In Review

Luther is back: trailer for new season four special shows Elba 'on the edge'

Luther is back on the trail of his creepiest villain yet, but will the two-parter satisfy fans?

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Acclaimed British crime drama, Luther, starring Idris Elba, is set to return to the BBC for a fourth outing in December – with a new trailer giving fans a taste of what they can expect.

The BBC drama, written by Neil Cross, features Elba as Detective Chief Inspector John Luther, a dedicated and obsessive detective working for the Serious and Serial Crime Unit. The third series was expected to be the last, and there has been speculation about a Luther movie, but programme makers have decided to bring back the show for a two-part special.

In a recent interview in the Daily Mirror, Elba said that the end of the third four-part series left "unanswered questions" that both he and the programme's creator Cross felt needed to be addressed. He continued: "We needed to conclude some stuff, maybe close down a chapter to open a new chapter and keep the story growing."

A two-parter seems short, but Elba explained: "It's hard to keep up that level of angst without something giving. There is no reason why we could not do another six-parter – but it would be the end of me."

So what will the new Luther be like?

The special will see Elba co-star alongside Game Of Thrones's Rose Leslie, Fortitude's Darren Boyd, and Ripper Street's Laura Haddock and John Heffernan, reports NME. Michael Smiley and Dermot Crowley will also reprise their roles as Benny Silver and DSU Martin Schenk.

The BBC's synopsis for the show says that Luther will be "drawn into a terrifyingly complex case that pushes him closer to the edge than he's ever been". It adds that he will be "pitted against his most chilling adversary yet, haunted by the ghosts of his past and hell-bent on retribution".

The new trailer is big on atmosphere, but slight on detail. It features an eerie voice-over from Elba, asking "Do you ever have that dream when you're falling? Do you ever wake up in it?" The visuals show an unmade bed, Luther's police badge sitting beside a coffee cup, some shadowy corridors, and Elba, looking moody and magnificent as he stares at the sea from a cliff edge. 

Collider provides a few more clues about what fans can expect. It says the special will see Luther on a leave of absence from the police force, laying low in a rundown cottage. A visit from colleagues, DCI Theo Bloom (Boyd) and Detective Sergeant Emma Lane (Leslie), brings a shocking piece of news that draws him back to London in search of the truth.

At the same time, a gruesome cannibalistic serial killer has struck the city, eating body parts as he goes. It's not long before Luther makes his return, determined to capture the sadistic killer. But he's also up against ghosts from his own past and struggling being to keep it together.

Some will be disappointed that Luther runs for just two more episodes, but Digital Spy reports that Elba hasn't given up on the idea of a movie yet. The actor describes the new two-hour TV outing as "a pilot for the film", saying: "We would love to get a film off the ground, but it takes time. It's really about when Neil and I are ready to pull that off."

The new Luther special airs on BBC One in the UK in December. 

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