Luther is a dark psychological crime drama television series, starring Idris Elba as the title character Detective Chief Inspector John Luther, a man strugging with his own terrible demons, who might be as dangerous as the depraved murderers he hunts. A first series of six episodes was broadcast on BBC One from 4 May to 8 June 2010. A second series of two episodes (of two hours each) has also been commissioned.

Neil Cross, the creator of this show, has said that Luther is influenced by both Sherlock Holmes and the US TV show, Columbo. Luther’s intellect and its application to solving crimes is comparable to Holmes’ methods, whereas the show’s use of the “inverted detective format” (where the audience is aware of the identity of the criminal from early on in each episode but not of how they will be caught, as opposed to the conventional format of the audience discovering the criminal as the characters do towards the end of the show) was inspired by Columbo.

Nicola was a guest star in episode 4 of series 1 of Luther. She played Linda Shand, the wife of serial killer Graham Shand. As always, it was a standout performance, especially since the part involved a sting in the tail.

Download the Script for this episode

You can download the script for this episode from the BBC Writers Room Online Archive.

Six degrees

Neil Cross, is the creator and writer of Luther. He was also lead writer for series 6 and 7 of Spooks [TV]. Nicola was not involved in those two series of Spooks [TV].

Dermot Crowley, a cast regular on Luther, also appeared in episode 305 of Spooks [TV] as the scientist who was under investigation by the Spooks team.

Stephen MacKintosh, a series regular on Luther, was also in Bad Memories [Radio], though he did not have any scene with Nicola in either project.

Saskia Reeves, a series regular on Luther, also appeared in episode 506 and 507 of Spooks [TV] where she played Sally Bernard, the analyst who was the first replacement for Ruth Evershed, the character played by Nicola. Nicola stayed with Series 5 of Spooks [TV] until episode 505 (though she later returned in Series 8).

Katie Swindon, the producer of Luther, had a long association with Spooks [TV], starting as script editor in series 4, then becoming assistant producer in series 5 and ending as one of the producers in series 6 and 7.

Indira Varma, a cast regular in Luther, was also a cast member in The Listener [Radio] and Broken News [TV].

Availability on DVD

You can buy the Region 2 box set of series 1 of Luther from Amazon UK.

You can buy the Region 1 box set of series 1 of Luther from Amazon US.

For US fans, you can order episodes of series 1 of Luther as part of the Amazon US Video On Demand service.