Line of Duty comes to DVD today! In season 3, Daniel Mays joins the cast as Danny Waldron, a Sergeant and primary suspect in the investigation of corruption within the police force. Mays joins an already strong cast that includes Martin Compston, Vicky McClure, Craig Parkinson, and fellow Ashes to Ashes alums Adrian Dunbar and Keeley Hawes. Unfortunately Danny Waldron and Hawes’ character Lindsay Denton don’t have any scenes together this time around. Mays told Anglonerd magazine, “The only time we met was at the read through. I think I said something like, ‘We must stop meeting like this on the third series of hit BBC cop shows!’ Of course, we all had to keep the fact that she was returning under our hat. She is incredible in Line of Duty and they were big shoes to fill.”
On The One Show, Mays said of Danny Waldron that “any character who is a walking, talking contradiction is something you really want to grab with both hands.” Mays’ career choices reflect this. Waldron is steel while leading his squad and vulnerable and damaged on the inside. Jim Keats, his character in Ashes to Ashes (coincidentally, a character from the Department of Inspections, the same sort of group that have got Waldron all tied up in knots in Line of Duty), got his complexity from being two-faced, someone who could be empathetic and caring toward Hawes’ character but display overt scathing hatred toward her and her team when she wasn’t looking. In Outcasts, his character Cass Cromwell, also a police officer of sorts, was living a second life, pretending to be the exact thing he wasn’t, and hiding his previous identity from his police partner. When Anglonerd magazine asked Mays if he has any advice for aspiring actors struggling to find the balance in complex characters, Mays said:
“The trick is to always play the character as three-dimensional and rounded as possible. Everyone has flaws and weaknesses. Even the darkest of characters can be capable of kindness and vulnerability. It’s about putting the work in and ensuring you create the character’s backstory, their likes, dislikes, and what influences their behaviour. You have to find out what the running condition of the character is. Basically, preparation is key. You need to get to a place on set where everything can just flow.”
Sergeant Danny Waldron is the proficient leader of a police Armed Response Unit, so naturally, there was a bit of weapons training to play this role. Mays recalled, “We had two days of weapons training on a shooting range just before we started filming. It was actually really exhilarating and hugely beneficial for both playing the character and bonding with the new group of actors. We fired machine guns, Glocks, Uzi’s and even a .44 Magnum. It got pretty competitive between us all as you would expect!”
“You know where you are with Line of Duty: blindfolded and speeding round a labyrinth. Strap in.” –The Daily Telegraph
Today, Acorn releases the season 3 DVD of Line of Duty as well as the season 1-3 boxed set. These DVDs include a behind-the-scenes feature. They are region 2/PAL and playable on region-free DVD players. The region 1/NTSC edition of season 3 will be available for U.S. DVD players on August 9, 2016. In the meantime, catch up with season 1 & 2 on Amazon On-Demand (pay per episode), Acorn.TV (subscription streaming), or by purchasing the Acorn add-on with your Amazon Prime subscription (free trial available). Season 1, 2, and 3 are also on Hulu.
A special thanks to Daniel Mays for taking the time to answer Anglonerd magazine’s questions, and to Acorn/RLJ Entertainment.