Line of Duty announces the return of fan-favorite character - but why exactly are they back?

Could it be linked to *that* cliffhanger ending?

Three main characters from BBC's Line of Duty
(Image credit: BBC)

Line of Duty has got us well and truly hooked with Season 6 and with speculation about H's identity growing, fans will be intrigued to hear that a familiar face is soon to return. 

Fans of the hit BBC drama might be edging one step closer to solving the ultimate question - who is H in Line of Duty? But it seems we’ll have to wait a little while longer as hints and discoveries seem to point us in totally different directions after every episode. Some viewers thought they’d spotted a pivotal hidden clue to H's identity in a recent episode. 

Whilst others might be wanting to settle down with their best pillow and some serious snack and get up to speed on all they might have missed as the Line of Duty season 6 finale draws nearer.

And things certainly look to be really hotting up as it’s now been announced that a fan-favorite character is ready and waiting to return. 

Warning: spoilers ahead! 

Which Line of Duty character is returning?

In a statement, the BBC has revealed that Anna Maxwell Martin is due to reprise her role as the no-nonsense leader of AC-3, DCS Patricia Carmichael. Whilst the Line of Duty Twitter and Instagram also shared the exciting news.

They really know how to ramp up the tension, teasing it simply with, ‘Look who’s back…’.

As part of the announcement of her return, Anna revealed: “Pat’s back, I can’t remember what she’s doing there, nor would I be allowed to blab, but suffice to say she’s got some new clobber and she’s ready to bust some b****.”

Whilst she may not have held as prominent a role as Superintendent Ted Hastings, DI Kate Fleming, or DI Steve Arnott, it’s hard to forget DCS Patricia Carmichael from Season 5. Especially after she fixed Ted firmly in her sights and accused him of being a corrupt officer!

Whilst she was proved spectacularly wrong in Season 5, we sincerely hope she can help the Anti Corruption Unit get to the bottom of things this time.

Why is DCS Carmichael returning to Line of Duty?

Anna may not be able to remember why Patricia has returned, but that hasn’t stopped the ever-suspicious Line of Duty fans from coming to their own conclusions. 

The latest episode saw the AC-12 team discover that there is a link between DCI Joanne Davidson and the DNA of an unknown individual found at PS Farida Jatri's home. The possibility that Anna’s return could be connected to this explosive cliffhanger has not gone unnoticed.

One viewer Tweeted, introducing the question of Anna's potential link to Jo: 'The relation to Jo Davidson?'

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Another person seemed to think that she could perhaps be about to expose an alternative option, writing: ‘Theory. Ted is the DNA link to Jo and he will ultimately die in the Line of Duty.’

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Whilst another seemed to have been speculating about a possible return for Patricia, writing: ‘I wondered if she would show up again! A frustratingly good character who is also up there ^^ with wronguns! Yikes!!!!’

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'Carmichael is H....has to be !' someone else suggested. 

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And it seems Anna's acting is definitely a highlight for viewers, with one declaring: 'In series 5, I genuinely sat there mesmerised at the interview scenes with her. She was outstanding, I couldn’t help but like her and loathe her all at the same time! Even more excited for Sunday now'.

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Regardless of the real reason for Anna's Line of Duty return as the formidable DCS Carmichael, it seems pretty certain that things are about to get seriously shaken up.

We can't wait to see what she has in store for AC-12!

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use , Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!