If you are like me, you need a good TV series to sink your teeth into at pretty much all times. Should my series of choice have several series to catch up on, all the better. Marathon sesh for the win.
One of my recent choices was Game of Thrones, which I had tried to get into way back but after the first two episodes I simply didn’t get it. Yet I kept hearing people talking about how amazing the series is, “oh you must see it” and “it’s so good” and “there are a lot of boobies”, so I gave it another go and sure enough, after about 4 episodes I was hooked. I enjoyed three glorious seasons of lies, deception, dragons, violence and enough nudie breasticles to make Hugh Hefner blush. But after about three weeks, I was up to date and left in limbo with what to watch next.
Then I started seeing messages on Facebook and Twitter about a show called Luther that had a new season starting on the BBC. This is a show that had been on my radar for a while but for reasons unknown, never made it to the top of my watch list. The messages I saw about Luther seemed very similar to the superlatives thrown at GoT just without the boobs. But for what the show lacks in lady pillows, it more than makes up for with Idris Elba, a god among men.
I was first exposed to Mr Elba’s work as drug kingpin Stringer Bell on the hit HBO series The Wire. He stood out above everyone in that show, his acting was as effortless as it was cool and his accent was so convincing that I truly believed he was American. I knew he was an actor to be reckoned with, so Luther jumped to the top of my to-watch list.
Initially I thought I would try the first episode and see what it was like and decide whether I liked it or not. A week later I had seen every episode and caught up with season 3 as it aired on TV. Sure there are only 6 episodes in the first season, 4 in the second and will be 4 in the third, but every minute is staggering.
Idris Elba plays DCI John Luther, a brilliant but slightly unhinged homicide copper who doesn’t exactly follow the rulebook. Ohhh a police officer who doesn’t follow the rules to get results, how original. If I put it that way, maybe not, but don’t let my lacking overview fool you.
Some colleagues tiptoe around him, some don’t trust him, some want to see him fall while others recognise his brilliance. He is prone to bouts of “punch a door to pieces” rage, repeatedly fails to cope with personal demons, develops a fascinating but deeply wrong friendship with a genius sociopath, all the time having to solve and prevent murders and catch psychotic serial killers.
Luther is the opposite of a whodunnit. The murderers are revealed right at the start, showing you what they are capable and providing a glimpse into their mindset, which I think makes them more terrifying. Things become a race against time and you will need to hold onto something as you are left hanging on the edge of your seat. This is a psychological crime drama of the highest order, and this third season has substantially ramped up the suspense, the shocks, and twists.
I have only one complaint about Luther. There isn’t enough. Only four episodes a series leaves me wanting more, much more. But the short season is something we have come to expect from English TV productions. But they refuse to substitute quality for quantity, and for that we should be thankful. Idris Elba is sublime as John Luther and was nominated for the golden globe as best actor in a mini-series in 2010 and won it in 2011. There is no wonder why he is in the running to be the next Bond when Daniel Craig decides to hang up his tux.
Long story short. Luther is one of the greatest British shows of recent years and you must see it. Now. Go on, the box sets aren’t expensive. You’ll thank me later.
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