It’s been two long years for Line of Duty fans, but their favourite show is finally back tonight.
The hugely popular police drama had a break in 2018 as writer Jed Mercurio switched his attention to Bodyguard.
And if viewers feel like the gang’s all back – with Martin Compston, Vicky McClure and Adrian Dunbar leading AC-12’s anti-corruption hunt – it’s the same for the cast, too.
“What excites me is getting back together with the gang,” admits Vicky, who plays DI Kate Fleming.
“Myself, Martin, Adrian and Jed all get on very well and there’s lots of returning crew and cast, so that’s always great.”
Viewers are gripped by the twisty storylines and the shocking way key characters are killed off. And Vicky says she’s just as excited to see the scripts.
“As soon as we get them they’re very much page turners. You want to see if you survive,” she laughs. “Jed always seems to up the ante.
“Dialogue-wise it’s so rich and we rely a lot on the audience picking up on all the acronyms we put in every year. They like the fact that we test them and we challenge them.”
The hunt for the mysterious balaclava-clad crime figures continues this year, with big-time criminal John Corbett, played by Stephen Graham, being pursued. Vicky says viewers will see Kate more settled in both policing and home life.
“She’s feeling pretty good. she’s got a promotion so she’s got a little bit further in her career and taking on more responsibility.
“She’s back with her fella and the home is a happy place. She’s got a bit more time with her son as her promotion gives her that flexibility.”
And there was no problem bonding with her screen son for Vicky, who managed to keep it a real family affair.
“My son is played by my nephew Kai,” said Vicky. “When it was written originally I had a daughter, and I said to Jed it would be great if I could have a son instead because I could use my nephew.
“It will always be his role now and he really enjoys it. He did really well this year…he did some improvising. I’m very proud of him.”
The long interview scenes have become a trademark of Line of Duty but Vicky says some of the other script appeals to her.
“I look forward to scenes where the dialogue is rough and ready. I’m a bit childish. If there’s a swear word or something that’s a little bit off-cuff, I always enjoy it because there is so much police talk.”
Line of Duty, BBC1, tonight, 9pm