Elba, best known for his performance in the award-winning HBO series The Wire, playing drug kingpin Russell "Stringer" Bell, now finds himself on the other side of the law as John Luther, a near-genius murder detective whose brilliant mind can't always save him from the dangerous violence of his passions.
Ruth Wilson is Alice Morgan, beautiful, extraordinarily intelligent and a key witness in Luther's first investigation. Indira Varma is Zoe Luther, who's had the strength to walk away from the man she still loves. Paul McGann is Mark North, unafraid to compete with Luther for Zoe's love. Steven Mackintosh is DCI Ian Reed, a loyal friend. Saskia Reeves is DSU Rose Teller, Luther's risk-taking boss, and Warren Brown is DS Justin Ripley, Luther's loyal, awestruck new partner.
In each exciting and fast-moving story, the murderer's identity is known from the start – focussing the drama on the psychic duel between hunter and quarry, who sometimes have more in common than either would like to think.
Says Neil: "Luther is an intense psychological thriller which examines not only human depravity but the complex nature of love ... and how it's often this – our finest attribute – that leads us into darkness."
Luther was commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller BBC Drama Commissioning, and Jay Hunt, then Controller of BBC One. The BBC executive producer was Phillippa Giles and the producer was Katie Swinden.
The fifth season of Luther will be coming in 2018.
“Elba gives a splendid portrayal of a tormented man, and Wilson, a veteran of many British productions, has a chilling cool that will make it hard for viewers to take their eyes off her. For viewers who lament the lack of high-level Brit drama on U.S. TV, here’s one good answer.”
New York Daily News (see full review)
“…the actors’ skill — and Cross’ admirable ability to explore his characters’ boundaries without either calcifying or forsaking them — allows “Luther” to be superhuman in both the ordinary and extraordinary sense.
Los Angeles Times (see full review)
“…the man who was Stringer Bell still delivers a knockout performance in this British crime drama. It’s another one of those shows like Cracker or Touching Evil, where the cop is as damaged and dangerous as the criminals he’s chasing (in this case, Ruth Wilson as a charming sociopath), and it’s a reminder of why the Brits keep going back to that well and how strong a presence Elba is in any accent.”
Hit Fix (see full review) http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/whats-alan-watching/posts/press-tour-the-best-new-shows-i-saw?m=k
“A police procedural with a black British detective in the lead will seem exotic to many American viewers, but what’s most striking about BBC America’s Idris Elba vehicle “Luther” is that it’s — finally! — a cop show devoted fully to the investigation and to the characters doing the investigating. It’s not just all about the lab work.”
Hollywood Reporter (see full review)
“At first perusal, a drama about a tormented?but?brilliant cop whose ethics code doesn’t require cleaning up as much as fumigation would seem like an old, familiar destination. … And yet, when the cop is played by Idris Elba (Stringer Bell of “The Wire”) and his mind?meld is happening with a murderer who looks like a gangster’s moll, quotes Bertrand Russell and sounds like Judi Dench, the stamp on your passport starts to look decidedly novel.”
New York Times (see full review)
“We haven’t seen a crime drama boasting a freighted relationship quite like this one, sustained over an extended period through a flirtatious battle of wits. Creator and writer Neil Cross explores tricky dramatic territory, with suspense, crackling dialogue and a talented cast.”
Sunday Denver Post (see full review)
“The series is addictive; rife with twisty tension, it also benefits from a truly fascinating performance by Elba. You’ll be left clamoring for more, and you may be in luck, as “Luther’s” cliff-hanger of a finale seems to signal a sequel.”
San Antonio Express News (see full review)
“With the tormented Luther, it’s sometimes tough even to identify who is the cat and who is the mouse. Writing and acting come together to produce characters, more than stories, who are powerful, surprising, ambiguous, and all that other stuff.”
Philadelphia Inquirer (see full review)
Hard Sun is a pre-apocalyptic crime drama set in contemporary London starring Jim Sturgess and Agyness Deyn, coming soon.
Crossbones, the NBC television series starring John Malkovich, premieres in the States on May 30.
Series 3 of Luther aired in the United States on September 3 following a hugely successful season on BBC One in the UK.