On Wednesday I was feet away from Idris Elba. The BAFTA screening of the first episode of the long awaited third series of Luther was to be shown and the room was a buzz of anticipation. Believe it or not it’s been two years since we last saw Idris in his trademark grey jacket and red tie. It’s been a long wait but writer Neil Cross has since moved over to the US to work on American drama and Idris Elba has been working on films.
To tell you anything crucial about the fast paced, tense and quite frankly terrifying opener would be a disservice as I’m so glad I saw it knowing only the bare minimum about it Much like the second series, this series is comprised of a pair of two-part stories with one central storyline playing out across the entire series (not season, Idris). One thing that struck me though is that it felt more humorous. The BAFTA audience laughed out loud several times over the hour which to be honest isn’t something I’d expected to do with Luther.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s no less dark, twisted or crazy than you remember but its peppered with some wonderfully quick one liners. I’ve seen virtually every crime story TV has thrown at me but I can honestly say that this opener was in a different league. I’d be more inclined to say this was more of a horror film. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one in that screening room who ended up sleeping with a night light that evening.
At the Q&A that followed, Idris Elba hinted that the rumours of Luther appearing on the big screen were hopefully going to become a reality. “My personal ambition is to see Luther as a film, but I’m very loyal to those who have been loyal to us. So if the audience demands another series or a special episode then I think it should happen,” said the actor. “At the end of this season, we’re left tantalised as to what could happen next. So it would be quite interesting to see that.”
When asked about what the film would focus on, the actor, who is soon to portray Nelson Mandela on the big screen said, “It would be an origin story. It’s definitely a goal for the writer Neil Cross and myself to make a movie and we’ve talked about it at length. The spine of the film will probably come from The Calling, which is the book that starts at the beginning and explores who Luther is and where he’s come from. We do want a new audience, but we also want to keep the fans interested, so we have to tread very carefully.”
Those who are perhaps sceptical about whether a film would work, I can tell you that watching this opening episode on the big screen surrounded by other eager Luther fans proved electrifying. If the first episode is anything to go by, this series of Luther is going to be talked about for a long long time to come.
Luther begins Tuesday 2nd July on BBC1