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58 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars He's no Vandross . . .
Seeing as new series this starred Idris Elba (Stringer Bell from The Wire) I thought I'd give this a try and I'm glad I did.

Centering on John Luther (Elba), damaged cop and loose cannon par excellence it was one hell of a ride - violent, provocative, often funny and very clever. We first encounter him pursuing a child molester who he accidentally let fall to a...
Published on 14 Jun 2010 by tallpete33

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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars LOOFAH
I was drawn to this 6 hour, 6 episode series from the BBC by being familiar with Idris Elba from The Wire and seeing favourable comparisons to other recent surly cop show Justified (Give that a look while you're at it). Those expecting anything in the same vein as The Wire should kibosh that sentiment right now, because if it's realism you're after you're not going to...
Published on 18 Sep 2010 by P. J. Potter


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58 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars He's no Vandross . . ., 14 Jun 2010
By 
tallpete33 (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Luther - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Seeing as new series this starred Idris Elba (Stringer Bell from The Wire) I thought I'd give this a try and I'm glad I did.

Centering on John Luther (Elba), damaged cop and loose cannon par excellence it was one hell of a ride - violent, provocative, often funny and very clever. We first encounter him pursuing a child molester who he accidentally let fall to a "certain" death, just before his breakdown. Months later and back in the serious crime squad, his first case is the unexplained murder of an elderly couple, the parents of the beguiling Alice - scientist cum psychopath. He knows she did it but cannot prove it and as the series progresses she returns into his life and work at sporadic intervals.

Their relationship is fascinating as she changes from stalker to confidante and finally accomplice. Ruth Wilson is excellent as the pouty blue-eyed scientist with the killer instinct and Luther fixation. Ditto Elba, who somewhat overplays Luther, the walking nuclear bomb who causes everyone around him to suffer in the fallout. The chemistry between the two is very real and makes this series extremely watchable. As the series progresses, the crim from episode one begins to wake in intensive care and Luther finds himself under close investigation from the harmless looking but dogged inspector. The ice-blue eyed Alice is the only one he can turn to with devastating results...

Great stuff - part Cracker, part Sweeney, part Waking the Dead - it's not to be missed.
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50 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great show, 2 Jun 2010
By 
I. Thomas "iwanwyn" (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Luther - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
The 4th episode aired last night, so I obviously can't speak for the entire series. However, based on these episodes, I have to conclude that this is one of the best BBC tv series' in a long time. Whilst it may appear to be just another detective show, it is so much more, and John Luther (Played by the always great Idris Alba) is one of the most compelling characters I have seen in a long while. Like many great characters, he is deeply flawed, his job an obsession, and he toes a fine line between good and bad. In many ways, he is like "House" who also treads that line. Idris Alba, like Hugh Laurie in House, however make sure that you root for his character.

Each episode revolves around a different case, however their is the overarching story which is possiibly more compelling. I cannot go into too much detail without giving spoilers, so I will end by saying that the show is fantastic, and needs to be watched. The only concern I have is whether the bbc will provide us a second series, or return to the safety of their period dramas
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That fine line between madness and genius..., 13 Sep 2010
By 
A. C. Brooks - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Luther - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Note: The BBC has just commissioned two two-hour long specials as a continuation of this first series, to be aired in 2011. Happy days.

'Luther' was originally created as an answer to the solve-everything-without-fail genius detectives in the vein of Sherlock Holmes, whilst at the same time trying to portray a character so wound up in his profession that his own personal life and personality begin to fracture, a la Cracker.

In this sense, the show succeeds, and does so very well. John Luther is a man who is constantly redefining the boundaries between insanity and intelligence - whilst, more often than not, he deduces who the villain is, he often does so at the expense of his own mental equilibrium. He knows that sometimes the law fails the innocent; he knows that sometimes the criminals get away with all; and he also knows that his colleagues appreciate his presence on the team, but that they watch him with a wary eye and keep their distance. Essentially, Luther is a philosopher at heart, but he can see his world falling to pieces and is helpless to stop it. It would be easy to call Luther, brilliantly played by Elba, a 'tortured soul', but there's much more to it than that analogy suggests.

I won't say too much about the series itself, so as to avoid spoiling anything, but just know that the acting is spot-on all round (with some great turns from Ruth Wilson as 'Alice', and Steven Mackintosh as 'Ian Reed') , the stories are gripping (with quite a stunning finale), and it is very evident that a lot of effort and care went into the production of the show.

This brilliant, dark and intelligent six-part crime drama is a glimpse at how fine a line there is between madness and genius, and how a man is supposed to maintain a handle on reality when continually placed under such disturbing and often brutal circumstances. Touching on existential themes, such as the things beyond our control and how we just have to accept them, 'Luther' is proof enough that the quality of the BBC's programming is on the up. Let's just hope it carries on.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars powerful police drama, 19 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Luther - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
The acting is superb as is the writing. Recommended for adults who like complex drama. Idris Elba gives a masterful performance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Edge Of The Dark Side, 17 Sep 2013
By 
prisrob "pris," (New England USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Luther - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
"You do know the man is nitroglycerin," warns a colleague about John Luther. This detective in London, Luther, is played by Idris Elba. Most notably know from the series 'The Wire'. Luther is a different man, volatile, crazy, and engrossed in his job. We meet him as he is chasing a very bad man. Something awful course and the next time we see him seven months has gone, and his career and marriage in shambles.

Back he comes on the job, fragile in some ways, but Luther becomes involved in a weird murder case where he meets a crazy and possible killer Alice Morgan, played by Ruth Wilson. he has met his match. Alice can see Luther has a troubled mind. One grisly murder after another occurs, and they all lead to Alice. The cases get more disturbing until the final two episodes where things start to boil over.

Luther becomes addictive, so watch it!

Recommended. prisrob 09-16-13
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Luther -- A Complicated Hero, 29 April 2012
By 
Suzanne Naughton (Toronto, ON Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Luther - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
A unique BBC series with a strange moral compass. "Luther" is a complicated central character with more than his share of problems. In the first episode, Detective John Luther, is released from a psychiatric hospital back under the watchful gaze of the police department. His beloved estranged wife has taken a lover, & to complicate matters he unwittingly engages the obsessive admiration of an amoral killer he has failed to convict.
Despite these stumbling blocks, Luther is insightful & brilliant, solving case after twisted case; perhaps guilty of dragging innocents down with him in his ruthless pursuit of convictions.

Clever, quick & very engaging.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great watching, 8 Dec 2011
This review is from: Luther - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
the first series of luther is great , i missed it when on tv and only saw the the second so really did not understand it properly .but now i have seen it im glad i did every thing fell in place.
with some series they tend to be too long and not going any where but not with this was worth waiting for .
looking forward now to the 3rd one next year
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4.0 out of 5 stars "I'm just a soul whose intentions are good.....Please don't let me be misunderstood", 22 Aug 2014
By 
Naomi_B (southport,england) - See all my reviews
From the very first episode we see that Luther is a character who walks the tightrope between good and bad cop, when I say bad, I mean his sense of justice as he certainly is not a dirty cop, but he'll get the bad guy at all cost. His arch enemy/ally through the series is portrayed by Ruth Wilson , playing the character of Alice Morgan, a serial killer who becomes fascinated by Luther and his love for his wife; an emotion our Alice cannot understand. The stories through the first series are unique , which is rare in the overpopulated police serial dramas that are made these days. For me the stronger episodes are definitely the first and last two. It's a strong series and with only 6 episodes it's one that keeps you hooked with its fast pace and story telling
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5.0 out of 5 stars 'Must-see', 7 July 2014
By 
C. Alexiou - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Luther - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
This is a 'must see' series...Idris Elba is excellent as he battles his demons whilst simultaneously trying to save the world (London really).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Works both as intellectual thriller and character study, 16 Jan 2014
This review is from: Luther - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
This is truly edge-of-your-seat drama, though be warned, it's very brutal.

The feel of Luther is almost American. I don't mean that in a Hollywood way, but more in the way of American TV Dramas like The Wire, from a shaky scale of morality to the arty music of the titles to the shots of next week's episode interspersed with the credits (the latter idea is brilliant- wonder if anyone's done it before?).

It's true that Idris Elba does play John Luther as 'shouty angry cop' (think Boyd from Waking The Dead)and he does that crime drama thing of picking out a detail and instantly deducing something about a suspect, or even identifying the killer! However I think it works- partly because it adds some levity to a show where morality goes out the window and partly because he's the central character of the show. He's got to have something interesting about him. It also adds some delicious ambiguity- is Luther really psychotic? And when the stakes are so high, is it worth employing someone who's a bit of a maverick if it gets results? Every crime show has a detective who 'doesn't do things by the rules' and you always wonder why they would employ someone like that, but Luther genuinely tries to explore it. The show suggests two things- one, that Luther is a genius, and two, that it's only his personal integrity that stops him from being one of the psychopaths. If you're looking for a more upbeat version of that, Sherlock is a good alternative.

What is unusual for a British crime show is that despite the episodes focusing on a different crime each week, there is an over-riding arc centred around an odd sort of love square. John Luther's wife Zoe (Indira Varma) is torn between her loyalty to John and her lover Mark North (Paul McGann). I take exception to the idea that they are cardboard cut-outs. In any drama, you have characters which are less developed as their main importance is their relationship to the protagonist. I think there are elements of those characters they could have played with more- Zoe (and maybe Mark as well) is a human rights lawyer, so she has even more reason to feel horrified by some of the things Luther does. Because Varma plays Zoe as normal, some viewers might see the character as weak, but her reactions make far more sense than characters in other shows. Her affair with Mark is not simply playing around whilst her husband's away; there's a sweet little scene where Zoe playfully throws toast at Mark, and the viewer knows that these two are right for each other.

Luther of course is still desperately in love with Zoe and detests Mark but Mark actually comes out quite well. McGann is a very good actor anyway but he's particularly good at taking weak scripts or 2D characters and making them feel like people. At the end of the day, Mark just wants to be with the woman he's meant to be with and his requests that Zoe stay away from Luther are quite understandable. Again, because McGann plays the character as normal, whereas other characters are hammed up a bit more, you might see that as weak, but it's vital that Zoe and Mark come across as normal 'good' people.

This is where the fourth point of the square come in: Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson). Alice is a psychotic genius and one body away from being a serial killer. Try as he might, Luther can't pin anything on her. But she's not his nemesis simply because she evades capture; she is obsessed with Luther and sees him as a sort of soulmate. As the series progresses, you start to wonder whether there isn't some truth in that...

The message of Luther (the show) seems rather grim and depressing: morality is a myth, a beautiful lie, and in order to get anything done, you have to ignore it. Writer Neil Cross is mistaken in not bringing Zoe and Mark into the argument more- after all, morality is their job. Hopefully this idea might be developed in Series 2. Overall though, I think that Cross isn't simply trying to make as grim and bleak a show as possible. Characters develop- for better or worse- over the course of the series, as does the theme of how notions of 'right' and 'wrong' contrast with personal desire.

Luther's colleagues are all interesting as well; I won't go into any detail about them because they tie into the story. Of course, the general feeling around the office is that Luther is a loose cannon (again, see Sherlock) and that his temper will get the better of him. However, he does have one supporter- rookie detective Justin Ripley (Warren Brown), who sees the goodness behind John's temper.

Luther is, in summary, a tightly woven drama that raises a lot of ethical questions, provides some human drama, a bit of romance and some cracking thriller moments. At the finale, I was literally on the edge of my seat, squealing at the TV. It also has an advantage over American shows in that this series has only 6 episodes, so there's no filler- just thriller.

As for the product itself, I haven't bought it yet. It has the advantage of having subtitles, which I think should be compulsory for all DVD releases, and there's a 'making of' type documentary. Personally, I would have preferred audio commentaries, but the play's the thing.
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Luther - Series 1 [DVD]
Luther - Series 1 [DVD] by Brian Kirk (DVD - 2010)
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