A show about a brilliant yet troubled detective may not at first sound like a particularly interesting or original concept and it is not until I learnt that the fantastic Idris Elba, most famous for his role in The Wire, was involved that I even considered giving it a watch. The first few episodes are certainly competent even if they do fall into some of the usual problems of the procedural crime drama with the odd 'leap in logic' required to wrap everything up within the fifty minute running time.
Fortunately, with the second half of the six episode season focusing more on the motivations of the killers and cops, Luther soon develops into something far more interesting. In fact, in an usual twist on the formula, several episodes reveal the identity of the killer within the opening minutes all the while maintaining the shows tension and intensity thanks the some excellent writing.
Elba is of course superb throughout as John Luther but Ruth Wilson's performance as Alice is also certainly worthy of note. Encountered early in the season (for reasons I won't spoil here) her character development in such a short series is very well handled and by the end of this opening season she becomes integral in making the show as good as it is.
Season one could have perhaps done with a few more episodes to explain some characters motivations more effectively but with Luther the BBC have created one of the best British drama series of the last decade.