With all of the intense police dialogue and shocking AC-12 updates, you might be forgiven for missing Detective Superintendent Ian Buckells, a notable returning character.
Buckells, who returns for series six, is DCI Jo Davidson’s boss and the station’s commander. Given their heated meetings about Terry Boyle, the two have already raised some eyebrows among fans. And, given the ongoing mystery around “H,” let’s assume that any hint of shady behaviour would bring you under the microscope.
Buckells was a part of the inquiry into the death of Jackie Laverty. In reality, he was assigned to the case by none other than Superintendent Derek Hilton – yep, the same one who was later revealed to be one of the OCG’s highest-ranking corrupt officers.
Buckells makes a cameo appearance in series four, replacing DCI Roz Huntley as SIO of Operation Trapdoor at Polk Avenue Station. He saw DS Kate Fleming, who he’d seen before during his earlier meeting with Detective Chief Inspector Tony Gates, and he quickly deduced that she was working undercover for AC-12.
Buckells was told flat out that if Kate’s true identity were revealed, he would be held responsible during a dramatic meeting in an alleyway with Superintendent Ted Hastings and DS Steve Arnott. Buckells, on the other hand, made it clear that he didn’t want to help her, refusing to offer her information on a meeting she’d been denied access to because he was “no grass.”
As you might recall, Fleming’s cover was finally blown, and Buckells was summoned to the AC-12 office to be interrogated, as planned. He denied being the one who abducted Kate, but he made his contempt for the anti-corruption unit clear once more.
This is what you could have missed, this tiny little detail.
Forget about innocently chilling with your buddies on the green. Golf has been synonymous with being “in” with an organised crime after Tommy Hunter was caught swinging his clubs and crooked DI Dot Cottan was dubbed “The Caddy.”
Is this a not-so-subtle hint that Buckells is the one to keep an eye on? Given that he’s the one who messed up the surveillance paperwork right before Terry’s arrest, we have some questions for him.
With that being said, hasn’t Line of Duty taught us anything so far? It would be all too tempting to give the game away in the first episode of a brand new series, and let’s not forget that the whole fifth season led us to expect Hastings, only for that to turn out not to be the case.
However, if there’s one thing we enjoy about this show, it’s the theories and small details like this. If it’s a red herring or not, it might just be another piece of the giant puzzle, and we’ll have to keep watching to get the whole picture.