Line of Duty viewers watched in their millions as the hit BBC drama retuned to the small screen two years after season four came to an epic conclusion, and fans of the show were not left disappointed by the lengthy wait.
Seemingly over the deception by ACC Derek Hilton (played by Paul Higgins), the AC-12 team were thrown back into the thick of the action as they faced off against the balaclava group who were causing havoc for Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrain Dunbar), DC Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and DC Steve Arnott (Martin Compston).
Though viewers weren’t the only ones who were in for a shock at the end of the episode when it was revealed the head of the masked group was actually an undercover police officer John Corbett (Stephen Graham).
Creator Jed Mercurio, 53, also dealt viewers another heart-wrenching blow when fan favourite Maneet Bindra (Maya Sondhi) was killed off, but the shocks seemed to do the trick as the first episode of the new season became the most watched TV show of 2019.
I was really delighted
Over 7.1 million viewers tuned in to see the hit drama return to the BBC last night, which gave the series its best overnight viewing figure since the show began in 2012.
However, those figures don’t replicate the full extent of the ratings as the big number doesn't include those views coming from fans tuning in on the catch-up service, BBC iPlayer.
Though, the serial drama did manage to beat its sister show Bodyguard, also created by Mercurio, with viewing figures for its opening episode.
Bodyguard premiered last summer with 6.8 million viewers tuning in to watch the highly tense thriller starring former Line of Duty actress Keeley Hawes, 43, a million less than last night’s figures for Mercurio’s returning police drama.
Fans were captivated by the twists and turns, no more than Corbett’s role in an undercover police operation as the criminal adversary was seen hammering home to Lisa McQueen (Rochenda Sandall) the importance of the balaclava group and their heinous crimes.
Lisa was clergy in two minds about her decision be become a part of the group, with the criminal adversary letting a police officer live