Luther is a Crime Drama which was aired on BBC last year. It had six episodes of one hour each. Luther starred Idris Elba and Ruth Wilson.
Luther is a police detective who is specialized in solving complex murder cases with his unique psychoanalysis and deducitve skills. But he is also a complex personlity and is a cop who does things mostly his way by bending the rules and crossing the lines. He is also temperamental, emotional and loses self control easily. He is both the good guy and the guy with grey shades. He could have very well been the bad guy with his criminal mind but is not.
The series starts with Luther being suspended. He ultimately returns and accepted back in the team. His colleagues Ian Reed, Justin Ripley and boss Rose Teller welcome him. He immediately has to deal with a complex double murder where he finds the enigmatic Alice Morgan, played superbly by Ruth Wilson. Alice is a prodigy astrophysicist and a witness to double murder of her parents. Alice’s is the most intriguing character and the relationship between Luther and Alice in itself is worth watching the show. They are both very similarly brilliant yet very different.
Later in the series Luther solves several complex cases of murder, kidnapping, smuggling etc. at most times with help of his colleagues or even Alice. There is the additional drama of Zoe Luther, ex-wife of Luther, played by Indira Verma who decides to move on with Mark North. Luther is extremely possessive about his wife, loves her yet has to let her go. This parallel track of Luther’s wife and her lover is also very interesting and at times is key to the development of overall story.
By the end of the 6 episode first season, Luther is on the other side of the law, his ex-wife is killed by his old colleague who further is killed by Alice on insistence of Mark. The viewers are left high and thinking about what next. Luckily BBC has sanctioned 2 episodes of 2 hours each for later this year to take the story forward.
The series works on the principle that the audience is made aware of the criminal, murderer right at the beginning itself and the drama is in the way Luther and his mates discover the evidences against the criminal and ultimately catches him or her. Luther is a great character, although the character is quite similar to many cop characters we see on TV or in movies yet it is differently portrayed by Idris Elba. The grey shades, the changing temperament and the controlled anger which later unleashes is nicely captured.
Technically, the show is brilliant just like most British shows which as I think are vastly superior to its American counterparts at least in giving a laid back and well developed script and characters.The series is shot mostly in and around London and city’s landscape is shown and used artistically in the show. The story of Luther’s life moves slowly along with the cases he solves. At times it seems far too easy the way he solves crimes and gets clues just by interrogation and on hunches just like Sherlock Holmes would but Idris Elba makes it believable. The show is dark and intense at times with lot of blood and gore and violence too yet its is bright and brilliant mostly because of acting, great casting and chemistry between the leads and a moving storyline. There is hardly a dull moment in the hour long episodes.
My Ratings – 8/10 – Do watch it for fine acting by Idris Elba and Ruth Wilson and some compelling crime drama.