Monday, 23 July 2012

Luther at Harrogate Crime Festival – series 3 is going to be 'carnage'


Idris Elba as Luther. Pic: BBC
Special report: Charlotte Biermann

BBC1’s popular and critically controversial Luther came under the spotlight at this year’s Harrogate Crime Writing Festival over the weekend. Journalist  Miranda Sawyer led a talk with some its cast and production team, which saw them laughing and joking about the dark and disturbing material the show’s creator Neil Cross foists upon them.

The third series is currently being written and is eagerly awaited. However, it has now been revealed it will be the drama's last TV outing before it makes its move to the big screen. Having received 'a million-and-one movie offers', its star actor Idris Elba and the show creator Neil Cross, as joint custodians, feel the move is evitable. So with the end being nigh, series three is set to go out with on hell of a bang: 'It means there is no holding back of good ideas, they are all going in, so the intention is to make series three f**king awesome!'

As a result, Warren Brown, on the panel with Neil Cross, was excitedly waiting to see what will happen to his character Ripley, thanks to Cross revealing that we will see the spiritual corruption of Ripley spiral further, and promising it will be Ripley’s best series by far and away: 'It will be carnage from beginning to end.' 

Four Emmy nominations for Luther
Neil Cross
While Luther has been generally praised all over the world and especially in America, with even President and Mrs Obama admitting to being fans, it has had a bumpy ride with UK critics. Largely panned to begin with, Cross believes this was largely The Wire casting a shadow and that the reviewers were 'reviewing their own prejudices', expecting Idris Elba to again be playing a drug-dealing Stringer Bell.

But as Luther bedded in and  became increasingly popular with TV audiences regardless, there has been a steady change of heart and even the odd apology. This will no doubt be further enhanced with the announcement that series two has been nominated for four Emmys (Neil Cross for best writing, Idris Elba for best actor, best miniseries, Sam Miller for best director)!

Luther has proved itself not to be a traditional cop show and with the whole production team all set to pull out all of the stops in the third series, the ambitions of the BBC for him to be an iconic copper may yet succeed.

Oh, and don’t be surprised if you hear the word 'Harrogate' in episode four of this last series. Amidst the dark drama, Cross has set himself the fun challenge to slip the codename into the script.

Enjoy!