It’s been a 24 long, arduous months since we’ve had the pleasure of Luther on our television screens. As with all treasured TV shows that suffer the misfortune of a longer than scheduled hiatus, anticipation and expectations were at an all time high for it’s July 2nd return, especially for this fan. What type of Luther would we witness this time round? Would the third series eclipse the previous two? Would we be subject to more than a mere ‘cameo’ appearance from Alice?
Thankfully, so far, this new third series has already laid strong foundations to what should be a thoroughly entertaining series.
The opening episode of any TV series, be it a brand new show or something more comfortably established, is an extremely important and (as we’ve seen numerous times before in various TV shows) difficult thing to get right. You have to deal to with prospect of pleasing old fans whilst keeping an established show accessible to new comers.
This was a challenge taken on with some gusto by creator and writer Neil Cross (Doctor Who: Rings of Akhaten and Hide) who shows off his accomplished writing talents by weaving not only two, but three story lines for the viewer to follow; two murder cases and introduction of new love interest Mary.
In episode one Detective Chief Inspector John Luther arrives onto our screens in rather bombastic fashion, waltzing out of a fiery building with his captive in tow, as if confidently striding out of the gates of hell itself, DS Justin Ripley following suit. It’s a powerful image which really speaks volumes about Luther, and even Ripley. You can imagine Luther quite literally striding into hell to catch his man and you know that Ripley would be there right beside him.
After a strong opening episode there’s always every chance the second can turn out to be, for want of a better word, a flop. This turned out not to be the case and we were served an episode that managed to delve deeper into the mythos of the show, exploring that ‘bromance’ like relationship between Luther and Ripley.
What’s been a particular highlight of series 3, and indeed the series of Luther in it’s entirety, is the performances of Idris Elba himself. He’s an actor who’s cache has sky rocketed over the past few years starring in blockbusters such as Thor, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengenace, Prometheus, Pacific Rim and by no means looks set to slow down with Thor: The Dark World and sure-fire Oscar touting Nelson Mandela biopic Mandela: Short Walk to Freedom.
I mentioned the same thing in my ‘Hannibal Series 1 Review‘ that it’s wonderful that some quality actors with Hollywood credentials are doing more work on the small screen.
Luther himself is a different beast to who we met all those years ago back in series one. We know he has his own sense of justice and that he’s a man who’s all to happy to dish out punishment in a way that he sees fit. What we haven’t seen is much of the rage that was seen in the first series. One of the most stand out moments for me is Luther loosing the plot and beating down a door once he realises his wife his sleeping with another man.
The only significant disappointment that stands out from this third series of Luther so far is the lack of Alice Morgan (Ruth Morgan). This was definitely a major issue during the short, but nevertheless successfully second series. So far, we know that she’s “presumed missing” and when she does grace us with her on screen presence, she’ll be rocking a wonderful new hair do.
How are you finding Luther?
Luther air’s every Tuesday 9:00pm on BBC1