American network television may be plotting to bring the dadaist concept of Luther (without Luther) to the small screens next year. But before Idris Elba goes all executive producer while Americans cast someone with less sex appeal and charisma to the role, over on the BBC, they’re bringing the real deal back for one more round of episodes. And BBC America is bringing it to us as a one night three-hour special.
Airing December 17th at 9pm, Idris Elba will return to the role for what will probably be the last time. Sadly Ruth Wilson will not be returning with him, despite the last we saw they were heading into the sunset together. Instead the new red-head on the block will be the indomitable Rose Leslie as DS Emma Jones.
But don’t worry. Former DCI Luther isn’t done being tortured by his life. In the press release Elba says “there were bigger challenges when he lost his wife and his best friend…. That was a huge pinnacle and something that it took him a long time to get over. And in this [special] there is something similar that happens to him that is definitely traumatic.”
The plot synopsis reads:
This time we find Luther on a leave of absence from the police force, laying low in a rundown cottage. A visit from colleagues, Detective Chief Inspector Theo Bloom (Darren Boyd, Veep, The World’s End) and Detective Sergeant Emma Lane (Rose Leslie, The Last Witch Hunter, Game of Thrones) brings a shocking piece of news that draws him back to London in search of the truth. At the same time, a gruesome cannibalistic serial killer has struck the city, eating body parts as he goes. With a trail of clues leading from one crime scene to the next, Detective Superintendent Unit Martin Schenk (Dermot Crowley, Babel, Bleak House) and his team must work out the twisted logic that connects each victim. But this murdering mastermind is more than a match for Schenk’s police, outsmarting them at every step. It’s not long before Luther makes his triumphant return to the Bullpen, determined to capture the killer before another mutilated body joins the mounting pile. But he’s dogged at every turn by ghosts from his past. Isolated and volatile, it will take every fiber of Luther’s being to keep it together.
The special will also star Laura Haddock, John Heffernan, Patrick Malahide and Michael Smiley. And though it will only run as a single episode special, I have a feeling it will put the entire Americanized version to shame.