TV TUESDAY S02E01: LUTHER (2010-2013)

Idris Elba (The Wire, Thor) stars as Detective Chief Inspector (or DCI) John Luther, working with the Serial and Serious Crimes Unit dealing with high-profile murders.  The crimes depicted on-screen are savage and brutal and unsettling in their seeming randomness.  John Luther is offended and enraged by the criminals he obsessively pursues, often putting his own life on the line in some of the most tension-filled moments ever captured on film.

Luther, the BBC series, was created by Neil Cross and every single episode thus far has been scripted by Cross as well.  The first series in 2010 had six episodes while the second in 2011 and recently aired third series had four episodes each.  In addition, Neil Cross has published one novel, a prequel to the series, titled The Calling.  A second novel's publication is imminent in the Fall of 2013. Both Elba and Cross have repeatedly expressed interest in bringing their show to the big screen sometime in the future.

Cross writes three-dimensional characters and sees that talented actors and actresses play them.   Unlike many police dramas that focus on forensics or witness interrogations, the thrill of watching Luther is not trying to figure out who the killer is (because their identities are always shown early on) but watching as Luther and his fellow officers doggedly work the case and (almost) always get the bad guy.  Or girl.  If you prefer cerebral crime dramas to procedural ones, Luther could very well be what your are looking for.

One of Cross's most original and strangely fascinating creations is Alice Morgan as portrayed by Ruth Wilson, who was most recently seen on the big screen as the old girlfriend turned sister-in-law of The Lone Ranger.  HERC really cannot say too much about else about Alice or the show without giving away crucial plot points so do what you have to do to start enjoying Luther yourself.
While researching this post, HERC discovered that the album above will be released on September 16, 2013 and features both the score by Paul Englishby as well as several of the songs that play while the end credits are shown. He also discovered the playlist below, also made up of songs that have been played over the ending credits of each episode on the show as well as the show's opening theme song, Massive Attack's "Paradise Circus".

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