Line of Duty fans go wild over how young the stars look in series one

Years of police work are starting to show! Line of Duty fans go wild over how fresh-faced Martin Compston, Vicky McClure and Adrian Dunbar look in series one as it returns to screens eight years after it first aired

  • First series of Line of Duty is being re-broadcast, eight years after it first aired
  • Dozens tweeted about the youthful appearance of the show’s stars 
  • Said DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) looked like he was on work experience

The first series of Line of Duty returned to screens last night, eight years after it premiered.

The first ever episode of the show, which is now approaching its sixth series, introduced viewers to characters including DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston), then DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar). 

While fans were delighted to be given a chance to relive the action, some found themselves distracted by how young Compston, McClure and Dunbar look in the first episode. 

Dozens took to Twitter to comment on the trio’s ‘fresh-faced’ appearances, with one saying it looked like Compston was on ‘work experience’ on set. 

THEN: Line of Duty fans were struck by how young the stars looked when the first series of the BBC police drama returned to screens last night. Pictured, Martin Compston as a young DS Steve Arnott finding his feet in Anti-Corruption Unit 12 in the first episode of series 1

NOW: Eight years on from when the series premiere, fans were struck by how much Compston has changed. Some said he looked so young before it was like he was on ‘work experience’

Dozens of Twitter users shared posts commenting on the difference in physical appearance

At the time the first series was broadcast in the summer of 2012, Compton was 28, McClure was 29 and Dunbar was 54. The actors, the only three cast members to appear in all five series, are now 36, 37 and 62, respectively.

Eight years seemed to make all the difference to fans of the show, who noted it was strange to see Compton without a beard and Dunbar with darker hair. 

One tweeted: ‘Rewatching @Line_of_duty on @BBCOne ….Steve looks so young it’s like he’s on work experience.’

Another posted: ‘Watching 2012 #LineofDuty all over again cos I can, bloody hell they look so god damn young.’

A third wrote: ‘Go on…treat yourself to the Line of Duty reruns for a thrilling series! Starts tonight and you’ll see some young faces that featured in the last series.’ 

2012: Vicky McClure as the then then DI Kate Fleming in the first episode of series one

2019: By series five, which aired last year, Fleming has been promoted to Detective Inspector. Pictured, McClure as Fleming in the final episode of series five, which was broadcast in 2019

2012: Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) is one of only three characters who appears in all five series of the BBC police drama. Fans were struck by his youthful appearance

2019: Ted had been through the ringer in series five, above, and the effects showed on his face

Line of Duty was an instant critical success on its premiere eight years ago and became BBC Two’s best-performing drama series in a decade with a consolidated audience of 4.1 million viewers. 

The second series, which premiered in 2014, became a critical success and led to BAFTA nominations for the show and its stars. 

The show moved to BBC One with its fourth series in 2017, in yet another sign of how it was growing in popularity. 

The fifth series was met with huge excitement was premiered last year. However fans have been left on tenterhooks for news of series six’s release after the Covid-19 crisis forced an end to filming just four weeks into a 16-week filming schedule. 

Fans took to Twitter to share their excitement at revisiting the first ever episode of the show

Speaking in the Q and A as reported by The Sun, showrunner Jed Mercurio said he wanted to aim to have series six ready to broadcast next year. 

He said: ‘We are working towards a day and if we can get over all the hurdles we will be back filming. ‘We’d love to be on air next year, so we really have to make sure we complete our filming before Christmas.’

Earlier this month, star Vicky McClure said that she has still had ‘no word’ on when the show will be able to resume filming.

Speaking via FaceTime on The Chris Moyles Show on Radio X, she said the cast had begun work on the forthcoming season of the police drama prior to the UK’s lockdown during the coronavirus crisis. 

Line of Duty series one continues tonight at 9pm on BBC1 

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