Warning! This article contains Line Of Duty spoilers of the highest order.
It’s now been over a week since Line Of Duty played the divisive series finale that DSU Ian Buckells eventually revealed as the mysterious “H”.
Despite repeated statements by actor Nigel Boyle and writer Jed Mercurio, many fans still struggle to understand how the incompetent copper was exposed as the so-called “fourth man”.
“We had drawn the audience’s attention to a certain image of the type of character that would be ‘H’, that ‘H’ would be a criminal mastermind, and we wanted to make various comments on how someone can do a lot of harm without doing something absolutely to be a mastermind, ”Jed said recently on the podcast“ Obsessed With Line Of Duty ”.
“Do you think [Buckells] is just a little rubbish and so he doesn’t care. And that was part of the development of the character. “
BBCNigel Boyle as DSU Ian Buckells, AKA The Fourth Man
If he does reveal his story, it is the fact that his personal standards were low, that he was not indebted to honesty and integrity, and that he then became a fixator of someone vulnerable to being cared for by the OCG for them became. Added Jed.
Sure enough, if you look back on the six series, there was plenty of evidence of Buckells’ corruption that was concealed all along. Here are just six of them …
His appearance on the Edge Park Golf Course
Buckells made his debut on the first series of Line Of Duty when he was DI in the Tactical Operations Division.
While he was appearing on a number of scenes, it was one particular moment that turned out to be the most significant.
When DCI Tony Gates arrested OCG leader Tommy Hunter at Edge Park Golf Course, Buckells was there for a moment.
Mother of God. Buckells played golf with Tommy Hunter, Jed wrote it from the start (Series 1, Episode 5) # LineOfDuty # LineofDuty6 # Buckles # LOD # SteveArnottpic.twitter.com/dmLmZjw9qa
– Ethan Mcmenamie-Trotter (@ EMT_600) April 11, 2021
There it is, hidden in sight. Series 1 episode 5 at min 42:11, Buckells will be playing golf where Tommy Hunter is. @jed_mercurio planned it from the start. Absolute genius! # LineofDuty6 # LineOfDuty # LineofDutyFinale # LineOfDutyFinal # Buckells # buckellpic.twitter.com/86NEqpXmlW
– SasaSusu (@ sasa_susu33) May 3, 2021
You should have slowed down to actually see him in the parking lot, but this proves he was a Hunter employee the entire time.
The golf clubs
Golf was a big icon on Line Of Duty as not only did Tommy Hunter play, but DI Matthew “Dot” recruited Cottan to the OCG as Cottan worked as his caddy as a kid before embedding himself in the police force.
So we probably should have paid a lot more attention to Buckell’s love of golf in the most recent series.
You could also add;
a caddy reference when DS Buckells was also spinning its golf clubs! # LineOfDutypic.twitter.com / 0VChuPIxLG
– Aaron Porter (@AaronPorter) April 4, 2021
Golf clubs in Buckell’s office. Can’t say we weren’t warned … # LineofDutyFinale # LineofDutypic.twitter.com / NRFj8JGCdb
– Oliver (@OliverC_SFC) May 2, 2021
A number of clubs were often seen in the corner of his office, while some were also pictured in the trunk of his car after DCI Jo Davidson planted the missing Gail Vella files in his vehicle.
Superintendent Hastings (triumphant): Explain these Superintendent Buckells!
Superintendent Buckells: Golf has been allowed as part of the roadmap since March 29th .#LineOfDuty#LineofDuty6#LineofDuty6#BentCoppers#Hastings@Villaboyceypic.twitter.com/7vsKA6tjWM
– The Cynical Pig (@TheCynicalPig) April 11, 2021
There was also a painting of a golfer in his office.
Golf pictures in the Buckells office. Is he the new caddy ?! # LineOfDutypic.twitter.com / HDtVhDTvI9
– Ryan Williams (@ razza6999) March 28, 2021
His relationship with ACC Hilton
BBCACC Hilton on duty
Buckells was a preferred officer of Derek Hilton who, at the request of the bent copper, had been installed twice on boxes with OCG connections.
He was appointed by the then Chief Superintendent to be the lead investigative officer into Jackie Laverty’s disappearance in the first series after she was murdered by the OCG.
Hilton then brought in Buckells to replace DCI Roz Huntley in Series Four Operation Trapdoor, which investigated the kidnapping and murder of Baswinder Kaur, the disappearance of Leonie Collersdale, and the attempted kidnapping attempt of Hana Reznikova.
This conclusion from the series revealed how Hilton had helped cover up a program in which the OCG killed victims and hidden them in the DNA of copper to bribe them in their criminal activities.
Hence, in both cases, it was likely that Hilton installed Buckells to aid in the conspiracy.
His story with Ryan Pilkington
Ryan Pilkington was arguably season six’s biggest villain, but he and Buckells had history before he came to MIT.
Pilkington was arrested on the first series after collaborating in the kidnapping of DS Steve Arnott, and after being interviewed by DC Fleming, he was interviewed by Buckells, who released the teenager without charge.
This meant Pilkington did not receive a criminal record linking him to the OCG, and that he was later able to pass background checks and join the police as an insider on the sixth series.
It was also revealed that Buckells was instrumental in bringing Pilkington to the Murder Investigation Team. Davidson announced that he had told her he was a family friend.
The hunter / caddy chat
There was a big hint of Buckells’ corruption in the first series when he allowed The Caddy (aka DI “Dot” Cottan) to speak to Tommy Hunter alone in the back of a police car after his arrest.
Line Of Duty creator and writer Jed Mercurio recently brought up this on a BBC podcast where he stated that “H” had to be someone who was involved in the show from the start.
He said, “It was really about the legacy of the show, which dates back to season one, where Dot Cottan says, ‘Oh, can I have a minute with Tommy Hunter in the back of the van?’ and Buckells says, “Yeah, all right.” OK, really, is that what you should be doing? Of course not. “
His previous encounter with AC-12
Granted, there doesn’t seem to be many officers in the Central Police who are big fans of AC-12, but Buckells was less than thrilled to see Fleming working undercover on his team in series four, repeatedly threatening to blow their cover.
He would withhold information from her about Operation Trapdoor and insist that he was “no grass for AC-12”.
After eventually inflating Fleming’s cover – which he denied during an AC-12 interview – his actions temporarily obsolete AC-12’s efforts to track DCI Roz Huntley, putting the innocent Michael Farmer in the frame as a “balaclava man” stayed.
Line Of Duty series 1-6 can be streamed on BBC iPlayer.