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Line Of Duty Season 7 - What We Know So Far

Mother of God. "Line of Duty" Season 6 was a bit intense, wasn't it? After 10 years on the air, the British show finally revealed who H/the Fourth Man was in the shocking finale. Or did it? We'll get to that later on, but the show's meteoric rise really hit a crescendo this year, even being named the highest-rated UK TV drama in 13 years, according to Deadline. The ongoing pandemic threw a spanner in the works when it came to shooting Season 6, but that made the show's return even sweeter.

However, all good things must come to an end. There has been some debate over whether Season 6 would be the last chapter for "Line of Duty," thanks to the emotional Tweets from some of the cast when the episodes were airing while the story was trying to wrap up some of its long-running plot threads. It certainly left the door wide open for a return, because the OCG (Organized Crime Gang) still has a firm grip on the police force, thanks to the powerfully corrupt senior officers who sit high above AC-12.

So, when will "Line of Duty" return? Here's what we know so far.

Who's in the cast of Line of Duty Season 7?

The BBC hasn't confirmed if "Line of Duty" Season 7 is in the works, although BBC Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore explained she's excited to discuss the show's future with the show's creator (via RadioTimes). "Jed Mercurio is a master of his craft, and I would like to congratulate him and the entire cast and crew for delivering such an incredible drama series." Also adding; "I'm looking forward to having a conversation with the team about where we go next and what the future of the series might be."

So, if the show does indeed make a return, it seems likely that the main trio of officers would return with Adrian Dubar, Martin Compston, and Vicky McClure reprising their respective roles as Ted Hastings, Steve Arnott, and Kate Fleming. In an interview with ES Magazine, Detective Inspector Arnott himself, Martin Compston, revealed that the cast are currently unsure if they'll return but he'd be devastated if that was the end of the line for the show. "I think what I would say, the two things I would say, is that the idea that I would never work with all the guys again together would be heartbreaking," he said. "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."

Because Anna Maxwell Martin joined the cast in Season 5 as the intimidating Detective Chief Superintendent Patricia Carmichael, it wouldn't be surprising if she also made a return in Line of Duty Season 7 — mainly because she took control of AC-12 after Hastings was pushed into retirement. We need to see what becomes of the department after that power shift.

What's the release date for Line of Duty Season 7?

If "Line of Duty" Season 7 does return to our screens — and it absolutely should — we might be waiting for quite some time. The show has always aired from March to April, typically running for six episodes in each season, although Season 6 was given seven episodes in total, which was very much needed to go through all the complicated twists and turns in the story. The problem here was the pandemic — although the show has typically taken a two-year break in between seasons, the production on Season 6 was disrupted because of the pandemic, so it arrived a little later than planned.

But even if Season 7 has quietly been greenlit by the BBC, it seems most likely to arrive in March 2023. Obviously now that film and TV production crews have gotten used to working around COVID-19 guidelines, work might still go quite quickly. But the cast's other commitments also mean that the 2023 release date seems most likely, Martin Compston will next appear in "The Rig" for Amazon Prime, while Vicky McClure will also reprise her role as Mrs. Jones in the streaming service's "Alex Rider" series.

What will happen in Line of Duty Season 7?

After the shocking reveal that Detective Superintendent Ian Buckells (Nigel Boyce) was H/the Fourth Man working within the police force for the OCG, it seemed like the mysterious figure that AC-12 had been searching for was finally revealed. But that doesn't mean the story is over. Buckells clearly wasn't the one in charge of all the corrupt officers, as he just enabled their communications and helped move certain operations along.

Chief Constable Philip Osborne — who has been "bent" from the show's beginning — is still working directly against AC-12, even claiming they do more harm than good in a press conference during Season 6, Episode 5. Given how the previous batch of episodes seemed like the show could be ramping up to a finale, taking Osborne down would be a good way of wrapping things up. Fans of the show already know that each season has a specific corrupt officer that the team investigates, who's always played by an impressive guest star. Lennie James, Keeley Hawes, "Westworld" star Thandiwe Newton, and Stephen Graham have all appeared as various officers at the center of the show over the years.

Season 6 briefly introduced Marcus Thurwell as a retired corrupt officer living in Spain, played by James Nesbitt. Although he was supposedly killed during the Season 6 finale, many fans were convinced it was a coverup, largely because we never actually saw Thurwell in action. Could Thurwell be the person who gives way to Osborne's downfall? We'll have to wait for a confirmation of Season 7 for the truth.