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Line Of Duty Creator Still Defending Season Finale On Twitter

Line Of Duty Creator Still Defending Season Finale On Twitter
By Donny Mahoney Updated

It's nearly 72 hours since the Line of Duty season 6 finale aired. There's a very good argument to be made that its overall conclusion - that corruption is everywhere you look - was the right ending for reality, but the wrong ending for the programme.  Throughout Season 6, Line of Duty retold the story of several terrible real life events - the murder of Jill Dando, the murder of Stephen Lawrence, Jimmy Saville's pedophilia. There are troubling lessons for society in these stories. While we hope Ted's constant railing against police corruption will have entered the consciousness of some viewers, our hunch is that most people don't watch the show for its lessons about society. People want Ted Hastings catchphrases and for a fully engaging TV experience that lets you be a detective.

The season finale garnered a generally negative reaction on social media not just because of its anti-spectacular statement about corruption, but because of a dud reveal that followed on from quite an epic build-up.

Interestingly, showrunner Jed Mercurio has popped up online today to tell people that the reaction to the programme wasn't actually as bad as we think it was.

He continued in a thread:


The research determines the episode ratings based on randomly polling viewers, rather than sites like imdb where scores can be skewed by users strongly motivated to register their immediate anger/adulation.

1000 random viewers submitted scores from 1-10 which have been used to calculate the Appreciation Index (AI) as a score out of 100. The AI for the “down” finale was only 7 points below the next lowest in Season 6 (Ep 1).

These figures won’t stop the debate, of course, nor should they - that’s still all part of the experience of shared TV viewing. Thanks again for watching.

Mercurio then popped up with a clarification of his original tweet.

It's interesting that the man who's produced the most watched British programme in 20 odd years feels like he needs to defend his own work. There are some interesting revelations within this thread. Firstly, Mercurio describes the ending as a 'down' ending, as if he is fully aware that the episode doesn't deliver. Also, while Mercurio strains to introduce a new metric here, he tacitly admits that the AI for Episode 7 was the lowest regarded of any this season.

UPDATE: Mercurio continued his defence of the episode by quote tweeting Business Post journalist Peter O'Dwyer, who said 'when you're explaining you're losing' in reply to Mercurio's thread.  Mercurio goes two-footed here on Mr. O'Dwyer and uses some unparliamentary language.



We haven't seen showrunner v journalist Twitter beef like this since the Graham Linehan-Migsy Delaney Twitter beef of 2015.

The producers of the show should be lauded for avoiding a stupid ending, like revealing Ted was bent all along, or an egregious 'Game of Thrones' style surprise kill on one of its lead cast members. But for all of the great entertainment the season provided, the ending did feel overegged.

Social media is certainly not the most accurate polling tool we have, but all the empirical evidence proves that the episode let people down. There's not much use denying it. It will be interesting to see how Mercurio responds for the mooted seventh season: more realism or more 'up' endings?


SEE ALSO: The Scene In Season One Where The 'H' Plot Was Briefly Revealed


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