It’s funny how life works out. One minute you’re allowing a murdering paedophile to fall to what you hope is his death, the next you’re all suspended, tending your garden as police brass wait for him to come out of his coma and finger you as the reckless makes-his-own-rules paedo killer they always suspected you might be. DCI John Luther (Idris Elba) is the brilliant yet tortured cop and Henry Madsen (Anton Saunders) the cunty yet comatose serial killer whose survival looms over this show like Roman Polanski looms over a teenage girl with a bottle full of Quaaludes. In an entirely predictable twist, Luther is separated from his hot wife Zoe (Indira Varma) who is now shagging Mark North (Paul McGann), human rights lawyer, responsibly sourced borefriend and all-round pain-in-the-balls liberal piece of shit. A good cop show needs to be more than the sum of its clichés and you know what? This is a good cop show.
A brilliant policeman consumed by his work, perpetually going rogue, pining like a cuntstruck teen after his ex wife. We’ve been here before. And of course he’s Sherlock Holmes, Patrick Jane, Gregory House and every other gifted yet flawed detective. He’s always right, except when he’s wrong and even then he’s on the right lines.
He’s backed up to the higgedy hilt by his pal DCI Ian Reed (Steven Mackintosh, weary from playing 400,000 cops and criminals on ITV prime-time clinkers) who loves him but is often exasperated by his methods. Further support comes from his guv’nor DSU Rose Teller (Saskia Reeves channelling Eastenders one-of-your-own Carol Jackson) who respects him but is often exasperated by his methods. His method gives them madness y’ken.
"He’s backed up to the higgedy hilt by his pal DCI Ian Reed (Steven Mackintosh, weary from playing 400,000 cops and criminals on ITV prime-time clinkers)."
In the first episode Luther cottons on that newly orphaned braniac Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson) is the real murderer of her parents in the home invasion execution scenario she set up. But Morgan is good. Really good. Too smart for our hero, in fact, and you can’t afford to waste a character like that in just one episode so her role becomes crucial in the series.
When vexed Luther can’t pin anything on Alice, she walks and becomes a Hannibal Lecter style confidante for John as he wrestles with his conscience, his personal life and the bizarrely dark compelling murders that inevitably come his way. Yeah, fuck her parents — let’s have some Batman/Joker "I didn’t make you – you made me!" style psychodrama instead.
"Alice is a Nietzschean antihero and Wilson is terrific in the role. With her PhD in astrophysics, edumacation and tricknology she’s more than an intellectual match for the cerebral plod.’"
She’s a Nietzschean antihero and Wilson is terrific in the role. With her PhD in astrophysics, edumacation and tricknology she’s more than an intellectual match for the cerebral plod – constantly forcing Luther to question his conception of right and wrong and exactly how different he is from her.
She wants him to put his cock in her and there’s little doubt the feeling is mutual. But with her menacing Zoe, paying teenage girls to happy slap the shitsack borefriend and generally being a full on menkle it’s likely this will be a very bad idea. So you just know he’s going to go there at some point.
"Paul McGann who is starting to look a bit HIV these days, as if being bitch slapped by Vicky Pollards, cheated on by Zoe and roughed up by Luther isn’t enough."
Meanwhile, his attempts to win back Zoe involve him turning up to her home at unsocial hours, punching the walls then attacking Paul McGann who is starting to look a bit HIV these days, as if being bitch slapped by Vicky Pollards, cheated on by Zoe and roughed up by Luther isn’t enough.
It is a good show, though. Luther is an engaging character and Idris Elba is an ever charismatic presence. It’s Mad Alice who really makes the show though. She’s yampy as they come and having her as a lover will be no less dangerous than having her as an enemy. She’s as cold as ice but is she willing to sac-ri-fice her love? Can a soulless beast like her even experience love? Luther better pray she can or he may well meet the same fate as Stringer Bell.
The verdict on Luther: Cracker meets Monkfish.
Marks out of 10: 7.5
Imagined: Thursday, May 20, 2010