Wednesday, May 05, 2010


Idris Elba is back in the new BBC 'tec series Luther.  The first episode last night did a lot of scene-setting, so it would be unfair to make a judgement about the whole thing already, but here's goes anyway.

There are lots of good things.  Idris smoulders well -- though I took a while to get used to him doing the mumble, shout, mumble but trail off mid-sentence thing in a London accent.  The supporting cast is mostly good.  A bit underused in the first episode, Steven Mackintosh as DCI Ian Reed, should have more to do as things progress.  Paul McGann (the one who was in the crap Doctor Who movie) will probably pop up more as L's wife's new bloke.  Not sure about that.  I suppose a TV 'tec can't really have a happy home life, but this was a bit of a yawn.

Some things were a bit ropey, though.  The crazy nemesis-stalker woman (went to Oxford at 13, is obsessed by black holes, shows she is crazy by pouting a lot and having a ultra-modern and pristine flat in a very run down tower block) isn't very promising.  I guess she'll pop up here and there to taunt, annoy, flirt and then disappear into the shadows (mwaa aaa aaaaa!) while L. is trying to do something heroic in another case.   Hmmmm.

L's supportive boss is channeling Helen Mirren off of Prime Suspect but with a wobblier accent and less booze.

And good luck trying to watch this on anything but a wide screen telly.  The director seems to be intent on framing most shots so that the person speaking is in the bottom left or right-hand corner and the rest of the screen is a drab, existentially-vacant, London beige-grey.

Theme music is good (Massive Attack); incidental music a bit intrusive.
So, not bad.  Better by far than watching Golden Brown telling us that if we do the wrong thing on Thursday all nurses and teachers will be sacked and flogged by an evil Tory government or 'Dave' Cameron bothering some poor souls trying to get on with a night-shift.

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