Line of Duty shot 20 hours for 20 minutes of TV

Morgan Jeffery
Photo credit: BBC

From Digital Spy

Line of Duty's epic interview scenes are as much a part of the show as bent coppers and Ted Hastings calling slippery suspects "fella".

But even more working goes into crafting these lengthy sequences than you might suspect...

One scene from the upcoming fourth series came to 14 pages in the script – around 20 minutes of screen time. But it was cut together from around 20 hours of footage.

"I call it 'Lines of Duty'... because there's so many to learn!" joked Vicky McClure, returning as steely DI Kate Fleming. "But the thing is... like with any script, you always want more dialogue, so the big scenes are the best to shoot.

Photo credit: World Productions/ BBC / Des Willie

"They're also the hardest to learn – we're all working weeks ahead to get it into our heads. Then we get into the room and the tape goes on for as long as the scene. It's not cut into little bits. It's a brilliant feeling."

Those long takes do put more pressure on the actors not to mess up their lines, as new cast addition Thandie Newton (DCI Roz Huntley) quickly discovered.

Photo credit: Thandie Newton in 'Line of Duty' series 4

"You fluff and it f**ks it all up," said the Westworld actress. "Then you come back in like a f**king prize-fighter and you do it and you get through it, and you just feel like the dopest actor in the world.

"It's the most challenging, but the most rewarding. You're nervous, but so would the people in the room be."

Newton's character will find herself under investigation from AC-12 when the series returns – but is she really corrupt, or is it more complicated than that?

Line of Duty returns – in its new home on BBC One – next Sunday (March 26) at 9pm.

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