TV Review: Luther (Series 3 Episode 1)

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09/07/2013 by stewartjthorpe

luther-series-3-gets-bbc-america-premiere-dateHaving heard some exceptional recommendations about Luther, I finally took the plunge with series three. If you’re unfamiliar with the show it follows  John Luther, a passionate police detective who often looks to uncharacteristic policing methods to solve cases.

In a world full of police dramas it took awhile to take the bait with Luther. You’d imagine there was only so much to be done in dramas surrounding law enforcement agencies but in fact it seems like one of the most highly diluted areas of TV drama.

Nevertheless, it was star man Idris Elba’s growing reputation which reeled me in.  If you’re not familiar with Elba, you will be in the near distant future (or now, now will do). Recently he’s earned himself roles in massive Hollywood blockbusters: Prometheus, Pacific Rim and Thor. He’s also set to star as Nelson Mandela in the South African’s biopic and he’s even been touted as the potential actor for the next James Bond, so there’s still big things to come from Elba.

From the off, it was clear I was in for a treat with the cinematography in Luther. The production was brilliant. Many scenes were left largely unspoilt in regards to dialogue. These were instead filled with long pauses, obscure camera angles, harsh colours and the smallest of actions that masterfully created scenes of suspense, where emotion was driving the story forward, not dialogue. When the audience are gripped they become part of the story because they’re emotionally investing in the character. This collaboration also helped constructed some painfully chilling moments. Moments of despair where the audience witnessed the helpless victim teased and taunted by the killer before finally falling as prey.

Aside from the murders, Luther also had several other threads weaved through: love interest, friendships with work colleagues and a group attempting to shed light on Luther’s crooked tactics. Sub stories that helped develop what otherwise would be a straightforward cop drama.  Having never seen an episode of Luther before, I wasn’t sure whether certain elements of the storyline are yet to be revealed or whether they’ve already been touched upon, which was annoying but otherwise it felt effortless to join the series at this point.

After recently finally giving up on Jo, Luther is fast becoming my new favourite cop show. A brilliant psychological police drama, I just wished I had tuned in earlier.


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