The new series of the brilliant Line of Duty is currently on our screens, with Thandie Newton as the focal point. She joins Lennie James, Keeley Hawes and Daniel Mays in an impressive list of series guest stars.
Snooty Ushers and Line of Duty super fans Dave and James have put there heads together again to pick a few actors who they would like to see as the focus of future AC-12 investigations.
1. Sir Patrick Stewart
Dave: As a life long Star Trek fan, I would pretty much watch Patrick Stewart do anything, but in the context of Line of Duty, I see him as a corrupt top cop.
A high ranking officer who is so utterly entrenched in corruption that he appears to be untouchable. He could potentially be the mastermind, the man pulling the strings, when they look to finish up the show (which I hope is a few years away yet), he could be the final piece of the massive puzzle that makes up the series.
There is no doubting Stewart is a brilliant actor, he is not only Picard, but Professor X, as well as being a talented Shakespearean actor. The thought of him sat in an AC-12 interrogation room gives me shivers.
2. Ewan McGregor
Dave: Ewan McGregor is one of my favourite actors. I see him as a kind of celebrity policeman.
The poster boy of the new Police Service, but he has worked his way to the top with more than just a smile. He would have a dark past and connections that would bring him to the attention of AC-12.
McGregor might seem like too much of a Hollywood star to feature on UK TV (although he is appearing on the Fargo series in The States), but given the fact he has always chosen a vast and varied range of projects and that Tom Hardy has just appeared on Taboo AND the fact Line of Duty’s profile is on the rise with its switch to BBC1… I live in hope.
3. Dame Helen Mirren
James: Prime Suspect had two episodes in 2003 and two in 2006, but basically 1996 was the last time it was a regular fixture on TV, which is a long time ago now. Since then Helen Mirren has become a legitimate national treasure. I would love to see her step back into the realm of the police drama, and although I wouldn’t want her to rehash old ground, she would bring so much gravitas to the role it would be great. I would see her as a mixture of two of Dave’s choices, the top cop in the vein of his Patrick Stewart character but also with some of the PR success of Ewan McGregor’s poster boy cop. A high ranking female police officer who proves to be just as tough as the men might be familiar, but the great thing about Line Of Duty is revealing our hero’s feet of clay. Unraveling one of the mistakes she made on her way through the ranks would take all of the AC-12’s skill – and just imagine that interrogation room scene!
4. Mark Rylance
James: I admit, this is a very lazy choice. And that’s really saying something, since my previous choice made her name playing a Detective! But if you haven’t seen Bridge Of Spies, Mark Rylance’s performance there is absolutely outstanding, and especially the scenes when he is being questioned by Tom Hanks. Rylance just calmly turning away wave after wave of AC-12s questions would be brilliant to watch.
5. Alex Lawther
Dave: We love this actor here at Snooty Usher Towers, following on from his star making turn in the brilliant “Shut Up and Dance” episode of Black Mirror’s third series.
Given his age, he would be a new recruit with ties to organised crime. Or a cop with a shameful secret. We know from his appearance in Black Mirror that he is willing to take risks, so the possibilities are endless.
In truth, I would just like to see this young actor rule the world, and what better place to start than on the best police show on TV.
6. Ty Burrell
James: At least this one isn’t predictable.
Now, stay with me on this one. I can justify it on two points. Firstly, I see Ty Burrell as the next Bryan Cranston, a talented actor mostly know for a comedy role who will have a serious film career ahead of him. Good comedy performances need precision and control, something that Burrell has shown as Phil Dunphy in Modern Family as the rest of the show has steadily fallen in quality year on year. This could be a great way for him to show his range as a serious policeman with secrets to hide.
And secondly, for years British actors have been taking lead roles in American shows, so why not spin it the other way. Jeremy Piven took on the lead in Mr Selfridge, so why couldn’t British TV attract more American stars?
7. Kristen Scott-Thomas
Dave: A wonderful actress with a long and varied CV including Mission:Impossible, Four Weddings and a Funeral and an Academy Award nomination for her work on The English Patient, as well as a back ground in French cinema.
I see her as an ambitious Chief Superintendent with designs of Ted’s job. She could either be corrupt or just work as a replacement for Ted who puts too many constraints on AC-12.
Either way she would bring a touch of real class to proceedings.
8. Sean Bean
James: So, Sean Bean plays a tough, no nonsense detective with persistent rumours of witness intimidation, rough house tactics, and a general old school nature. He moves to Birmingham and continues his successful streak, and is headhunted for a top job. As a matter of course, AC-12 are asked to look into him… and find that he is totally clean. He plays everything by the book and is actually incredibly forward thinking and progressive, using his tough man act as just that, a facade. It wouldn’t be a long story arc, just a few episodes – perhaps AC-12 then turn their attention to one of his old bosses after investigating Bean – but it would be great to see.
Eh, I’d enjoy it.
9. Paul Bettany
James: He’s just great. I don’t know what else to say.
A bit like Ewan McGregor, it’s a bit far fetched, but I see it as after battling Thanos as one of the Avengers, Bettany decides he wants to do something more grounded. Perhaps a flash London copper who rubs everyone up the wrong way? Or maybe a dapper detective with suspiciously high clean up rates? Bettany can do it all, and I’d just love to see him in Line of Duty.
10. Nicolas Cage
Dave: Well, we can not do a fan cast without him. The Snooty Ushers’ talisman and my own personal movie hero.
Yes, I will admit that I am only half serious here, but in the context of the show, I see him as a down and out, a tramp who has fallen on hard times. When he is forced in to intervene in a robbery or stop a crime of some kind and he is revealed to be some kind of disgraced interpol agent, who disappeared 20 years ago and is presumed dead. He holds the key to a world wide conspiracy…
Okay, I get that I am reaching, but it would be great wouldn’t it?
So those are just some of our dream guest stars for Line Of Duty. Will any of them actually happen? It’s unlikely… but Ian McKellen was in Coronation Street.
Let us know who you’d like to see in Line Of Duty in the future – it really could be anyone!
Until next time, thanks for reading. Stay gold Ponyboy, stay gold, and catch ya later on down the trail.