LINE of Duty fans can watch a secret extra trailer teasing DS Steve Arnott’s exit from AC-12 – but only if they can crack a cryptic treasure hunt.
Brainy Beeb bosses have put together a mind-bending trail of clues – which they have dubbed ‘Operation Easter Egg Hunt’.
Eagle-eyed viewers stumbled upon the nugget of info after clocking a QR code just seconds into the trailer of the new series.
If scanned, it takes super sleuths to a letter from chief constable Philip Osborne, who viewers will remember as Steve’s seemingly-corrupt boss in counter-terrorism in series one.
In the letter, to DCC Andrea Wise, he points the finger at superintendent Ted Hastings, played by Adrian Dunbar.
He says: “Ted Hastings doesn’t lead investigations, more commit to a crusade.
“He is oblivious to the politics of the situation which creates problems for me and problems for you because policing is politics.
“And should AC-12 even be led by someone who himself has been accused
“The question is what to do next.”
If detectives hover over the word “next” it takes you to a seemingly innocent prescription for Steve’s back-problem, which he suffered at the hands of balaclava man, or men.
The note, prescribed by Doctor Luke Cairefley, leads to a series of Morse code underneath doses of ibuprofen, codeine and other tablets.
If you translate the code, it leads you to an unlisted YouTube video, showing a news report featuring crime commissioner Rohan Sindwhani and deputy chief constable Wise.
In it, they say that their investigation into institutionalised corruption in the police is over.
But along the bottom of the screen, on the news ticker, is an equation (Hx6)+?.xyz) – which if cracked leads you to a clip of an officer seemingly deleting messages.
One of the messages contains a shortened URL link, with two numbers missing.
If brainaics can master the hidden instructions in the other deleted messages, they are treated to another secret clip starring Steve, played by Martin Compston, and DC Chloe Bishop, played by incoming star Shalom Brune-Franklin.
She asks DS Arnott if he thinks there’s a “fourth man out there” or woman – cutting to a clip of his colleague DI Fleming.
But look very closely at the suspect board, featuring some of the bent coppers brought to justice in the first five series of the BBC1 show, and there’s a subtle post-it note with a code on.
Adding that code to bbc.in/ plays the secret trailer where you’re greeted by the voice of Ted.
He says: “You’ve conducted yourselves admirably, to the letter of the law.
“With skills that sharp, you could teach Arnott and Fleming or two.”
A trailer shows Steve meeting up with former love interest Nicola Rogerson for a coffee where he tells her he wants to transfer to her unit.
He says: “Strictly off-the-record I’ve reached the end of the line in anti-corruption, that’s no disrespect to the gaffer. I’m bored mate.”
The secret clip then shows Vicky McClure’s character DI Kate Fleming
working with a separate firearms unit to bust an armed raid at a betting shop, under the guidance of new guest star Kelly McDonald’s character DCI Joanna Davidson.
Series six of Line of Duty airs every Sunday from March 21 on BBC1.
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