In the first episode of this new series writer/creator Neil Cross piques our interest with the promise of inducing greater harm. But, at the same time, Cross is a great tickler and knows – perhaps more than all the series that came beforehand – how to have fun.
The pieces are put into place: a new, grotesque serial killer is on the loose, roaming the cold streets of London. He wears a bright but lifeless white mask that lights up to confuse CCTV, extremely useful for murder. DCI Luther (Idris Elba) and his new partner DS Halliday (Wunmi Mosaku) catch some luck when the killer’s psychiatrist, Dr Vivien Lake (Hermione Norris) gets in touch. But she’s hiding something too…
Idris Elba and Wunmi Mosaku as DCI John Luther and DS Catherine Halliday
Luther is looking older, greyer, but no less unbreakable. It’s been nine years since series one and in that time, he’s endured the deepest terrors that humans are capable of – often drifting into the realm of the horror movie (remember the killer climbing from under the bed in series 3?). Series 5, so far, is probably the closest Luther’s come to all-out horror, following all the classic tricks and tropes to entice you into the story.
As well as combining horror and detective noir, there are Bond-worthy escape plans and Guy Ritchie-like gangsters. Luther’s also never been this funny, punctuating the fear with laughter. When he escapes the clutches of returning criminal George (Patrick Malahide), holding him and his goons at gunpoint, he breathlessly says ‘tell the Spice Girls to back off as well’.
George (Patrick Malahide) and his goons
New on the scene is DS Halliday, a strictly on-the-books detective who proves a problem for Luther and his rule-breaking. He’s encouraged to ‘behave’ himself by DSU Martin Schenk (Dermot Crowley), staring wearily at their inevitable extinction: ‘We’re the dinosaurs, she’s the meteor’. Halliday is obviously going to catch on to Luther’s uncouth activities, but will she play along for the sake of catching criminals?
Luther series 5 gets off to an intense, horrifying. It's perhaps not as skin-tearing as the trailers promised, but the killer’s bus climbing will creep into the fears of even the most unfazed fanatic. ‘This. Will. Hurt.’ is like a promise: You think this hurts? Just wait until the next episode.
Luther series 5 will continue every night until Friday 4th January
|What||Luther series 5: episode 1 review|
On 01 Jan 19, 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM