Line Of Duty’s Alastair Natkiel fires back at ‘over the top’ backlash to season 6 finale

Line of Duty: Nigel Boyle teases ‘talks’ about new series

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Alastair Natkiel has exclusively told his opinion on the reaction to Line Of Duty’s Season 6 finale, after some fans were left disappointed when Nigel Boyles’ character DI Ian Buckells was uncovered as the show’s mysterious “H” character. The actor described some of the negative comments online as being a “bit over the top”, saying he thought the ending was a clever “comment on society”.

Speaking on the flurry of tweets and posts online following the revelation of H’s identity, Alastair said: “I think Jed [Mercurio] has come out and said he can understand people’s disappointment that there wasn’t some huge, big shoot out. 

“At the end of every previous season there has been a big set-piece. I thought some of the negative reaction was a bit over the top. 

“I didn’t think it was anywhere near in terms of what people were saying. I thought it was a bit far. 

“I thought it was clever, it’s a comment on society, how there’s not necessarily one criminal but there’s maybe quite a few lower-level people who get an opportunity to do a couple of dodgy things and make some money on the side and they take those opportunities,” he added.

Alastair also thought that the ending could be the show writer Jed’s way of leaving the door open to write another series of the show.

He added: “I think it’s a clever ending because it’s been left there, it could end there, or it could carry on.”

Forgoing a huge bombshell twist, the elusive H character that AC-12 had been chasing for all these years was under their nose all along turned out to be Buckells. 

The character, who appeared most of the time to be bumbling and disorganised, was actually a criminal mastermind running the troublesome OCG [Organised Crime Group].

At the very end of episode seven, we saw him being moved into a Vulnerable Prisoners Unit at a maximum-security prison.

Criminal proceedings against him still remain uncertain though, with a pending application to suppress them on grounds of “public interest”. 

If this proves successful, all evidence against Buckells that relates to systemic corruption will be kept out of court.

On Twitter, many fans expressed their shock over the revelation, and some also shared disappointment after expecting it to be one of the leading characters such as Steve Arnott (Martin Compston), Kate Flemming (Vicky McClure) or Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar).

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One typed: “Waited 10 years for this disappointment.”


While a third commented: “I actually really enjoyed the final episode, I think it made perfect sense Buckells being H.”

Nigel also spoke about the moment Jed told him his criminal character would be significant in the series, after first appearing in season five.

“We’d had the first four scripts and started filming some of series six when we had to stop due to the first lockdown.

 “When we were about to resume filming, Jed sent me a text saying, ‘Are you free for a chat at some point today? Don’t worry it’s not that call’.

“He called me and said, ‘The scripts for the next episodes are going to be sent out imminently and so it’s time to tell you the secret that I’ve been keeping, you’re going to be revealed as someone rather significant’.”

Follow Alastair on social media

Twitter: @AlastairNatkiel

Insta: @alastairnatkiel

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