Luther may not be the most realistic detective drama we’ve seen, but it’s certainly one of the most entertaining.
Putting Idris Elba into the lead role of television’s most troubled DCI was a stroke of genius, and pairing him with Ruth Wilson, who tackles the psychotic and manipulative character Alice Morgan, was a perfect move.
Through four seasons to-date, the BBC series has entertained millions not just in the UK, but across the globe. Creator and writer Neil Cross has done an incredible job of ensuring this is a crime show that resonates with the majority, rather than a minority, as can often be the case with a series of this type.
News broke a little earlier this year that Luther would be returning for a fifth season, so to celebrate the news, we’ve decided to take a look at Idris Elba’s top 5 moment as the troubled but brilliant detective.
5. A dangerous game of Russian Roulette
Whilst this scene was hard to watch because of the beating Luther took at the hands of former soldier Owen Lynch (Sam Spruell), it was a brilliant moment for the detective who proved he wasn’t scared of death if it meant bringing the bad guys to justice. There’s an old saying that suggests you shouldn’t “poke the bear”, but with Owen, Luther had no problem in prodding him right up until the point the two engaged in a sinister game of Russian Roulette. Fortunately, Luther stopped Owen from taking his own life and forced him to face up to his slayings of police officers, at the orders of his incarcerated father.
4. Breaking the law
Luther isn’t a man who follows rules. That much has been obvious throughout the majority of the show’s episodes, and especially so in one where he had to collect a DNA sample from a satanic occult killer known as Lucien Burgess (Paul Rhys). Rather than gaining permission from the criminal, he instead put on a pair of rubber gloves, punched him square in the nose, knocking him to the ground, and wiped some of the blood pouring from his face onto his glove. We’re not entirely sure this evidence would be admissible in any British court, but it allowed us an instant look into the world in which Luther operates.
3. Do you believe in evil?
There are plenty of fantastic scenes between Luther and Alice, but one of the best exchanges the duo enjoyed came when the charismatic psychopath did her all to call the depraved detective’s bluff. Watching the pair play cat and mouse with one another, trying to get one up on each other is compelling and addictive viewing. Just when you think one has the upper hand on another, the tables quickly turn and the entire sequence is flipped on its head.
2. The beginning of the end for George Cornelius
Luther isn’t afraid to take on some of the UK’s biggest criminals, and so when he turned up at the house of George Cornelius (Patrick Malahide), the crime boss and his son had absolutely no idea what they were up against. In the detective’s first scene with the villain, the latter does his best to try and warn Luther off chasing up his criminal history, but our titular anti-hero quickly lets the pair know that he means business.
1. How would you like to die?
John Luther went into one of his most dangerous situations of all time in the second season of the hit series, after being forced into a showdown against one of the show’s most psychotic villains. Being burnt alive, or being blown up looked to be his only options, but using his smarts and his wits meant that he would live to fight another day. Here, Luther proved he was more than capable of thinking on the spot; especially if it meant saving his own life. Sometimes, viewers wonder if Luther is actually chasing death, but in this moment, he certainly wanted to get the upper hand and bring the criminal to justice.