Luther star Idris Elba: 'The next step is to make a film'

Luther Christmas 2018
(Image credit: BBC/Des Willie)

Idris Elba will be playing TV’s darkest detective one more time…

Luther star Idris Elba strides into a plush London hotel room, which lies less than a stone’s throw from the BBC, and flops down in a comfortable chair. He has a smile on his face and DCI Luther’s famous jacket is nowhere to be seen…

"I don’t mind Luther’s coat," he says, as we sit down to chat with him a few months after filming on this final series. "But after wearing it for months on end I can’t wait to get it off. It’s like his superhero costume and when he puts it on he’s Batman and London is Gotham City. I think we’re on the fifth or sixth coat now, but we still use the original from time to time. I’m pretty sure it’s bad luck, because so many people have died while Luther’s been wearing it!"

Bad luck or not, DCI John Luther will be donning his notorious jacket once more in a four-parter that will run over the coming week and this could be his darkest case ever...

On New Year's Day, the first episode opens with Luther and his new assistant DS Halliday (Wunmi Mosaku) on the trail of a depraved serial killer, after being tipped off by his therapist, Dr Lake (Hermione Norris). To make matters worse, underworld boss George Cornelius (Patrick Malahide) is also on the warpath, but he might not be the only person after Luther.


Luther is back

We caught up with Idris to find out if this really is the final series and whether oldest nemesis, Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson) will be returning in Luther

WOTV: What was it like to return to Luther?

Idris Elba: "It was good and I think Neil Cross has written a compelling final series. It’s been eight years on Luther and it’s a tough show to make, because it’s really gruelling. The subject matter can be a bit depressing as well, if I’m honest, but the fans really love it so we love making it."

WOTV: Is this definitely the final series?

IE: "The next step is to make a film I think. We’ve got a skeleton of an idea for the plot and I’m not allowed to say too much, but this story very much has the film in its sights. It will be somehow connected and this series feels more filmic, more heightened than any we’ve done before."

WOTV: Is it the darkest series yet?

IE: "It’s definitely the one where he really let’s go the most. There are some horrible bad guys and lots of threads from the past come together. We also get answers to some of the questions that have been following Luther around for years. There are also things we haven’t seen in Luther before, but stay true to the show. How do you catch the kind of person we’re trying to catch? Will Luther get outsmarted?"

WOTV: Will Alice Morgan be returning?

IE: "There are three or four storylines going at the same time and some characters from the past that coming back. There’s no doubt that audiences want to see Alice Morgan again and we left what happened to her open last year. I think I can say safely we answer that in this season!"

WOTV: How does Luther get on with his new assistant?

IE: "Very well. She does things by the book and it’s good to have someone watching John to keep him on the right side of the law. She’s a strong character and that’s really good because we were criticised for gender imbalance in the early days. Wunmi is brilliant as well, she fits into the show perfectly."

WOTV: Luther is famous for terrifying moments, can we expect some creepy scenes?

IE: "It wouldn’t be Luther without them! People still talk about that scene with the man hiding under the bed and there are definitely some scary parts in the new series. I don’t know where Neil (the writer) gets it from to be honest. He lives in a lovely, picturesque part of New Zealand, not a gritty crime ridden city."

WOTV: What will you do with the jacket once you’ve finished making the film?

IE: "I’ll probably burn it!"

Sean Marland
Feature writer for TV Times, What's On TV, TV & Satellite Week and

Sean has been writing about all things telly for over 10 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are The Great British Bake-Off, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.