Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio has revealed series six is still being edited just days before its return.
The police corruption drama will be back on BBC One on March 21, but the show’s boss admitted there is some work being done even now – and some ‘extra stuff’ was actually filmed this month.
Speaking to Nihal Arthanayake on BBC Radio 5 Live, he said: ‘The fact is that we’re still in post production on the series. We’ve only delivered the first few episodes to the BBC.
‘We’ve still got plenty of time, we will get them all finished by the time they need to go out. Although we did actually shoot a bit of extra stuff a week or two ago, just to help with the end.’
Jed admitted this isn’t the usual situation, as programmes of this size would have a ‘comfortable buffer’ before transmission – but he has no issues with the tighter schedule after filming was suspended last year due to the pandemic.
‘Usually what happens is there is a comfortable buffer. Normally, you build in a lot of wiggle room just in case anything goes wrong,’ he explained.
‘But it’s just the fact that people are really eager for this to go out, we’re eager to get it out – so we’re very flattered we’ve been fast tracked in this way.’
However, the writer was also keen to point out that both his team and the Beeb themselves wouldn’t have set a return date for the sixth season until they’d reached a certain point in the production.
He added: ‘We’ve been very clear and the BBC have been very supportive that we would need to get to a certain point before we’d be able to guarantee delivery.
‘So, it was only when we got to that point where it was clear that we were on the home straight that we were able to commit to a transmission date.’
And Jed noted how filming and editing has largely been kept on track, and described the series as ‘in a really good place’ a few days from broadcast.
He said: ‘I think that you have to bear in mind that the shooting of the show is the thing that you can’t cut corners on. We had a shoot last year which was interrupted and had to be done in two phases and we got everything we really needed then.
‘We had a few plans to pick up some things at a later date, and we wanted to see how the edit went before we committed to those pickups – just because it would be more efficient to do it that way
‘Overall, I think we’re in a really good place. I certainly have never been in a situation where we were being asked to cut corners/ We’ve gone through exactly the some procedures and attention to detail that we always have.’