While only spanning fourteen episodes, Luther is a show you won’t soon forget. Neil Cross created and masterfully writes the series, but Idris Elba is the man who brings the story and character to life. Much like Bryan Cranston as Walter White in Breaking Bad, I couldn’t imagine a single other actor in the titular role of DCI John Luther. Elba has the ability to scare the crap out of you one minute, and the next be your best friend you want to grab a pint, or three, with. Luther centers on the aforementioned DCI John Luther, as he goes around London solving the most heinous crimes, while trying to keep his personal life in order. The last thing he wants is for his personal life to bleed into his work, and vice versa, but the constant caseload of psychopathic killers makes it a difficult task, and he often finds himself hurting the ones he loves most.
DCI Luther is London’s equivalent to Batman, ditching the tights and cape for a lucky jacket along with a blood red tie. Robin is replaced with DS Justin Ripley, and The Joker is replaced with Ruth Wilson’s fantastic Alice, along with a cavalcade of other spine-tingling villains, which is the other hallmark of the series. Cross has devised some heavily nuanced bad guys for Luther to nab. They get in your head and under your skin, helping you connect to Luther and his quest to bring down London’s biggest evildoers.
I can’t say enough good things about this show. It’s an emotional roller-coaster ride through the life of John Luther, and the psychopaths he chases. Luther is a crash course in executing a story perfectly from beginning to end, and hits on all cylinders. Sometimes, shows that feature such a strong lead such as Idris Elba find themselves lacking talent in the supporting roles. That’s definitely not the case with Luther. Elba is surrounded by Warren Brown as DS Ripley, Dermot Crowley as their boss DSU Schenk, Indira Varma as Luther’s ex Zoe, and Nikki Amuka-Bird as DCI Erin Gray, along with a slew of other great actors. Say what you will about the English, but damn if they can’t act circles around us Yanks. Now, stop whatever it was you were doing and go and watch Luther. Season 3 premieres on BBC America on September 3rd.