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Introducing Luther - with love to Detective Columbo

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Neil Cross Neil Cross | 15:14 UK time, Friday, 30 April 2010

The character that became Detective Chief Inspector John Luther was pinging round my head long before he had a name - or I had any idea how to use him.

He started as means to connect two ideas from different genres within the broad church of crime fiction. Luther has some of the Sherlock Holmes about him - some of that disinterested analytical genius.

But he's also got the emotional complexity and moral ambiguity more commonly found in the psychological thriller. It seemed to me that combining these properties - deductive brilliance and moral passion - in one man could make for a powerful and damaged, deeply heroic character.

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As for the format of the show - I grew up loving Columbo, and still love it. But Columbo's format - the 'howcatchem', or inverted detective story - wasn't really played to accentuate the drama.

Lieutenant Columbo was rarely at any personal risk (because that's not we wanted to see) and we knew he'd always get his killer in the end.

What we didn't know was how - which played a big part in making that show so incomparably satisfying.

The inverted detective story format hadn't really been revisited since Columbo ended, not that I know of anyway. So I thought it might be exciting to portray it as a kind of psychological duel between this driven, half-mad cop and the depraved criminals he hunts.

So we know who Luther has to catch. What we don't know is how on earth he's going to do it.

The process of making the show, from writing the scripts to seeing it reach the screen, has been exhilarating and sometimes petrifying. As these things go, Luther moved very quickly indeed. At times it felt like I was strapped to the nose cone of a rocket.

In the weeks leading up to take-off, I could feel the constant, seismic rumble of all those barely reined-in pounds per square inch of thrust. And once it started to actually move, all I could do was hang on and hope the teeth wouldn't get rattled from my head.

In a situation like that, you don't get writer's block. Or sleep much, either. But I did get to work with people I like, admire and trust. We were a proper team and we were on a mission. I revel in that feeling of camaraderie.

Detective Chief Inspector John Luther played by Idris Elba

The cast is so good I was terrified of meeting them as individuals, let alone as an ensemble - but that's essentially what happened. With the exception of Indira Varma (who couldn't be there) I met them all at the episode one table-read, a kind of first read-through rehearsal, where I was a gibbering wreck.

That night we went out for drinks.

The first hour or so, talking to Saskia Reeves, all I could think was: 'I'm talking to Saskia Reeves!'.

By 10pm, I was a few gin and tonics into the evening and Warren Brown - who plays Detective Sergeant Ripley - was doing his Lily Savage impression. I was able to relax somewhat and just revel in the fact that we'd brought together such an astonishing cast.

People often ask me what was the best moment, but to be honest it's hard to elect just one or two.

In the run-up to production and during production itself, I spent a lot of time laughing with my colleagues: in retrospect, given the time pressures involved, that seems remarkable. But a particular high point has to be casting Idris Elba.

We wanted the show to be special, so when it came to casting our leading man we'd decided to be ambitious, to set the bar high, thinking: don't ask, don't get.

Idris was on the list... because Idris is pretty much on everyone's list. But his name was waaaaaay up there, up above the cloud line. So when I got the phone call saying we'd got him - that was a good moment; as good as these moments get, I think.

Detective Chief Inspector Luther, played by Idris Elba, sits with Alice Morgan, played by Ruth Wilson

Then there was watching the rushes at the end of the very first day's shooting. It had taken place outside episode one's "Morgan House" crime scene.

I saw Idris walk into shot, duck under the tape, and I thought: 'There he is, then. That's Luther.'.

I love John Luther, naturally. But I also love unreservedly the character of Alice Morgan. In fact, on that first night out with the cast I seem to recall telling Ruth Wilson (who plays her) that in many ways I considered Alice to be the perfect woman. She looked at me, it has to be said, with a degree of horror.

Alice was a formidable role - chilly and flirtatious, murderous and vulnerable, high-minded and caustic, sometimes in the same sentence. But Ruth makes her absolutely real, and utterly riveting. There's a moment in episode four where she truly frightens me.

I was on set when Idris and Ruth filmed their first scene together. It was a spine-tingling event - but I don't think it's good for me to hang round on set, because that's just not where a writer belongs. So I made myself scarce and let them get on with their jobs.

As for what you can expect from Luther and where he goes next ... well, if I told you, it wouldn't be a surprise. Let's just say, the pressure on him doesn't let up. Not for a second.

Neil Cross is the writer of Luther. Luther starts on BBC One at 9pm on Tuesday, 4 May


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  • Comment number 1.

    I am looking forward to this show - as long as you don't expect Stringer Bell, you'll be fine with it. Elba is an amazing actor, and I've seen him in far more than just The Wire. Check him out in the US version of The Office, for example.

  • Comment number 2.

    I'm looking forward to it. I adored The Wire. I like the insight you give to the production process.

  • Comment number 3.

    Oh dear - how disappointing, after all the hype - my "better half" also felt that the main characters did not evoke any sympathy, their acting was overdone, and we both guessed at the significance of the dog's body and the missing gun! We will not be bothering to tune in to the next episode.

  • Comment number 4.

    Just watched Episode One. Fantastic cast, script and story line. Can't wait to see what happens next.
    Neil, if you get to read this - A+ for effort and achievement.

  • Comment number 5.

    Who thought Hannibal Lecter in a dress sounded like a good idea?
    Talk about stereotypes - troubled detective vs genius psychopath. A complete waste of some of my favourite actors.
    The writing is as bad as for Blood and Oil, another vacuous C4 clone. As for the plot, which often rescues this kind of drivel... what plot?

  • Comment number 6.

    Idris Elba tried so hard to make this work but to no avail. Cliche after cliche I thought it had been written by a child. The Mcgann, Elba doorstep fight was so predictable I was in awe it even happened, I was forced to turn off. It was like some 80's Cop, B movie trailer, he was a cop on the edge, a loose cannon, a maverick etc. If you need some more original idea's then see me, I've written more engaging storylines on my Facebook profile.

  • Comment number 7.

    Luther. How boring, more of the same, all detectives have marital problems! I will give this series a miss.

  • Comment number 8.

    Don't let any of the extremely negative comments above put you off watching this either by catch up, or tuning in for the next episode. This seems to me to be a bit of a 'slow burner' and should be enjoyed, not written off after one hour.
    If you enjoy thrillers which make you think (even if you're 'brilliant' enough to work it out at the first attempt) together with a smattering of character history, watch it - you won't be disappointed.

  • Comment number 9.

    I was so looking forward to Luther...what a disappointment. Ridiculous plot, unbelievable characters, wooden acting, cliched lines and scary botox...for that reason I'm out.

  • Comment number 10.

    I thought the script and the acting was brilliant. Idris is stunning in the role and I cant wait for more.

  • Comment number 11.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this, mostly because Idris Elba is so watchable, I'm allowed to say this as I'm a lady over 50 - it's my job!

    But apart from that I though it was a good detective thriller,I want to be entertained at the end of the day, don't want to have to be hyper analytical, the daily news is enough for all that pressure, and I will definately be watching the rest of the series

  • Comment number 12.

    Was it just me or did his wife's house completely change overnight?
    Her door was red with the lock on the left- funky shade above..
    Then when she was with Paul mcgann, being watched by luthers cop buddy, the house
    had a dark door and curved distinctive windows.. When mcgann opened it
    the hinge was on thebothet side and the whole decor was different.. Was it his place?
    Then how did Luther know where to go?

    I'm not a complete trainspotter but the red door was such an eye catcher
    and the second place had completely diff styled windows.

  • Comment number 13.

    I was looking forward to seeing Idris in this new series but what a big disappointment in the script. He tried to make the most of it but I have to critise the blatant stereotype, blackman with a temper, can't manage a relationship with wife; unprofessional need I go on. This is not the rubbish we need on television it actually distracted from whatever the story was about. if the subsequent episode is more of this then lets just have cheap reality television and save the bother to get complex because this failed.

  • Comment number 14.

    Had a couple of days to think about it, but no, haven't changed my mind. Idris Elba has real star presence, but even he can't make this turkey fly.
    To be fair, how do you invogorate the detective story, give it a new twist?
    A tall order, but here are a few things that bothered me in particular:
    The sociopath - Do they really all have to ham it up like Hannibal? In real life they tend to blend in, and maybe fail ever so slightly. They are more likely to give themselves away by laughing too loudly at your jokes, rather than do that lip-sucking thing....
    The anger - Beating up that door in his wife's house, NOO! that wasn't scary, that was adolescent. Is Luther meant to be childish, even pathetic? I don't think so. Want to make it scary? Have him loom with menace, be understated; less is definitely more, Elba would be great at it. Want to make it edgy? Make him hit his wife.
    The supporting cast - Not memorable, but they weren't given the lines.
    The plot - If you rely too much on your charismatic characters to paper over the lack of a proper plot, you set yourself up for failure. Especially in a cop show.
    The character development - Didn't work for me. If you want your audience to see them as fresh and unusual, write them fresh and unusual, or the stereotypes will flood in and fill in the gaps.
    The contract with the audience - Broken, I think. We expected something else. Is that our fault?

  • Comment number 15.

    Idris Alba was brilliant in this fantanstic show! The thing that really spoiled it for us was Saskia Reeves ridiculous (Dick Van Dyke) cockney accent!! I have'nt heard such a false accent since Mary Poppins! It's such a shame it really was bad!! I realise this lady is an renowned actress so she must realise how stupid it sounded!

  • Comment number 16.

    Idris Elba is staggeringly good! This is the first thing I've seen him in other than The (inimitable) Wire, and his name on it is why I tuned in. Wonderful London settings, too. The script is disappointingly ridiculous, the girl psychopath deeply annoying, but I'll continue with the series for the pleasure of I.E.'s wonderful performance, London looking great and real, and because my teenaged son likes it - he almost never watches tv (like most teenagers).

  • Comment number 17.

    I enjoyed the first episode. I liked the way Neil makes Luther come across as a hot blooded male. A man acting on how a normal guy would deal with marital problems. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character of Sherlock Holmes is more clinical rather like a physician. This is more about psychology like the wonderful Agatha Christie characters. I liked the pivatol moment when Alice's character suddenly changes when Luther realises Alice didn't yawn. I am hoping that Alice's character cleverly learns from each mistake and becomes the perfect villain, whilst Luther realises how quickly she learns to mimicks normal behaviour. I wasn't sure about DSU Rose Teller's dialogue. She's not such a recognisable character. I think I just didn't like the way she's so casual and chilled. I'd like to see her a bit more strung out, and worrying whether she's done the right thing having Luther on her team. But maybe this is something that will happen later.

  • Comment number 18.

    I will not apologise about Luther…

    So many errors but one I gave up on (duck .. I said duck)
    The farce on the second episode with Luther and the dummy police radio Oh what a ... find (How Psychic).
    If you want soap like cores’ or East Enders Cop then this is it!!!

    Nothing Agatha Christy or even Colombo. Gosh a policemen with problems.
    Sorry went to bed before the end and watched a repeats of old “Wire in …”

    Sorry ( But I Apologised) No. I .Didn’t.

    Such Rubbish Makes me what to watch American... Perhaps not.

    Regards Paul

  • Comment number 19.

    Watched Epi 2. Oh God. Got it all totally wrong. Alice is going to be Luther's accomplice and now going to connect Luther with the really crazy people out there... lovin' it. Could see a splash of Spooks in this episode.

  • Comment number 20.

    I get the feeling that the devilish Ms Morgan has something up her sleeve waiting in store for Mark ( Paul McGann )...Looks bloody...Anyway, this show is very good with a decent script and some good believable characters and the quality that makes these characters believeable is they possess ( the coppering side that is )a world weary tiredness, the grind that is real policing, tired of the game, tired of the criminal mind. They, ( the coppers ) in the series hold the lantern high in the hope that it will end but know down deep inside that it wont, all they exist for is the hope that it will, hense their compulsion to keep going...Idris Elba is magnetic on screen, a very, VERY good actor with real ' star power ', long may this continue as this actor is destined for the West End...One little thing though, Scampusmaximus above pointed out some continuity errors, well spotted Sir/Madam, as this, THIS is not good enough from the BBC, the Director should never let this creep in to the final edit. So tighten this up in future as this is amateurish given the budget and always noticed. Another example is the fight scene with the ex squaddie near the end of episode 2 the close up shots with Luthers hands on the sqaddies face, poor editing...All in all though, I'm with this series all the way...Gerry

  • Comment number 21.

    What a shame and let down. I expected more from BBC Drama.A great cast with little to work with. I continued with Episode 2 but thought I was watching a poorly written Spooks. A policeman with issues, a maverick who likes to play it his way ... dear oh dear. Over to the Swedish Wallander on BBC4 methinks

  • Comment number 22.

    Just odd how this got through post production. It is terrible ...rediculous story lines, caricature like characters and Idris Elba playing Idris Elba

  • Comment number 23.

    Wow what are people complaining about exactly?
    watched first 2 episode and there pretty good - especially the second episode - I did a double take when the policemen got shot at the beginning.
    Its very Polished and you have to give the production team credit they dont have a huge budget like those U.S. shows.
    Is it super original maybe no but the acting is pretty decent.
    Chill out people it entertainment and I was entertained.
    As a side note yeah 'The Wire' but also i was happy it finished - theres only soo much depresion a guy can take you know.
    Luther - excellent I just wish we had a few coppers like that here in Manchester!

  • Comment number 24.

    I am sorry to have to be negative...

    Contrived characters... (largely but not entirely) implausible/unrealistic dialogue and situations... melodramatic and derivative storylines...

    And just the pervading sense that I am watching an almost completely unpleasant bunch of people go through some kind of contorted motions.. dancing at the bequest of a scriptwriter who just doesn't like or understand people..

    There's a whole vein of BBC drama that shares the same DNA... angry, implausible, contrived, confrontational dialogues (because someone somewhere has told someone somewhere that confrontation is at the heart of drama)...

    Contrast the beautifully nuanced scripting, situations, and characterisation of series such as Wallander (British and Swedish versions), Waking The Dead, etc..

    Even the American '24' rings true - the Counter-Terrorism Unit could be any office working under pressure; recognisable, three-dimensional people (albeit dealing often with fairly implausible situations)... Or even Iron Man 2 with its refreshingly spontaneous, subtle, sometimes playful, sometimes sinister, but above all convincing dialogue..

    Why do we ever have these productions, BBC?

    They all seem to come from the same stock.... Survivors... Paradox.... the recent five-nighter about the top barrister and his family...

    Is it a shortage of writers?

    And why - oh why - do intelligent actors ever get involved with them? How do they ever sleep at nights having to handle such lines and situations?

  • Comment number 25.

    I watched this programme and it spoke to me in the following way.Modern type of british "Shaft".It's good to be black at this time and positive black role models are springing up all over the place.However we are in danger of alienating more white people by constantly depicting them as the criminals or dummies on TV.Are there no black's or ethnic minorities commiting crimes.Do we always have to see black role models beating up white criminals.Would it ever be permissable to show Luther beating up a black criminal?Society trully worries me as a white man(I am not a racist)but it seems ok to constantly ridicule white men.Recently a film called "Run Fatboy Run" was on TV.Would it ever be acceptable to portray this as "Run Fatgirl Run" or "Run Fatblackguy Run" I think not.Media have a responsibility to portray a fair representation of Life as it is I feel.

  • Comment number 26.

    Just watched episode 2 and to post a comment on here I had to agree to T&C's and yet you have broken your own T&C's. Our fighting heros are comming home in boxes from the places you stated in episode 2 of Luther and this is how you portray them, just think how this would make you feel if you had just lost a loved one in the forces. This disgusts me and Neil Cross is obviously on some sort of personal march, what amazes me is the actors went along with it, they must have been hard up. This is just another example of the BBC spreading it's anti-british agenda through it's programming only this time youv'e gone 2 far. I shall make sure this programme is made aware to the relevant political eyes to see what they think of Neil Cross's material. Shame on you.

  • Comment number 27.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 28.

    Hope this doesn't affect Idris's career,
    I've been waiting for a superstar black British actor for all my life so when i heard that this was in production i had so much hope, how heart broken i now am!
    Hackneyed, ham-fisted, cliched, I'm afraid all those comments are right and it seems they are of the majority as well.
    Come on BBC, why does everything you make have the same flavour? Stop wasting my license fee money!!!

  • Comment number 29.


    Read my review of Luther on here. Personally I think it's a brilliant drama. As for the cliches, you can only take it so far before it's not even a crime thriller anymore, it's called genre conventions!
    Stop moaning and admire the fantastic work that has gone into Luther.

  • Comment number 30.

    Oh no, no, no, no, no .....this is worse than Paradox, worse than Survivors.

    I watched it a second time and am so angry with myself.

    I was waiting for Saskia Reeves to break into a Chas 'n Dave song at anytime.

    It is truly dreadful

    Poor Warren Brown, I really hope this doesn't affect his career, fortunately for Steven Mackintosh he doesnt appear that often so it won't have a detrimental affect on his future prospects.

    Paul McGann ....huh who in their right mind gave him a role, he has no credibility whatsoever.

    The only highlight was Michael Smiley and his line "Beware of Geeks baring gifts"

    I'm sure the money could have been better spent.

    No Nay Never Again..........

  • Comment number 31.

    Myself and my husband are absolutely hooked on Luther - it's the best thing on TV at the moment. The acting is superb and the plots and action are thrilling. Two very small criticisms - Saskia Reeves cockney accent and the misleading continuity with the house in Episode One - first with a Red Door and then Black - ?? Otherwise great series.

  • Comment number 32.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 33.

    It's a shame that so many people have forgotten how to watch TV.

    I have just watched the first few series of Waking the Dead for the first time ever. Its an absolute fantastic show - there's very little character development until the "series 5 itch" - the cast get new haircuts in order to make you care.

    Luther, while not in the same league is also very good. There must be an appreciation of form like any work of art. The "cop show" has a form different but sharing characteristics of the "crime drama" or "murder mystery".

    I didn't recognise the Columbo traits straight away because Luther is having to tow a line between "crime drama" and "cop show".

    Paradox had a similar problem -- the need to please a BBC1 9pm viewing audience - it wasn't going to happen. Yet Paradox was good - it had patches in places.

    I am looking forward to the rest of the series. "Short run" drama is a very good thing for british TV and this is a very good example. E1 was a "set up" episode ... OK fair enough - it should have been 15 mins longer to squeeze in a case not just set up the thread. E2 was fantastic.

  • Comment number 34.

    Does someone know what artist sung the track "I need lovin" during the episode of the taxi driver serial killer please?

  • Comment number 35.

    The track is 'Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometimes' by Beck. It's available on the soundtrack to the Jim Carrey/Kate Winslet film 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind'. Been looking for it all day!

  • Comment number 36.

    I absolutely love this crime series, the plots, the acting and the sheer powerful performances. I also love the soundtracks at the end of each episode and simply have to find out the recording artists - can anyone tell me what they are please.

  • Comment number 37.

    Does anybody know the artist who sung the theme at the end of episode 3?

  • Comment number 38.

    FANTASTIC DRAMA! The best thing on t.v at the mo...

    Tonight was just superb.

    Well done to the BBC for having something worth paying our Licence to watch.

  • Comment number 39.

    I really enjoyed the show again last night - brilliant drama! I am just left wondering where the show goes from here - I can't see anywhere out for Luther, and I don't want my new Tuesday evening routine (after Holby) to change just yet ;o)

  • Comment number 40.

    What a great character Luther is. Totally original, very likeable, tormented, moody and violent yet still a good guy who loyal to the core no matter the consequences. The worst thing the BBC could do would be to kill the character off next week, I really hope not. This show has staying power for sure! Only 6 shows is not enough, I want to see more of him.

    Luther is by far the best drama on TV at the moment. I was on the edge of my seat while watching last nights episode. (Ep.5) I never expected for one second that the story way going to have such a dramatic twist, it caught me completly off-guard. His life, love and career have all been destroyed by his best friend so I imagine in next weeks episode he's out for revenge. Luther is one tough and clever guy, he's the last person I would want hunting me down thats for sure.

    PLEASE bring us more Luther! There's got to be a 2nd season.
    I want to say a MASSIVE well done to Idris Elba, you truly brought this character to life. It can't be easy playing such a twisted, moody and angry character while still coming across as likeable. You really nipped it in the bud. I don't think anyone could have played the part better, it was absolutly made for you.
    Finally, a well done to Neil Cross as well! What a fantasic story. The episode five twist was pure genius. Thank you

  • Comment number 41.

    Does anyone know in what time this is supposed to be set, as the Police cars are very old, but Luthers wife used an I Pod touch phone in last nights episode.

    Can anyone help, or am I going mad

  • Comment number 42.

    LUTHER! Congratulations to all involved in what has been the best TV drama I have had the pleasure of watching in the last 12 months. The acting from the entire cast is fabulous, but I have to confess that I particularly like the scenes with Idris and Ruth. I have read some of the less favourable comments and would say that a production like this should be enjoyed for what it is: entertainment. For me I can watch this drama and be absorbed in that fictional world for 60 minutes providing rest and relaxation from the stress of everyday life.

    I hope there will be a 2nd series. More like this please BBC. Well done again to all and thank you.

  • Comment number 43.

    What an episode last night. This has simply to be the best cop drama ever made - absolutely fantastic. Please BBC make sure there is a new series at some point. The word is out on the streets and more and more people are watching Luther.
    Finally, please would you put me out of my misery and answer blog 37 above - thanks.

  • Comment number 44.

    I don't usualy comment on programs as everyone likes different things, but I must just say that Luther has got to be the best Police/crime drama i have ever seen, this is exactly the type of show I expect the BBC to be delivering. Please Please let there be a second/third/forth series....it can't end here !!!!
    First time I remember watching Idris, What a fantastic actor, so believable and has feeling like us normal folk...Keep it up, and Thank You.

  • Comment number 45.

    To 37 The song is Feeling Good by Muse

    Can't beleive how good this series has been, really entertaining. Please BBC can we have a second series.

  • Comment number 46.

    I've never posted a comment about a TV show before but this one is like nothing I have ever seen before! I'm absoutely hooked! Amazing plots that aren't afraid to be shocking and that leave you completely unsure of what will happen next, alongside absolutely first rate actors who make you have complete belief in their characters! The relationship between Luther and his wife was so convincing: when you were watching a scene with them together the history that their characters were supposed to have had together just seemed so real! And this made the sudden death last night all the more heart wrenching. Alice Morgan is also a very intriguing character and I love the unusual connection her and Luther seem to share. I can't wait for the series finale on Tuesday and desperately hope there's going to be a second series! Thank you for making such amazing drama BBC! :)

  • Comment number 47.

    what a truly fantastic show. myself and my entire family have been hooked from the beginning and we will be sad for the first series to come to an end.
    extremely clever and captivating - cant wait for more!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 48.

    I have really enjoyed this programme. There are enough twists to keep me interested. Cant wait for next week. Hope this gets a second series. It was like Dexter for me... It just gets better each episode and hooks me in

  • Comment number 49.

    Having watched the 5th episode on Tuesday like im sure lots of other people did. I felt the need to go through the process of registering etc etc on this site just purely to say.... its absolutely amazing!!!! Has to be the best TV programme made in a very, very long time... cannot wait for the last one... please please make another series!!

  • Comment number 50.

    What a mixture of comments! We missed the first episode...to be honest the trailers were off putting and Idris seemed to be shouting all the time in them, but caught the second episode and really liked it. Last night's was brilliant.
    I do totally agree about Saskia Reeve's accent it is just grating, maybe she ought to have got shot instead of Zoe? Oh and I am a bit worried about the fact that there have been two cases of people either missing or taken hostage and they ended up dead in both cases. Not really very good as a detective is he?

  • Comment number 51.

    Episode 5, Did anyone notice the Law & Order:SUV Link? I was laughing when I heard it....

  • Comment number 52.

    From the moment, i tuned into Luther on BBC1 i was quite frankly: SPELL BOUND.

    This is undoubtedly the best programme I have EVER seen on any channel. It is better than any play I've seen in the west end, any film I've seen in the cinema. The acting takes my breath away. My particular favourites are without question Luther, Alice and Rose Teller- who steal the show.

    I fail to believe how anyone could not enjoy this magnificent programme. Every episode, there is a new psychopathic murderer to get your teeth into, a thrilling plot that has your heart racing and shocking murders that leaves you gasping for breath. It is a breakthrough in modern tv.

    I hope this programme achieves dozens and dozens of awards. I pray to the Lord that there will be another series as I am IN LOVE with this programme.

  • Comment number 53.

    I hope there will be a second series although 6 episodes seems about right to squeeze every ounce of drama from the general set up.

    Alison Grahams comments in radio times for episode 5 were quite unjust - yes the scene in the church was a little off pace - but not for the reasons she she gave, I think she hadn't been paying attention and unfortunately good drama is worth giving your attention to (try watching "Tinker, Tailor" at a party - it won't work).

    If we do get a series 2 I hope careful thought will be given and we can have another 6 tight and generally well paced episodes.

    I usually really hate "next time"s but these (especially 1-3) were incredibly well done - some very well chosen frames which didn't spoil what was coming.

  • Comment number 54.

    What i love about this programme... is the VIOLENCE. It has a Horror element that all other Detective style shows sadly lack. No other programme has you on the edge of your seat, begging for mercy like Luther. In the last episode, i shed bucketloads of tears for Luther's wife, in the episode with the pyschopathic vampire man, I closed my eyes in terror and trepidation and in with the insane taxi driver bashing the escort's door down I unleashed a blood curdling scream of fright! And that is what I LOVE ABOUT LUTHER! It is my life at the moment and I'm not ashamed to admit it! I don't want it to end. Tuesday nights will never be the same again.

  • Comment number 55.

    I watched the show for the first time last week. i was so hooked i watched all five episodes in one go. Excellent story line, good past. know fancy propts. It had a bet of that Comlumbo element which i love. I am of the 'Comlumbo' generation big time so Neil you got i the bang. i love love love luther's of key charactor he plays he is almost on the edge. Nice to see him back home.

  • Comment number 56.

    I really hope the BBC stick with this programme and produce a second series. I've started to drift away from mainstream TV in my old age (30's!) because of the feel of the shows each station has (very similar each time). This is very different approach for the BBC, which provides great cast and a cracking storyline. Feels very clever, much like watching The Wire, but in the UK (without copying it, if you know what I mean). Elba's also a very confincing lead man and brings alot of REAL coolness to the show instead on the usual fake BBC am-dram attemps. Like it alot, and one of the few programmes both me and my Wife agree on! Must be good.

  • Comment number 57.

    Brilliant-I hope another is on the way.

  • Comment number 58.

    Being a Brit living outside the UK I stopped watching TV because everything we get here is from the USA and quite frankly is rubbish. I still get to see BBC stuff and I was really taken by this series. Excellent.

    My only critisism ( and I hope Neil Cross or Driis are reading this) like most crime dramas (CSI, Law & Order, etc..) the unit/dept deals with a specific crime each episode and solves it in one hour. I dont understand why the writers instead of writing six seperate crimes all solved in one hour, dont merge them together, so the Unit/dept is dealing with several crimes at once, some may take two espisodes to solve some three. In much the same way they have relationship/personal threads going through the series, why dont they do the same with the actual crimes, they'd still writing the same crime stories just mixing it all together. And it would be amazing if occasionally a crime went unsolved. Far more realistic and less plastic and perfect teeth like the US crime dramas.

    Other than that, brilliant.

  • Comment number 59.

    I have never before followed a whole series of anything, but Luther has me fully hooked. Hope the BBC see what a fantastic programme they have produced and stick with it for another series! Wow!

  • Comment number 60.

    I have just watched the last episode I loved it what am i going to do now on a tuesday, so very well acted, produced and written, please please produce a second series, thanks BBC.

  • Comment number 61.

    Not sure about the negative comments that the viewers have written above but this has been the best BBC drama for a long time! absolutely superb, acting, plots, egde of the seat stuff, my wife and i need more Luther on TV. encore to the scriptwriter/cast...

  • Comment number 62.

    please please please make another Luther series. This one was Amazing! on the edge of my seat the whole time. makes a change to have something on TV worth watching and isnt a repeat! MORE LUTHER PLEASE!!

  • Comment number 63.

    I have to agree with most of the comments posted having just seen the final episode of Luther with my husband. We suddenly feel incredibly bereft and will now go into a period of mourning although we sincerely hope that there is another series on the way.

    This is one of the truly brilliant detective shows on the air. Yes so there are some holes in some of the plots that make you a little worried if this were to happen in real life. For instance why does Luther's boss jump to the conclusion that Luther killed his wife and why on earth did they not at least investigate Ian? Where are the mobile phone recordings since a call to the mobile operators might very well have revealed a time line in the calls and given today's technology they could have found out what the calls said I am sure - heavens we all have seen or heard enough CSI to know its possible!

    However, all that said the acting was brilliant. Ruth Wilson is fantastic as Alice. And what a character - scary but brilliant and sexy. Despite the moral dilemma you kind of end up liking her, although wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of her. Idris Elba, well what more can one say but brilliant. Wonderful powerful actor and nice to see a black actor playing such a charismatic and powerful role - genius the people who thought he'd be perfect for the role.

    So as a license fee payer, if my voice counts for anything then please, please can we have another series of this because it was excellent (even with the holes). If the beeb is going to go up against the perils of SKY and other channels then it should do what it does best because the beeb at its best beats the other channels hands down.

  • Comment number 64.

    I really enjoyed this series, I thought it was intelligent and different. I can't understand how some reviews have said it was like Flashforward??? Madness; this was a well written coherent series with a start, middle and more importantly an ending. It had links between episodes which you didn't expect, the acting was superb and apart from Luther taking a knife to his meeting with Reed (he wouldn't have done something so stupid), I thought it was the best thing on telly so far this year. Please start making series 2, I'll be waiting.

  • Comment number 65.

    Second series is a must. Brilliant acting and story line that kept you guessing. Wonderful to see a excellent black actor playing a truely maverick role defying the odds and the biased system.
    The last episode was superb with the plot twisting and turning with Luther causing every twist and turn.
    Thank you BBC.

  • Comment number 66.

    Very good, gripping last episode. Hopefully another series, but hard to see how Luther can slot into being a policeman again.

    I'm a firm believer that you've got to give a series a couple of episodes before making judgement. A lot of background history has to be laid down in episode one and two, so generally it always feel forced. Definitely hit top gear by four. Chemistry between Alice and Luther excellent.

    I feel Alice is the stronger and will draw Luther to the dark side more and more if a second series is commissioned.

  • Comment number 67.

    Excellent drama. Please do another series - and if the episodes could be longer i.e. 90 minutes or so, even better. Brilliant.

  • Comment number 68.

    Wonderful drama worthy of the BBC, and looking forward to another series.

    As you say the whole cast are good, but special recognition must go to Idris Elba who I loved in The Wire, and the complex character played by Ruth Wilson.

    The storyline, the writing, the script, the direction, the acting - all wonderful.

    Thank-you all very much!

  • Comment number 69.

    There are some really sad viewers in TV land , I found some of the comments very disappointing, on an absolutely brilliant series.
    how great it is to have a cop series worth watching or should we all embrace toothless shows like the bill , which seem to involve every crime being solved by the end of the episode.
    I like this dark type of show , the strange relationship between Luther and Alice gives it a brilliant twist.
    perhaps British viewers don't like to watch shows that don't follow the rules, perhaps they enjoy ABC plots and Midsommer murders.
    I don't , television is incredibly engaging on Tuesday evenings again.Series Two ? I hope it's going to happen.

  • Comment number 70.

    We have loved this from start to finish. Thank you Neil, and all involved in bringing Luther, Alice and the other characters to life. So what if it was a bit cliched in places (essentially good cop with a hint of not so good, temper, relationship issues, unresolved spark with estranged wife etc ) vive la difference as it would be boring if he wasn't a thoughtful, passionate person with his own sense of right and wrong which just adds to the character... but only negative's apart from the creepy cop waiting to 'get' Luther and nothing else to do with his time, were Saskia's awful accent, and her readiness to condemn Luther in the final episode - issues which grated. Bring on the next series.

  • Comment number 71.

    WOW What a programme i dont know were to start the acting was amazing the storys were brilliant the hole show just looked great and the sound track was really really good! who ever picked the acters should get a pay rise.

    One of the shows was a little bit much "taxi driver"one! but still thought it was a 9 out of 10

    Please do another one soon
    Well done you!!
    Thanks BBC

    Mark :)

  • Comment number 72.

    Well, what on earth do I do now? This has been the most compelling drama since Spooks, has had one of the most incredible set of characters seen on British television and a storyline that was in the Chinatown, LA Confidential League. Idris Elba gave us a character that was real, intelligent and complex and yet hapless and full of human frailty, whilst Ruth Wilson simply mesmerised and both intrigued and seduced us all in one! The cast gave their best, the direction was superb and - guess what - this was a British drama, set in a British setting with British actors and writing. Let's not lose all of this to Hollywood and see Idris Elba and this terrific cast having to perform in North American accents continuously. I for one will be lobbying for a second series (note: not "season"). Simply, the best we can provide the world and as for the "professional" critics and their initial carping, maybe they should join the rest of us who crave good drama and much less of the "reality" TV that usually fills our screens with dross. Well done BBC, six weeks of "worth the licence fee".....

  • Comment number 73.

    absoultely brilliant drama and what a way to end the series. Im hoping and praying they get a second full series and it comes around soon. This has made the last six weeks thoroughly enjoyable. Good work by the BBC

  • Comment number 74.

    This was a fantastic show from the begining to the end Idris was great, it will be a shame if that was it and pray the BBC roles out a lot more series than this. Definitely waiting anxiously and as Luther stated in the final moments of the last episode "What happens now?"

  • Comment number 75.

    Fantastic series, loved every aspect of it, particularly the main characters, the casting, the brilliant direction, the non-formulaic story... and the Massive Attack score. Ruth Wilson is superb - she made Alice convincing and so interesting that, while utterly frightening, I wanted to be her best friend!

    It was all too short and I will miss looking forward to tuesday nights. But I don't know that a second series could match the first, much as I'd love one. The combination of Luther & Alice worked brilliantly because their complex characters and unlikely bonding was unusual - what would they do second time round, other than cease to be unusual?

  • Comment number 76.

    We watched the last episode of Luther last night - what a brilliant finale, it had me on the edge of my seat right until the end. I thought the characters acted so well together, and the filming around London, superb. Idris Elba's portrayal of Luther was excellent. Please please make another series.

  • Comment number 77.

    Absolutely Brilliant show!

    Loved it from the very first Episode.

    Nail-biting final episode had me on the edge of my seat!!!


  • Comment number 78.

    Oh, and also a credit for using the track by Sia, Breathe Me. The music choices really were excellently matched to this series.

    Anyone know what was the closing track in last night's?

  • Comment number 79.

    I posted a comment after the very first episode in response to the negative comments already being posted at that time. I felt it was incredibly unfair to judge the series on the basis of the first episode -especially in such harsh terms. I wasn't grabbed by the first episode but was more than prepared to watch the second episode, and I am incredibly pleased I did!
    I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and was literally chewing my nails at the end of the final episode last night. I would echo all the positive comments and ask that the BBC consider or better still commission a second series. I think it compares well to any 'gritty cop drama' produced by the US. Loved it - please can we have more?!

  • Comment number 80.

    @MirandaTiz Don't let me be misunderstood was the track I think, originally by Nina Simone and coverd by The Animals but not sure who did last night's version. I thought the series was brilliant, any news on a second series?

  • Comment number 81.

    I too am posting a comment for the first time. I watched every episode of this show and was extremely pleased to see quality a quality program on tv again. I was hooked with the character of Luther from the beginning. A dark yet honest character well played by Idris Elba, with a very strong supporting cast that made the characters beleivable. Much better than a lot of programs on at the moment. I hope to see a second series, as some good shows have been cut after just one season lately.

    To all involved with the show : Very well done, an excellent series.

  • Comment number 82.

    AMAZING AMAZING.This programme was brilliant, although I spent most of the episodes pacing the room with my hands over my face!! Finally something worth watching and worth the licence fee. Having not watched The Wire Idris was unknown to me and think that improved Luther as I had no one else to compare him to ( a lot of people referred back to this). PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE commission a second series so we can tie up the ends and hopefully start some new stories with the brilliant Luther and Alice. Fab Fab Fab!!!

  • Comment number 83.

    Absolutely brilliant tv, I loved this! I am a big fan of Mr Elba and thought Ruth Wilson was outstanding as usual. Neil Cross has written something superb and I am hoping that having whet our appitites that there will be a 2nd series of this. Please, please please, you had me glued to my tv , more Luther pleaase!

  • Comment number 84.

    Never been part of a blog before all new to me. Felt i needed to express how enjoyable the whole series was. Amazing end or perhaps the beginning of( as jodil1 said )second series please please please.The cast selection was perfect wouldn't change a thing HURRY UP lol

  • Comment number 85.

    Loved this series and it prompted me to comment on a beeb blog for first time.

    Well done all involved series 2 asap please

    Excellent I was gripped

  • Comment number 86.

    Just finished watching the last episode and I can hands down say that was one of if not the best drama series I have ever watch. Obscure, imaginative and interesting story lines to keep you truely entertained throughout.

    Idris Elba and the supporting staff was absolutely brilliant with quality acting to best understand each character and to keep you gripped along with most brilliant story lines. There must be a new series to match.....Lasting words absolutely fantastic!!!!

  • Comment number 87.

    first time blogger also -- sort of theres a couple already from me up there ^^. read neil cross' article and felt the need to defend the show as it stood after the second episode. hopefully these blog things are taken into account at the next year budget reckonings because all the positive reactions should count twice!

    i would have preferred dci reid to have gone to prison frankly - but that aside the only other thing i could say against it was mark north's quick recovery and teaming up. perhaps 70mins next series with a run of 13.

    someone above suggested merging murders - is an interesting idea but if you missed an episode for whatever reason you're stuffed - either you don't know how someone's caught or you don't know what they've done.

    by the way --on a different blog - why are the doctor who adventure games directX9 and not openGl?

  • Comment number 88.

    first time blogger here, and the reason LUTHER. absolutly cracking series. i applaud and thank everyone connected with making this amazing series.have been truly hooked. from start to finish pure quality. great writing and exceptional cast!

  • Comment number 89.

    knows someone?

    will give it a second season?

  • Comment number 90.

    I thought Luther was fantastic!! brilliant acting by Luther, Alice also was mesmerising, I loved the suspense and the twists in the plotline, please please give it a second season, Well Done BBC this is the sort of stuff you should be making!!

  • Comment number 91.

    I absolutely loved this series. Can anyone tell me the song that's played at the end of the very first episode as I'd love to get hold of it?

  • Comment number 92.

    I love love loved Luther it was the best thing on T.V ever!!! Can we expect another series, please say yes!

  • Comment number 93.

    This series was brilliant! please please make a secont series that follows on!

  • Comment number 94.

    Really liked this series, even if at times it was rather far fetched, but what TV show isn't. The characters were all great, although I agree Rose Teller's accent grated somewhat, but at least she acted like a true manager, worrying about her position and her unit instead of being loyal to her staff. But for me the best character has to be Alice, how can anyone make you laugh and terrify you at the same time. If there isn't to be another series of Luther can we at least have a series on Alice, perhaps Luther can take the rap for it all and let her free to pick another victim to "help"!

  • Comment number 95.

    Simply brilliant, what a show, Series 2 is required !!!!!

  • Comment number 96.

    Dear everyone

    Neil here, the writer of Luther.

    What a few weeks that was. Luther, Alice, Justin, Ian ... these people were my friends. Now it's all over, I have to confess -- I was nervous about you meeting them.

    We expected that, in the first few episodes, Luther would divide opinion; and we expected that, in the first few episodes, it would be the people who didn't like it who'd be most outspoken.

    What we didn't expect was the extraordinary level of passion we'd arouse, and that it would grow so wildly as the series went on. Maybe we should have: for me, for the cast, for the entire crew, Luther was a labour of love. We put heart and soul into it.

    To those those who've been with us since the beginning (which is most of you), I want to give an ardent "thank-you". We held dear everything you wrote. We emailed your comments to each other ... we swapped favourites ... we quote you in phone calls and in meetings. We felt you were in it with us, and we loved you for it.

    To those on here who took a while to come round but were there at the end, cheering us on: thanks to you, too. Not every worthwhile relationship begins with love at first sight. You stuck with us. That means a great deal, and we won't forget it.

    So that's how Luther ends. Unusual allies and former adversaries find themselves united in common cause. Poor, tormented Ian Reed lies dead. The gun is still smoking in Alice's hand. Luther is bleeding. The police are on their way.

    What now?

  • Comment number 97.

    Hey Luther production team can we have a playlist or something? I'm desperate to find that track at the end of episode 1..looked everywhere and would to know the artist please please help!!!!

  • Comment number 98.

    Neil: Could you please tell us if and when a second season will be airing?? I know many who are dying to have this question answered as well. I LOVED the show. It was FABULOUS!!

  • Comment number 99.

    Luther, only to say I can't believe I've been moved to make a comment, but credit where it's due, it was fab.

  • Comment number 100.

    Please, please, PLEASE BBC!! I'm begging you! Let there be a second series of Luther!! It's just amazing! I want more...


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