'Luther - Season One'
(Idris Elba, Steven Mackintosh, Warren Brown, Indira Varma, Paul McGann, Ruth Wilson, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2010 / BBC Video)
Overview: ‘Luther’ is a British psychological crime drama television series, starring Idris Elba as the title character Detective Chief Inspector John Luther. Scripted specifically on the premise that Luther had to be a cop that had not been seen before, this first series of six episodes (screened in the UK on BBC mid-2010) goes a long way to show us just that - although, to say he is a hybrid of all sleuths known to man is beyond expected.
DVD Verdict: Episode 1 - 'Luther’ starts off with a very powerful beginning to the season when we see just what kind of a man Luther is driven to be. When confronted by a serial killer of children, who hangs precariously from upon high by fingertips, Luther has the chance to save him, but decides to interrogate him some more - before he loses his grip and plummets to the dark depths below; with a thud!
After spending some time in a Psych Unit, Luther is cleared of any wrong doings and is back on the job - the first crime being the death of a daughter’s mother, father and dog. Now, this is one to keep an eye on re: the daughter covered in blood, for as it turns out, she becomes Luther’s nemesis throughout the ENTIRE season one!
Played by Ruth Wilson, her character of Alice Morgan is an incredibly acted one. Alice is a research scientist and psychopath who killed her parents in a calculated fashion that not even Luther is able to prove - despite knowing she did it. Her core belief, that nothing ultimately matters, comes into direct conflict with Luther's and thus frequently insinuates herself into his business and personal life as a result.
Episode 2 - The episodes begin where each one left off, so now Luther has to stay ahead of a killer who is trained in using sniper weapons and has been murdering police officers. And man, does this episode kick off with an out-of-the-blue opening! Another shock is an explosion that rocks the unit. Luther eventually realizes the shooter's true motivation is tied to his war veteran father; imprisoned for crimes he feels are unjust. By the end of this, Luther is having coffee with Alice!
Episode 3 - A woman lets in a serial killer to her house and soon Luther is against the clock to catch a killer who kidnaps mothers every decade and drains them of their blood for satanic purposes! Of course, like all ’Luther’ episodes, we know who the killer is from the start, it’s just down to Luther to put all the pieces together in time. Funnily enough, the killer who loves to drink their blood is Paul Rhys (Ivan from ’Being Human’ - where he played a Vampire!) A slow burner this one, where Alice helps Luther to, again, try and find the killer.
Episode 4 - Three female victims are found dead on open ground and so Luther has to deal with a deranged man on a murdering spree from the off. Still having personal problems on the side re: his estranged wife, Zoe (Indira Varma) and her new boyfriend, he is aided in his quest to remain a free man when Alice does him a MASSIVE favor! The ending, the REAL ending is incredibly powerful, very unexpected, but truly (sadly) believable.
Episode 5 - A wealthy couple are beaten, the wife taken hostage all for the ransom of some stolen diamonds. But, as always, all is not what it seems re: corruption within the ranks of the thieves, greed within Luther’s squad, and his own personal life become fatefully upturned. This is a fast-paced episode so hang on for the ride because, come the end, you’ll be hand to mouth in unexpected horror!
Episode 6 - Luther is, as we see it unfold, framed for a murder, but as the police think he did it, he chooses to run from them in an effort to prove his innocence. He plots to take revenge on the rouge cop within his unit, and along with the continual assistance of Alice and Mark (his estranged wife‘s new boyfriend, played by Paul McGann), it’s time to bring season one to an incredible, powerful, albeit drawn out end. As Luther looks down at the now-dead body of someone he didn‘t want dead, someone he wanted to suffer in jail, he utters the words that (will) lead us into season two, “Now what?” Now what, indeed.
The Special Feature of a behind-the-scenes ‘Luther’ featurette is very revealing, and well worth the 30 mins, you will invest into it. The actor interviews are staged in a weird manner, but they talk about the show, about themselves, and even Creator Neil Cross
reveals secrets about plots and such.
Foot Note: Idris Elba, the star of this critically-acclaimed crime drama, has just been nominated for a Golden Globe Award. He was nominated in the category ‘Best Performance By An Actor in a Mini-series or Motion Picture Made for Television.’ [RT] This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the noted Special Feature of:
Luther: The World of a True Maverick