DCS Patricia Carmichael: who was Line of Duty character played by Anna Maxwell Martin - and why is she back?

Detective Chief Superintendent Carmichael returns in season 6 episode 5 of the BBC police drama

Anna Maxwell Martin will return to Line of Duty on Sunday, the BBC has announced.

The actress will reprise her role as Detective Chief Superintendent Patricia Carmichael.

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The character appeared in series five of the acclaimed police drama, when she was brought in as an independent investigator amid doubts over the integrity of Adrian Dunbar's Ted Hastings.

DCS Carmichael was introduced to Line of Duty viewers in the fifth season of the hit show (World Productions - Photographer: Screen Grab)

So who is DCS Patricia Carmichael and why is she returning? Here’s all you need to know.

**Article contains spoilers**

Who is DCS Patricia Carmichael?

DCS Carmichael was introduced to Line of Duty viewers in the fifth season of the hit show, as she stepped in to investigate proceedings at AC-12.

Introduced specifically to interrogate Superintendent Ted Hastings over his alleged links to the Organised Crime Gang, the character quickly became iconic for her snarky and quietly ruthless interrogation skills.

DCS Carmichael is in charge of Anti-Corruption Unit 4. Viewers were not presented with a lot of information about the character, but were treated to an insight into what Superintendent Hastings thinks of her.

When learning that DCS Carmichael will be taking over the investigation into OCG, as well as looking into AC-12’s handling of the investigation, Hastings remarked that Carmichael hasn’t put in the time in the force compared to other officers, and wants to use his prosecution as another way to launch herself up the career ladder.

Hastings’ remarks became evidently clear, as viewers got to see the two heavyweight interrogators go head to head in a thrilling finale to the fifth season.

Despite clearing his name of any wrongdoings in the investigation, in the closing credits to season five DCS Carmichael said she still believed that Hastings informed Lee Banks about John Corbitt being undercover.

Why is DCS Carmichael returning?

After the clinghanger ending to episode four of season six, and Hastings’ potential retirement coming, DCS Carmichael will be returning to take control of the anti-corruption restructure.

Who is Anna Maxwell Martin?

Martin, 43, is a two-time Bafta TV Award winner.

Her previous roles include the BBC’s 2005 adaptation of Bleak House and the 2015 Agatha Christie adaptation And Then There Were None. Martin has also appeared in BBC Two comedy Motherland and World War Two drama The Bletchley Circle.

On her return to Line of Duty, Martin said: "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 balls."

When is Line of Duty on TV?

Line of Duty returned for its sixth series last month.

Its first episode was the most watched episode of a drama since 2018.

Line of Duty airs on Sunday nights at 9pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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