnott and Fleming in sequence three 

You might need seen Fleming and Arnott have used the radio calls 3-7 and 4-5. Nicely, that is truly a nod to 70s crime drama The Professionals, as these had been the identical calls utilized by characters Bodie and Doyle. 

32. Imagine it or not, there’s no tight safety to forestall spoilers from leaking

BBC/World Productions/Steffan Hill

Shalom Brune-Franklin joined the solid as DC Chloe Bishop in sequence six

With a present that creates as a lot intrigue and as many headlines as Line Of Obligation, it’s fairly a feat that there has by no means actually been any main spoilers revealed forward of the present going out.

And whereas different exhibits may perform big safety operations to make sure there aren’t any leaks, that isn’t the case on this manufacturing.

Whereas everybody on set does signal a non-disclosure settlement, Simon Warmth credited the solid and crew’s dedication to eager to continuously shock their viewers.

“What’s sensible is that everybody behind and in entrance of the digital camera, they don’t need to spoil it for anybody, so that they don’t say something,” he instructed HuffPost. “In comparison with some exhibits, we’ve been lucky to not have leaks. It presumably helps that we movie in Belfast the place there’s maybe much less paparazzi consideration than you may get in London or different foremost cities.”

Line Of Obligation airs Sundays at 9pm on BBC One. 

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