Monday, 14 June 2010


It’s all about context. BBC1 9.00 is a slot where you would not expect The Wire, The Sopranos or Curb your enthusiasm to appear, with that in mind I tuned into Luther episode 1 starring Idris-Stringer Bell-Elba, with an expectation of a run of the mill, copper with quirks, show. With the final episode of season one broadcast last week I have to say that the final line; ‘Now what?’ is most appropriate, as I can’t wait for season two.
It’s clearly a vehicle for Elba and he plays Luther as a cross between Robbie Coltrane’s Fitz and a male DCI Tennison. Elba is good in this role and deserves credit as he was always going to meet Stringer Bell comparisons

Elba, Steven Mackintosh, Paul McGann and Dermot Crowley fill their roles unfussily, which allows for some suspension of disbelief when other characters are more intense. The most interesting character aside from John Luther is Alice Morgan

Ruth Wilson as the Volatile at times, cold and unemotional at others, Alice is a character who initially is the flip side of Detective John Luther. A cold blooded and intelligent killer with an intriguing nature. Gradually over the course of the series she brings Luther to question his beliefs about life and right and wrong, she also undergoes a change herself and becomes more than just a Hannibal Lecter type figure who is asked for advice.

Production values are high; albeit rather ‘tour of London’ in location. The theme from Massive attack is superb and is a great mood setter, it's ambiance and quality another indicator of something with higher expectations.  
Massive Attack Paradise Circus

Escapism of a mid week variety sure, but Luther season one has set itself an interesting task; development in series two or more of the same? UK TV drama is very much in the shadow of superlative American shows however Luther is a good start at re educating mainstream palates.

Whichever route this show takes it could become something more than decent TV drama. Much more.

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having said that;