Line Of Duty Has Finished After Seven Weeks Of High-Octane Drama

Line of Duty has finished after seven weeks of high-octane drama, and we’ve been left feeling bereft of decent series to sink our teeth in to.

Well, fear not, as the BBC has announced the perfect Sunday night replacement, with The Pursuit of Love arriving this week at 9pm.

You can watch a trailer for The Pursuit Of Love here.

The period drama, based on Nancy Mitford’s classic 1945 novel, boasts an all-star cast including Lily James, Emily Beecham, Emily Mortimer and Andrew Scott (yes, that Andrew Scott, our beloved Hot Priest from Fleabag), the steamy three part romp is set to be ‘fresh, unabashed and free’ – think more Bridgerton than Downton Abbey.

The Pursuit of Love follows two young women, close friends and cousins Linda (Lily James) and Fanny (Emily Beechum) as they take their first few naïve steps into high society, searching for love and marriage in a post-war world.

While the pair boast a tight-knit bond that sees them embark on a number of exciting adventures when they leave their restricted and sheltered home life, they both choose different paths when it comes to finding a husband.

Passionate and excitable Linda decides to follow her heart to increasingly wild and outrageous places, while stoic Fanny settles for a steadier life – leading to friction between the pair.

“Linda is a wonderful character,” Lily explains. “Free-spirited, passionate, impulse, fiery, frustrating, selfish and a brilliant human being. I was attracted to the story as the two women are so linked but so different.

“The subject matter feels completely relevant; that question of what is expected of women, both then and now.”

It was her character’s strong bond with Fanny that drew Lily to the project.

“Their friendship is so real, beautiful and true. Linda’s at her best when she’s with Fanny,” she says.

“They are polar opposites and are both longing for more. Linda is utterly preoccupied with falling in love, as love is her religion. There’s been nothing else for her. It was a different time for women – finding a husband, escaping your own family and having your own life – but what is amazing is beyond the time period, the impulse is something that’s still worth investigating.

“It’s an honest exploration of female friendship. You see these two friends grow together, grow apart, come back together, have babies, success, failures, heartache but they are united. There’s a great honour to have that friend that means the world to you and ultimately is your soulmate. It’s a celebration of female friendship.”

“Linda and Fanny make very different decisions in their lives and their friendships shift so much through their life situations changing dramatically,” her co-star Emily Beecham says. “I think a lot of female friendships are quite intimate. Sometimes they need their friendship more than other times, sometimes they go through months or a couple of years of barely being friends at all before finding each other again.”

The Pursuit of Love received incidental widespread attention thanks to Dominic West, who worked on Lily James as her father, Matthew, in this series. When paparazzi pictures emerged last year of Dominic looking intimate with Lily in Italy, it set tongues wagging about the series.

Speaking purely about his role in The Pursuit of Love, Dominic explains he was keen to play Matthew due to his outdated set of beliefs.

“He’s so outrageous and so politically incorrect,” he says. “His position on women generally in the world is that it’s a waste of time educating his daughters. He believes a woman should know French, be able to ride, and he has traditional views about a female’s place in the home. He is the protector and provider.

“He regards everything foreign as unspeakable and cannot imagine why anyone would want to travel or leave England. He would not fare well in a world of gender equality and regards everyone with contempt. But there is a warm heart to him which is why he’s interesting.”

While Dominic’s appearance in the series is set to pique interest, it will be Andrew Scott’s dark, dashing turn as Lord Merlin which will keep viewers hooked. One of Linda’s many husbands, Andrew hints at more swooningly sexy scenes not dissimilar to his now legendary Fleabag role.

“Lord Merlin is a funny, inspiring, brave character. He’s audacious, free with his attitude towards love, life and sex and art. I think we need people like that,” he says about his character.

“You could see this as a period drama with posh people but these bright young things are celebrating life. It’s a period drama but it’s sexy, not stuffy. It’s alive, filthy, heartbreaking. I love it!”

The Pursuit of Love airs Sunday on BBC One at 9pm, with the full series then available on BBC iPlayer.

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