Line of Duty show-runner Jed Mercurio has rubbished the theory that Chloe Bishop could be Tony Gates’ daughter, calling it "preposterous".
Appearing on the Obsessed With… Line of Duty podcast, Jed spoke to presenter Craig Parkinson about some particularly pervasive fan theories floating about on social media.
One of which is the idea that DC Chloe Bishop could be Tony Gates’ daughter.
Tony was a Detective Chief Inspector at Central Police way back in series one. In charge of the tactical operations division, Tony was sparkly clean – at least until he wasn’t.
He was actually found to be having an affair with Jackie Laverty, and became embroiled in OCG activity.
Tony died when he threw himself in front of a truck, but insisted until the end that he wasn’t a bent copper.
He was survived by his two daughters, Chloe and Natalie – leading some fans to theorise that she could be an OCG mole to exact her revenge on behalf of her dad against AC-12.
Another theory suggests Chloe could instead be so dedicated to her job because she wants to continue her dad’s life work, and help to finally dismantle the OCG.
But either way, Jed has been quick to put that theory to bed.
Craig suggested that in series six, the audience had been invited to play along, saying: "I thought this season above all seasons you’ve really pitched it – quite subtly – that you want the audience to play detective now more than ever. Can you confirm nor deny?"
Jed agreed: "Well, I think there are a few things in there that warrant a little bit of investigation.
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"There are some references to the real world – not absolutely overt, they’re kind of buried and disguised – but it would be great if people go and look up those things and find out a little bit more about real world corruption and the kind of things that inform the storyline on Line of Duty."
Craig added: "I’ve been quite forensic in my watching this time
"I feel certainly with a lot of social media fan theories, they maybe need to take the detective hat off and relax a bit more!" he laughed.
"If I hear the theory once more that Chloe is Tony Gates’ daughter, I’m gonna throw a hissy fit.
"Can you confirm we can put that to bed?"
And Jed seemed just as adamant, agreeing: "Oh, yeah, that’s just preposterous. Yeah, course she’s not."
Which police officers do you think are 'bent' in Line of Duty?
But he added: "It’s lovely that people are watching it, though […] You make a TV series, [you] try and make it the best you possibly can, but there are just so many intangibles to how something connects with an audience.
"For whatever reason, this season is striking a chord, and we’re all thrilled with the response."
After Jo Davidson was finally revealed to be related to Tommy Hunter, predictions that other coppers within AC-12 could also have hidden DNA matches lurking have been rife.
But only time – and the series finale on Sunday – may tell.
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