Season five of Line of Duty has really upped the ante this year as AC-12 moved closer to finding out about the mysterious H. Along the way, the anti-corruption unit also uncovered many other secrets as Superintendent Ted Hastings’ (played by Adrian Dunbar) past came back to haunt him. On top of that, there were leaks within AC-12 that threatened to end the investigation altogether.
WARNING: This article contains major spoilers from Line of Duty season 5
As season five finished this evening (Sunday, May 5), the truth started to emerge about the H conspiracy as it became clear things were much more complicated than AC-12 had first thought.
Luckily, there were no major deaths right at the end but that hasn’t stopped this season from seeing bloodshed, particularly with the gruesome killings of John Corbett (Stephen Graham) and Maneet Bindra (Maya Sondhi).
The death of Maneet came early on in season five and was one of the most shocking as the character, who has been part of the show since season two, was indiscriminately murdered by the OCG (Organised Crime Group).
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Sondhi revealed her feelings about the end of Maneet.
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“It was sort of a bit of collusion between me and Jed because I had found out before he’d even started writing series five that I was coming back.
“You don’t know and the way it was left at the end of series four, obviously taking early maternity leave and because of what she’d been up to, you didn’t know whether she’d necessarily be back. I was thrilled to bits about coming back.”
The Birmingham-born actress went to explain that she even pitched the demise of her onscreen alter-ego to Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio.
“We were at an event and I’d had a little bit of wine and I was like, ‘It’s great that I come back and I’m really chuffed, but you need to resolve that storyline with her because people won’t be satisfied with that. We need to have some outcome.’
HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN LINE OF DUTY SEASON 5?
“I think he was already thinking along those lines, anyway. I sort of said, ‘Why don’t you kill me?’”
Several months later as the scripts for season five were being finalised, Mercurio told Sondhi he was planning to follow up on her suggestion and kill off Maneet.
Sondhi reflected: “You absolutely trust his writing, storytelling. Even though obviously, I did not want to leave the show, but I wanted to go out on a high.
“I would rather have gone out on a high like that rather than just hung around for a little bit of the series and just paper-pushing and a bit dodgy and suspicious in the background.”
She described the response on social media following Maneet’s death in episode two as “insane” and “overwhelming”, admitting she didn’t realise how invested audiences were.
WHAT IS AN OCG IN LINE OF DUTY?
Sondhi joked: “It’s great because I can now watch it again. So, I’ll definitely be watching the next series.”
The star initially only read the scripts for episodes one and two, however, she ended up finishing the remaining episodes because she was too tempted to find out what happened.
On filming Maneet’s death scene, she explained: “I think the result when I saw it on screen, it just looked so good that it was worth the cold and the wind and maybe a little bit of rain in the middle of the night. Absolutely worth it.
“I don’t think people expected that character to go. That was quite a violent way to go. But very fun to do.”
Although her time on Line of Duty has ended, Sondhi is busy working on other projects. In fact, she’s both a writer and an actress having previously penned episodes of EastEnders and Channel 4 drama Ackley Bridge.
She is now working on a project with Mercurio’s production company, World Productions, which is in development.
“What’s brilliant, is my relationship with Jed continues even after as a writer. I’m so excited by that,” Sondhi said.
Line of Duty Series 5 and Complete 1 – 5 Box Set are released on DVD May 6
Line of Duty season is available to watch on BBC iPlayer now
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