Luther BBC review

BBC saw in the New Year in style with the long anticipated fifth series of Luther. It seemed to be all anyone was talking about for the two weeks before the first episode aired 1 January and the two weeks after the last aired 4 January. It was a short but sweet run, and one that’s left a lot of us with a lot of mixed feelings.

This series of course saw the return of DCI John Luther (Idris Elba) in his battle to tackle the most complex of crimes and personal demons simultaneously. We saw one plot over the four episodes this series, making for a deeper delve into the toxicity of murdering sexual deviants Vivien Lake (Hermione Norris) and Jeremy Lake (Enzo Cilenti). It tackled sex, power, violence, manipulation and a whole lot more in a mere four hours.

One of the biggest criticisms that has been bounding around about the series, is the return of Luther’s antagonist come ex-lover character, Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson). Her return in itself, I have no problem with, she is obviously a complex and exciting character that we only ever catch real glimpses of – I’d like to know the real Alice. Though this is where the series may have fallen down on itself on this occasion. Alice complicated events in a way that she doesn’t usually. She was driven by her emotions – love, jealousy, frustration – in a very un-Alice way. We’re addicted to her because she is impulsive in an inexplicable way. She is a psychopath after all.

(Un)fortunately, depending on who you speak to, this is unlikely to be the end for Luther. ‘I would without hesitation or equivocation continue writing Luther until I drop off my perch,’ says writer, Neil Cross. The full series, along with all the others, is up on iPlayer now, so you can make your mind up for yourselves, though I for one am looking forward to seeing if they continue to push the boundaries of the BBC watershed.

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Becca Allen

January 2021
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