Overview of Luther

  • Luther is a British psychological crime drama.
  • It’s created and written by Neil Cross.
  • First broadcast by the BBC in 2010.
  • Idris Elba stars as DCI John Luther.

Genre, Narrative, and Themes

  • Combines elements of detective genre, crime genre, and psychological thriller.
  • Main narrative revolves around Luther’s intense approach to policing and his personal struggles.
  • Common themes are morality, justice, obsession and guilt.


  • Luther challenges stereotypes through its complex characterisation.
  • Idris Elba as Luther breaks racial stereotypes common in British television.
  • Alice Morgan, portrayed as a sociopath, subverts traditional female roles.
  • London, often shown at night or in desolate urban areas, represents danger and uncertainty.

Media Language

  • Uses typical conventions of crime drama with dark, gritty cinematography.
  • Suspense is created through mise-en-scene, sound and editing.
  • Extensive use of shadows and dim lighting enhances the threatening atmosphere.

Institutions and Audience

  • Produced by BBC, reflecting their reputation for high-quality drama.
  • Appeals to an audience seeking intense, character-driven narratives with surprising plot twists.
  • Global success highlights BBC’s significant role in international TV distribution.

Online, Social and Participatory Media

  • Luther’s powerful online presence through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
  • Intense fan engagement with discussion threads, fan theories and fan art.
  • Uses secondary platforms such as iPlayer to reach wider audience; acknowledges changes in viewing habits.

Remember: Your understanding of these components of the TV show Luther can help you in questions about media concepts, context, audience and industry. It’s essential to familiarise yourself with these categories to form well-rounded responses.