Books Magazine

Luther & Idris Elba #BriFri

By Joyweesemoll @joyweesemoll

British Isles Friday logoWelcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!

Last week, I wrote about the 100th anniversary of Ireland’s Easter Rising and the diary-like book about it called Insurrection in Dublin. Sim’s fantasy walk in London took her to Knightsbridge with a disappointing start at a bunch of American chains — fortunately, things got more British and more beautiful as she went along. Tina shared a fun British commercial from the 1960s, with a great voice-over. Becky reviewed two C.S. Lewis books for Holy Week: The Silver Chair and Mere Christianity.  Jackie shared photos from her family trip to England in 1970!

Idris Elba, the actor, has shown up a lot in my feeds recently. He seems to make everyone’s short list for the next James Bond. He was nominated for a BAFTA acting award in the film category for his performance in Beasts of No Nation and, just this week, he was nominated for a television BAFTA for the fourth season of Luther. People are excited by the clip from the new live-action version of The Jungle Book, with villain Shere Khan voiced by Idris Elba:

Idris Elba in Luther
I just realized that I haven’t written about why I’m such a fan of Idris Elba. When I was binge-watching British crime dramas (Scott & Bailey, Death in Paradise), one of my favorites was Luther, starring Idris Elba. Netflix has the first three seasons — I hope they get the fourth soon so that I can see his BAFTA-nominated performance.

Luther is a very dark crime drama, even for a British series. There aren’t straight-forward good guys and bad guys. John Luther as portrayed by Idris Elba straddles that line with ends justifying means in ways that I suspect happens in real life, but not so much in simplified crime dramas. There’s a long arc to the story that covers multiple seasons, a relationship that has echoes from Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs.

In spite of all that darkness, there’s some humor and fun in the series and that, too, is provided by Idris Elba’s portrayal of John Luther. The complexity of motivations and emotions and character make Luther a terrific show for binge-watching.

The series was filmed on location in London, so looking for familiar sights is always part of the fun.

I’m tempted to re-watch the series, although I rarely do that, just to be primed for Season 4. Have you seen Luther? What did you think? Do you have other recommendations for ways to watch Idris Elba in action?

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