Luther: Season 1 (2010)

SEASON:

Season 1
Luther

Critics Consensus

Gritty and ambiguous, Luther is a captivating drama bolstered by a powerhouse performance from Idris Elba in the title role.

91%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 23

92%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 543

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Episodes

Air date: Oct 17, 2010

In the series premiere, Det. John Luther (Idris Elba) investigates a seemingly perfect double murder, while also trying to win back his wife (Indira Varma), who has already moved on.

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Air date: Oct 24, 2010

A sniper is targeting police officers, but his motive is unclear. Meanwhile, Alice reveals what she knows about Madsen's arrest and threatens to let Zoe in on Luther's secret.

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Air date: Oct 31, 2010

A young mother is abducted, and Luther realizes it's the work of an occult writer who was suspected but never charged in the murder of another woman 10 years earlier. Meanwhile, Zoe's boyfriend, Mark, is assaulted, and blame falls on Luther.

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Air date: Nov 7, 2010

Serial killer Henry Madsen wakes up from his coma, and Luther worries the truth will finally come out about Madsen's arrest. Meanwhile, an unknown killer is targeting young women in London.

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Air date: Nov 14, 2010

An art dealer's wife is taken hostage and Luther uncovers a shocking betrayal as he works to free her.

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Air date: Nov 21, 2010

Luther is framed for murder in the Series 1 finale, and Alice is the only person he can turn to for help, but he's still not sure he can trust her.

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Luther: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

Idris Elba, known for playing drug dealer Stringer Bell on "The Wire," explores life on the other side of the law in this psychological crimedrama from acclaimed crime writer Neil Cross ("MI-5"). Elba portrays John Luther, a brilliant but tortured homicide detective who gets caught up in the psychological cat-and-mouse game between detective and criminal. Co-stars include Ruth Wilson as Alice Morgan, Warren Brown as DS Justin Ripley, Steven Mackintosh as DCI Ian Reed and Saskia Reevesas DSU Rose Teller.

Cast

Idris Elba
as John Luther
Ruth Wilson
as Alice Morgan
Steven Mackintosh
as Det. Chief Insp. Ian Reed
Indira Varma
as Zoe Luther
Paul McGann
as Mark North
Saskia Reeves
as Det. Superintendent Rose Teller
Warren Brown
as Det. Sgt. Justin Ripley
Anton Saunders
as Henry Madsen
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News & Interviews for Luther: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Luther Season 1

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (10)

Come for some slightly above-average murder mysteries, stay for some way above-average central performances. Luther is often good, never clean and always fun.

Apr 28, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Creator and writer Neil Cross explores tricky dramatic territory, with suspense, crackling dialogue and a talented cast.

Oct 17, 2010 | Full Review…

Powerful, challenging, ambiguous, surprising, dark, odd, stunning, grisly, disturbing, raw, sexy, taut, intense, captivating.

Oct 17, 2010 | Full Review…

The first episode of Luther has plenty to recommend it.

Oct 17, 2010 | Rating: B | Full Review…
Top Critic

Cross's series does have some things going for it. One is Idris Elba. Another is the pathological flirtation between Luther and the killer he can't quite nail.

Oct 17, 2010 | Full Review…

It's rendered with such depth and complex humanity to make the old seem new again.

Oct 17, 2010 | Full Review…

Luther often teeters on the edge of plausibility... But Elba's deeply grounded performance keeps the show from feeling over-the-top.

Oct 19, 2018 | Full Review…

Snag is, the plot is ridiculous, and a batch of rather fine actors have been persuaded to throw subtlety and logic to the winds and to portray characters which veer wildly between cliché and implausibility...

Jul 17, 2018 | Full Review…

This was woeful ham, utterly redeemed by Idris, and I await Luther II with genuine anticipation and my cliché-pants ready.

Jun 22, 2018 | Full Review…

When Luther meets Alice, her parents and their dog have just been killed... Their subsequent cat-and-mouse game provides an intriguing, ongoing storyline that gives Luther an edge you don't see on most cop shows.

Nov 30, 2015 | Full Review…

Luther transcends its genre and becomes a remarkable portrait of a singular television character.

Oct 17, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

It's as if all available resources have been poured into creating a galaxy of quirky, half-cracked characters, leaving the small detail of the story to take care of itself.

Oct 17, 2010 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Luther: Season 1

  • 6d ago
    Great first season! I've heard big things down the years about 'Luther', though - evidently - have only just got around to viewing it. Season 1 doesn't disappoint! Idris Elba is superb in the titular role, he gives a dynamic performance - the show would be much, much weaker without him. Of those around Elba, Ruth Wilson (Alice) and Warren Brown (Ripley) would be my standouts - though it's a good cast list in general to be honest, the only one who bugs me (only slightly) is Saskia Reeves (Teller) - her dialogue feels too forced, as if the character herself was constantly reading off a script. The premise is more than entertaining, while the pacing is spot on thanks to the short amount of episodes. I don't massively love the way it concludes, but will wait until season two before I judge it fully. All in all, this is most certainly a show worth getting into.
  • Aug 25, 2020
    Dreadful. Gruesome. Dialogue often unbelievable. All shot in the dark or in places that can't afford lightbulbs. Worst of all: constantly illogical - protagonist keeps going in by himself, without back-up, against killers. Every 5 minutes your reaction is, yeh-right ... The sort of programme I usually enjoy but this has to be the worst UK police series I've seen.
  • Aug 03, 2020
    The most bizarrely badly written plot I've come across. Usually it requires a tv show to reach series 3 before the script writing turns to shite but this one did it by episode 2. The desperation to create drama is omnipresent, a real Hollywood try hard. It's a crime detective show without a skerrick of detective work, in its place a set of irritatingly stupid decisions made by the characters. With so many good British crime series it is astonishing this made it past Season 1.
  • May 08, 2020
    A great watch! I have rewatched the seasons twice.
  • Oct 09, 2019
    Great TV: Alice and Luther's dynamic is something else. The finale makes it a 5* easily.
  • Jul 24, 2019
    First series was excellent.
  • Mar 16, 2019
    Amazing....simply amazing Great stories , great characters, some plot holes but the characters and actors are so good it doesn�??t matter Great, a few loop holes with the American criminal, his demise and that of his accomplices. Framing of Luther was so surprisingly easy. His outbursts sometimes seemed otp and uncalled for as was his rage which almost cost him a bullet from the marksmen, which he knew could happen. Nevertheless this series hooks you with some great acting and some great moments and great characters, particularly Alice who is so witty and funny.
  • Feb 11, 2019
    I tried desperately tried to like this. Idris only had two acting emotions, angry or monotone...the story line rushes through from cliche to ridiculous so you never get a chance to get to know any of the characters enough to care. No suspense just bad London accents speaking the obvious. The only saving grace was Alice who was an amazingly acted interesting character who has to make room for the name sake.
  • Jan 24, 2019
    Idris Alba is actually quite avreage. Everything and everyone else is f'ing amazing! Not gripping but grapples with you, much like a pet dog that never listens to you but you can't quite let him or her go! Looking forward to season 2.
  • Jan 21, 2019
    Gripping and well acted but its far fetched and predicatable at the same time. Desperate ending which you cant wait to watch more of.

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