Line of Duty fans have let off steam over the return of Ryan Pilkington.
The fresh-faced young man who has a long history on the show was the youngest member of the organized crime gang (OCG) in the fifth series.
He gained notoriety in the last series after cutting John Corbett’s throat.
Later in the series, he was admitted to student cop training.
But until now it was not known whether he would return.
Now, with its re-release, LoD fans had a lot to say.
“BOOM !!! And there it is … Ryan has returned,” said an excited fan.
“This devil child is a full-blown copper now,” said another.
That could have been a tongue in the cheek.
But a lot of what the fans had to say wasn’t very nice.
“Pilkington, you bent over,” said a Twitter user within minutes of his return.
“There he is, the BENT b ******,” said another.
“We’re watching you, Ryan, don’t touch a hair on Terry’s head, you little murderous fool.”
“Oh, here is little P ****, look!” said a woman.
In other words, not very nice.
Young Ryan has been on the show since the first series.
In those days, his job with the balaclava gang was to deliver “burner phones” and collect drugs while he was riding around on his bike.
In one episode he even tried to cut off someone’s fingers.
The appearance of actor Gregory Piper in the first season made some headlines.
In 2012, the BBC was criticized for a “serious neglect” in care after Ofcom found that the actor was not adequately protected from emotional distress while filming scenes of “a very violent and adult nature”.
However, BBC program makers said they were “in constant dialogue” with parents “before, during and after the daily shoot” and that “none of the consequences resulted in any apparent harm, suffering or anxiety for the child actor”.
But that controversy wasn’t for the opprobrium the character had faced since the fifth series.
And judging by the comments on Twitter, Piper – who still plays him now – has to get used to being the bad guy.
However, he is certainly a speaker.
In his interview before becoming a student police officer on the last series, he said, “Where I grew up, it was easy to get into the wrong crowd.
“My mom, she was crazy about alcohol and drugs most of the time. The person who made me see another path and be a useful member of society is a police officer named PC Simon Bannerjee.
“He’s the reason I wanted to be a cop too.
“To help people.”
Line of Duty runs every Sunday at 9 p.m. on BBC One.