Search icon


07th May 2019

Line of Duty series 5 characters ranked from worst to best

Rank of Duty

Ciara Knight

Rank of Duty

Line of Duty series 5 is officially over and with that, we sadly face a long wait until the next instalment of Jed Mercurio’s delightfully twisted brain.

To kill time between now and the release of series 6, some important and impossible decisions need to be made, such as ‘Is Ted Hastings actually bent though?’, ‘Will Ryan finally turn his life around and be a decent copper?’ and ‘Do Kate and Steve get 2 for 1 on their haircuts?’.

For no reason other than a sadistic act of torture, I’ve decided to rank the main characters from Line of Duty series 5. The minor characters, such as the one that Kate told to ‘piss off and stop making a tit of yourself’, won’t be included because frankly I haven’t got all day here.

As always, all decisions are final.

10. Lester Hargreaves

May he RIP (rot in peace). Lester Hargreaves, aside from accurately looking like a 1970s sex pest who refers to women as ‘chicks’ in a non-ironic way, was a complete piece of shit. It’s unclear whether he received his glasses in the initial welcome pack for fancying potentially underage girls, or if he simply had them beforehand, the latter of which I suspect is the case. He met his timely demise in episode three with John Corbett shooting him multiple times because he thought Hargreaves was H. In a way, Hargreaves was H, if H stood for HUGE PIECE OF SHIT. There was a small chance he could’ve lived when they brought him to the hospital, but they didn’t and we owe the fictional Line of Duty version of the NHS a huge debt of gratitude for that.

9. Gill Biggeloe

This seemingly do-good senior legal counsel lusted her way into Ted Hastings’ heart and much like the battle, it all ended in a right bloody mess. She set her sights on our sweet protector, luring him in with saucy dinner dates and a willingness to use his hotel room’s gross and broken toilet. Presumably, the pair “pursued relevant lines of enquiry” (fucked) beside a face-down photograph of Ted and his wife, which we now know wasn’t being done from a sincere place in Gill’s cold and wicked heart. She literally and metaphorically fucked Ted Hastings and that is an unforgivable act. Perhaps the new identity and newly-installed gash in Gill’s hand will serve as a harsh reminder that a hole in the hand is worth two lifetimes of punishment for double-crossing Edward ‘Ted’ Hastings in the Line of goddamn Duty.

8. Patricia Carmichael

Never in the history of Line of Duty has a new character provoked such an instantaneous reaction of hatred. Patricia Carmichael, with her strict teacher-like mannerisms whereby she’s fully aware that you’re lying about the whereabouts of your homework, but will happily sit back and watch you fumble through your schoolbag pretending to look for it until you give up and confess. How dare she go so hard on Ted Hastings, which was her literal job to do at the time, but still. She had a retort for every answer and it made our dude sweat, pushing him closer to breaking point with each sassy reply. The enemy of our friend is our enemy. Who cares if Ted was potentially doing some seedy work, he can do whatever he wants. Back off, half your team is bent and the other half is a Poundland version of Kate Fleming.

7. Ryan Pilkington

God be with the days when Ryan simply shouted “Bent bastard” at Tony Gates and then cycled off into a life of petty crime and burner phone deliveries. No, this series we saw the return of Ryan, but this time he has facial hair and has doubled in size. Now he’s in the OCG, hijacking police convoys, meeting rival gang leaders and being ignored by attractive women in nightclubs. Seeing him hold Maneet still as her throat was slit and then graduating to official throat slitter of John Corbett was almost heartwarming, as it showed that career progression is something that’s always been at the forefront of Ryan’s mind. Now he’s attending Police College, thereby guaranteeing himself a sweet role in future series and several more throat slittings. Result!

6. Lisa McQueen

Lisa juggles the life of being a mother to a plastic doll with being the voice twin of Scary Spice with great ease. She’s outwardly a very frightening person, but showed moments of humility in sparing the life of Jane Cafferty and wondering about Ryan’s mysterious exams. She shed a tender tear for John Corbett when he was murdered, moments after very publicly branding him as a rat. Her motives remain unclear, but her fondness for turtlenecks is clear as day. Lisa is now free to enjoy her new life of immunity which involves giving talks to school kids about the negative aspects of entering into a life of crime. Instead, she preaches about the necessity for girl power, the hidden dangers of instant messaging and the importance of nailing your exams.

5. Maneet Bindra

Maneet, Maneet, Maneet. You got caught up in the troubled world of anti-corruption police enforcement and were chewed up and metaphorically spat out of its festering butthole. Her involvement with the OCG never felt like a natural fit, so when it emerged that Maneet was being blackmailed into a life of crime, you couldn’t help but feel for her misfortune. After being brutally murdered by Lee Banks, her legacy lived on as it was Maneet’s earlier actions in obtaining Dot Cottan’s dying declaration that ultimately uncovered that H was actually four people, along with some vital recordings that were saved to the home computer. Also, Maneet taught us a valuable lesson about the safety of remaining in your car after a collision of any kind. Be safe out there.

4. Kate Fleming

She had a relatively quieter role compared to previous series, but her behind-the-scenes work proved crucial in the end. Kate’s family life may continue to crumble, but that comes with the added bonus of her work life having never been more fulfilling than it is right now, so every cloud. Kate’s most iconic line this series came in the form of “Now stop making a tit of yourself and piss off” to Michelle from AC-3 and frankly made all of the unanswered questions left at the end somewhat bearable. Frankly, it would be a privilege and an honour to be told to piss off by Detective Inspector Kate Fleming. Next series it would be great to see more of Kate back on the mean streets of the unnamed place where the show is filmed, further destroying her marriage due to work-alcoholic tendencies. Her son’s loss is our collective gain.

3. Steve Arnott

Old reliable Stevie boy kept things ticking over nicely during Line of Duty series 5 with his newfound ability to grow a beard which appears to come hand-in-hand with a painkiller addiction. He valiantly navigated his way through his and Kate’s new working relationship with her as his superior, frequently slipping off to remind Ted Hastings about his eagerness to be bumped up the ranks in a similar fashion. Although his penis is now broken, his spirit towards fighting crime isn’t. Steve’s standoff with John Corbett was a memorable moment this series, putting his life at risk in the Line of Duty once more as he went rogue against the undercover leader of the OCG. His standout moment came in the form of shooting that ginger bent copper in the ladies’ toilet, which was quickly followed up with a tender confession of ‘I’ve never shot anybody before’. Now that his shooting virginity is gone, the world is his proverbial oyster.

2. John Corbett

Easily the biggest breakout star of Line of Duty series 5, we must all be upstanding for the hero that is John Corbett. The satisfying shocker at the end of episode one delivered the unexpected news that John Corbett was actually an undercover detective. He played the role of the head of the OCG perfectly, in equal measures terrifying and terrified. What made John Corbett the perfect villain was his wholesome motivation of acting in ways that he felt best to find out who H really was to find justice, but confusingly taking things too far at times, such as beating Mrs Hastings to a pulp. He loved his wife and their constant contact was always going to be setting us up for heartbreak. When it was revealed that Gill Biggeloe had set John up, everything made perfect devastating sense as it became apparent that John Corbett had probably died for nothing. Way to beat us when we’re down, Line of Duty. Jeez.

1. Ted Hastings

Edward ‘Ted’ Hastings, you broke our heart a thousand times this series and it is almost unforgivable what you have done. You made us take pity on you, doubt you, slightly hate you and then adore you in the space of six episodes of perfect television. This is a man who has truly been through it, but never gives up on his lifelong quest of ‘Nickin’ bent coppers’ and it’s a passion to be commended. His standout moment came in the final episode as Patricia Carmichael grilled Ted to within an inch of his precious little life, constructing a very convincing argument for him being H, or at the very least, guilty of unlawful activity. Thank God for Kate and Steve, Ted’s two precious children who he has raised to be the perfect justice-hungry offspring dedicated to the cause every bit as much as he is. Although the final outcome was muggy at best and leaves us with countless questions about the extent of Hastings’ (like the battle) involvement, at least his sad little face is no longer behind bars. He’s free. We can rest easy, for now.

*Honourable mention*

We don’t know his name, we don’t know his specific role in the OCG, we don’t know his favourite flavour Fruit Pastille, nor does any of that really matter. He is the sex noise king and played a pivotal role in Line of Duty series 5. Well done to you, unnamed featured extra. Your chillingly-believable groans are forever ingrained into our memories.

Images via BBC