Crime Fiction Mark Bailey TV

Review – Luther (TV, 2013)

Title screen for Luther
Title screen for Luther

The third season of Luther has just finished airing in the UK.

John Luther is a Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) working for the Serious and Serial Crime Unit in London. He is a dedicated police officer but also obsessive, possessed, and sometimes dangerous in the violence of his fixations.

At the start of the third season, Luther is being internally investigated by a ruthless ex-copper who’s determined to make Luther answer for his past.

The questions that both the viewer and Luther’s new love interest are asking are “Has Luther crossed the line and gone too far in his war on crime? Or have they just got him all wrong?”

Spoilers below

I am a fan mainly of police procedurals.

This is great television but it doesn’t really work on any level as a police procedural – the average Doctor Who script is only slightly more fantastic..

The plus points this season are

  • the acting which is uniformly good but I would have to single out Idris Elba (Luther) and Warren Brown (DS Justin Ripley) – also see him in Good Cop
  • Alice is back (albeit just for the last episode)
  • Neil Cross’ scripts which are witty, inventive and engaging – Luther comes across as a force of nature who isn’t quite human

The negative points are

  • 4 episodes is not enough
  • DS Ripley dies! If they do make a movie please can be it be a prequel like the novel – Luther: The Calling by Neil Cross.

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