Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Luther - Quality Drama

The last episode in series two of Neil Cross's excellent psychological drama Luther aired last night on BBC1 and yet again proved what a talented writer Neil is.

It's a brilliantly written drama with fascinating characters and awesome dialogue, with a central character so screwed up by the death of his wife he is one step away from becoming the people he hunts. It is simply 'must watch' TV. But why only four episodes this season?

I think the final episode suffered a little because of the shortened series and in places felt a little hurried. New characters were introduced to tie up subplots, even though those subplots felt they should have run for longer. Perhaps there were six episodes planned and those subplots were meant to play out over the full series, but were rejigged to accommodate the four episodes?

I also felt the series was missing something with the loss of Alice. She was John Luther's intellectual equal and the only person who truly understood him. Without her it always felt Luther was going to sort things out eventually and that his foes, although initially threatening, were simply no match for him or his intellect. Alice provided that flicker of doubt as to whether Luther would be able to beat her - was he cleaver, cunning, dangerous enough to match Alice and eventually defeat her? For Alice to simply walk away when the series had only just begun felt wrong and not in character, especially as she was jealous of Luther's emotional attachment to his wife in the first series. Why did she not feel the need to compete for Luther affections with Jenny Jones, someone Luther cares for, but who would have been so far out of her depth against Alice? I really hope in the third series (surely there has to be one) Alice is reintroduced, or at least there should be an new character equal to her to truly challenge Luther.

Don't get me wrong the second series of Luther was still awesome TV drama and thoroughly worth the watch. The writing is some of the best I've seen this year, and despite its slightly hurried feel the final episode still entertained. A job well done by Neil Cross.

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