Idris Elba Returns to ‘Luther’ to Catch a ‘Ruthless Cannibal’

BBC America

It truly seemed as if perennially grim detective John Luther (Idris Elba) had a chance at happiness—or at least a reason to smile—when he walked off arm-in-arm with psycho paramour Alice (The Affair’s Ruth Wilson) in Luther’s Season 3 finale. But looks, as they say, are liars. And when tonight’s two-hour special picks up several months later, Alice is gone, it’s the dead of winter and the chief inspector is still smarting over the murder of his only friend, the loyal Sergeant Ripley (Warren Brown).

“If previous events weren’t hanging over him, he wouldn’t be John Luther,” executive producer Neil Cross says. “And there are unexpected repercussions of his past decisions.”

Luther, who’s on a leave of absence from the police department, will also get pulled into a case with new colleagues, including an ambitious young cop (Games of Thrones’ Rose Leslie). The savvy new baddie is a ruthless cannibal, played by John Heffernan of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell fame. “He’s scary enough to cause a few people to check that their doors and windows are locked before going to bed,” Cross says. “And to cause a few bad dreams.”

Luther, TV movie, Thursday, Dec. 17, 9/8c, BBC America