While each Line of Duty series welcomes a new guest character to be investigated by anti-corruption unit AC-12, there’s plenty of connective tissue between each run. Faces from the past regularly pop up in roles of varying significance – some just a face in a case file, others actively interfering with play. The production team works on the assumption that viewers have been paying attention, which is generally the case. When the series five opener welcomed back two characters – Miroslav Minkowicz and Ryan Pilkington – not seen on the show for seven years, fans made the connection within seconds.
It was a crucial connection to make. The return of organised crime group members Minkowicz and Pilkington confirmed that the bent coppers AC-12 has been chasing since the very beginning had all been linked to to the same Ocg. The people that killed Jackie Laverty in series one,