Was Line of Duty inspired by Making a Murderer?

Morgan Jeffery
Photo credit: World Productions / BBC / Aidan Monaghan / Netflix

From Digital Spy

Tonight's heart-pounding Line of Duty series opener saw top cop Roz Huntley (Thandie Newton) come under fire, for possibly framing an innocent man.

Michael Farmer (Scott Reid) may have been fitted up – and, as a troubled young man with learning difficulties, would be a perfect patsy if the police were looking for a quick result.

Sound familiar? We can't be alone in noticing similarities between Michael and Making a Murderer's Brendan Dassey, whose convictions in 2007 for murder and sexual assault have been widely questioned.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: World Productions / BBC / Aidan Monaghan

But, speaking to press including Digital Spy, Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio insisted that Dassey was not his main source of inspiration for his latest thriller plot.

"There are actually really relevant examples in British legal history," Mercurio said. "There's the case of Stefan Kiszko – you should look up who his solicitor was. It's interesting!

"And the other one is Barry George, who was convicted and then acquitted of the Jill Dando murder. So there are actually really relevant correlations in the British system."

The same goes for lines alluding to "so-called experts" and "alternate facts" – all of which were written pre-Brexit and before the current Fake News phenomenon.

Photo credit: World Productions/ BBC / Aidan Monaghan

"The scripts were written a couple of years ago," Mercurio clarified. "I think that the phenomenon we're seeing now is probably an extension of things that have been creeping in for a long time. There is sometimes a lack of respect for facts and objective reality.

"Over the years, I've been getting more and more exasperated at the lack of respect for facts and proper research and accuracy in people arriving at an opinion, and being able to tell the difference between an opinion and a fact, so that's just something that – unfortunately for the world – has become a bigger issue now than it was."

For an in-depth take on tonight's Line of Duty, have a read of our episode one review.

The series continues next Sunday at 9pm on BBC One.

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