The first of the new two-parter of what is essentially series four of Luther has now aired on BBC One. Interestingly on BBC America it will be shown as one long feature-length episode. The gruff and brilliant DCI John Luther starts the episode on long term leave hiding on the set of Broadchurch. However events involving the ever mysterious Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson) and an unexpected loss lead him to team up with Rose Leslie to hunt down a cannibalistic killer.
Idris Elba is reliably sublime in this role as the familiar Luther swagger is back. Elba completely inhabits the role and maintains the underlying menance and un-predictable nature associated with the character. The highlight of the episode is where Luther is inevitably dragged back to the job and once again dons his hero outfit. He surveys his collection of identical coats, shirts and red ties then swaggers onto the crime scene with the obligatory hands in pockets stance.
There are a number of returning characters including computer genius and friend Michael Smiley and Luther’s boss Dermot Crowley, but as you expect and want the episode is about Luther. Elba delivers the darkly comic lines with ease on a number of occasions including asking “are you having a laugh” as someone points a gun at his head or when asked “which police” he cooly answers “the police”.
The episode flies by despite a number of scenes given time to naturally evolve leading to some thrilling and shocking sequences. The overall pace is perhaps a bit faster than previous due to the fact it is only two episodes. It also provides some great motivation to start a diet as you won’t want to open a fridge anytime soon and teaches us if you are still using a Nokia 3210 you are probably going to die. The first episode is available now on BBC Iplayer and the second episode will be shown on December 22 at 9pm on BBC One.