Idris Elba is the magnetic star of the thrilling BBC police series Luther
, a gritty, captivating drama that will impress fans of police procedurals and knotty character studies. Elba (The Wire
, The Big C
, The Office
, 28 Days Later
) is a nuanced, tortured presence as DCI John Luther, a detective focused on understanding the most horrifying criminal mind. Luther also has sacrificed a normal personal life for his work, and Luther
focuses on his back-story as much as on the plot at hand. The supporting cast is as brilliant as Elba, especially Indira Varma as his estranged wife, Zoe, and Ruth Wilson as the fragile-seeming but only marginally sane Alice, with whom Luther has been having a secret affair. The episodes are fairly straightforward police procedurals, including serial killers and other creepy bad guys. But what keeps Luther
extra engaging is the superior writing, direction, and production design--making watching Luther
an immersive experience for the viewer. And it's not always a comfortable one--this is not the cleaned-up New York of Law & Order
, where most bad things happen off screen. Luther
's bad guys (and gals) commit their evil deeds on camera and sometimes in slow motion--which only heightens the suspense and deep feeling of immersion. Luther
and its focus on its leading character's personal life owes a lot to Helen Mirren's Prime Suspect
, but Elba and the supporting cast of Luther
do even more to make the viewer feel a part of the imperfect British law-enforcement system. The boxed set includes an excellent documentary with interviews with series creator Neil Cross and the directors and cast members discussing how they deliberately designed the series to be more "impressionistic" than "realistic" in terms of plot. (The interviews would have more impact if they weren't streamed onto a computer screen, but that's a small quibble.) Catch Luther
while he tries to catch the bad blokes, and enjoy every twisted step of the journey. --A.T. Hurley. Amazon.com--This review is for Luther - Series 1
A brilliant detective tormented by the darker side of humanity, Luther shines a light where others fear to tread, into the hearts and minds of psychopaths and killers, and the shadowy spaces of his own soul…
For Luther (Idris Elba), his profession is a vocation rather than a job. He serves his own idea of amoral order as much as the rules and codes of criminal law.
A philosophical cop possessed by the insoluble problem of evil and justice in a Godless world, John Luther is a deeply troubled man confronting depravity in its many terrible forms, over a succession of psychological duels between hunter and hunted, perpetrator and prey.
The intensity of Luther’s convictions combine with the violence of his passions to provoke the question of whether he is a force for good or a man hell bent on self-destruction?
Contains the complete Series 1 and 2 plus exclusive DVD Extra--Luther the World of a True Maverick