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New Escapist Column! On “Luther” as a Superhero Show Without Superheroes…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With the looming release of Luther: The Fallen Sun, it seemed like a good opportunity to talk about the show. In particular, the interesting space that it occupies as a police procedural that arguably owes more to comic books than anything else.

Luther is a fascinating show. It is ostensibly something similiar to Law & Order or CSI, the story of a detective who works grim and sensationalist crimes to their conclusions. In practice, however, Luther is something altogether more heightened. It occasionally veers over into outright horror, and Luther himself often seems to face characters more like comic book supervillains than ordinary criminals. The result is fascinating, a show that arguably feels closer to a certain strand of comic book storytelling than any of the actual comic book shows out there.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

Luther: Series 2 (Review)

I loved the first series of Luther. I genuinely adored it. It was a wonderful six-episode arc following the perils of DCI John Luther as he walked a thin line between, as Ripley remarks here, “being dirty and being willing to get your hands dirty”, all of which culminated in a rather fantastic final two episodes that explored the implications of that sort moral corruption in law enforcement. So the follow-up season had a lot to live up to, and – while it’s still well-written, well-acted and solidly entertaining – it can’t help but feel a little disappointing. While there are other considerations, the most damning one is this: two two-part episodes don’t given enough room for a season-long arc.

Putting it all together...

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Luther: Series 1 (Review)

You know, when I wonder why Irish television can’t produce quality drama, I am not looking across the pond towards our American cousins. I realise the sheer scale of the economy and the entertainment industry over there means that any possible point of comparison is just absurd. While the Great Britain is considerably larger, I look at the BBC and wonder why Irish television can’t even be nearly as good as that. After all, we have produced more than our fair share of Nobel laureates for literature, produce great artists, writers and actors in numbers quite disproportionate to our side. And I can’t point to a single Irish television show that is any way iconic – but perhaps that’s too much to expect.

Why can’t we even have something half as good as Luther?

I think he just copped it...

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