It's official: Luther is coming back
There's still "unfinished business" for Idris Elba's John Luther, so four brand new episodes are coming to BBC One to answer all of our questions – and pose some new ones.
"What happened to John Luther after we last saw him striding unbowed through the streets of his city, his blood red London?" asked series creator Neil Cross. "It can't be over, can it? There's so much we don't know. So much unfinished business.
"The thing is, we've been asking ourselves the same question. Because we love John and wonder what he's up to. And as for me, I'm scared of the monsters. The face at the window. The hand under the bed. The shadow at the end of the street. Who's going to stop them, if not John Luther?"
Here's everything we know about series five - the "biggest" series yet - so far...
Luther air date: When can I see it?
Cross had completed scripts for the new series as of December 2017 and revealed that shooting was set to begin in January 2018.
Filming officially got underway on January 10, with the BBC providing some first-look images and a short-clip of Idris Elba on-set, back in his familiar Luther ensemble.
"It's good to be back in London, back in the coat," Idris Elba said in a statement.
"We missed John Luther," added Neil Cross. "We missed some old friends. And we wanted to make the biggest, scariest, darkest, most thrilling series of Luther there's ever been. So that's what we've come back to do."
In terms of scheduling, Cross confirmed to Digital Spy that a late 2018 air-date is looking likely.
The fifth series of Luther will be produced by Derek Ritchie (Class, Doctor Who) and directed by Jamie Payne (The Alienist, White Princess).
Luther season 5 spoilers?
What's the next series about? Here's the BBC's official synopsis: "When the moonless shadows of London give birth to a new nightmare, DCI John Luther must once again confront the depths of human depravity. As a series of monstrous killings becomes ever more audacious, Luther and new recruit D.S. Catherine Halliday are confounded by a tangle of leads and misdirection that seems designed to protect an unspeakable horror.
"But even as the case brings him closer than ever to the nature of true evil, a reluctant Luther must also face the ghosts of his own past. Striding back into the line of fire, he must choose who to protect… and who to sacrifice. Whatever his next move, it will have devastating consequences for those around him - and change John Luther forever."
Luther cast: who's in it?
Joining Big Driis for the new series will be old favourites Dermot Crowley (DSU Martin Schenk) and Michael Smiley (Benny Silver), with Patrick Malahide - who debuted in series 4 as gangster George Cornelius - also returning.
BAFTA winner Wunmi Mosaku will be John's latest partner DS Catherine Halliday (apparently replacing Rose Leslie's DS Emma Lane, who's not expected to return).
There's no word yet on Laura Haddock's Megan, though it might be slightly odd if she didn't resurface since – SPOILER ALERT – she was established as Luther's next big bad at the end of season four.
Then, of course, there's Ruth Wilson's Alice – apparently killed by Megan in the previous series. But is she really gone for good? *WARNING: SPOILERS LIE AHEAD*
Filming photos leaked in January confirmed Wilson's return to Luther - with shots emerging of her filming on a street with co-star Elba.
Alice appears to be not too happy with Luther, waving a gun in his face. So is she back from the dead? Surely, having secured Wilson's services, we won't be fobbed off with a flashback or an imaginary Alice?
Series creator Cross had previously hinted at "some old friends" being involved in series five, while Elba has also teased the return of some familiar faces...
"There is a lot of excitement about the characters that are in this one," he said. "There's no point trying to make something unfamiliar. We're not reinventing the wheel."
So, fingers crossed for a miraculous resurrection. As for the rest of the cast, bookmark this page for all the latest news and announcements.
Luther series 5: Is this the end for the show?
"Idris and I are very aware that whenever we've done another series, we're like, 'That's it'," Cross told Digital Spy.
"Idris has a big career. And we leave and then we all start missing it in a couple of weeks, and I start stockpiling Luther ideas and making Luther notes. And we know that we always come back – so we want to come back and do one more really big series.
"What happens after that, we haven't decided…"
Luther on Netflix: Will it stream?
With every season of Luther going onto Netflix (including the most recent season four, but only in the States), some fans have wondered if the show could come back via the streaming site.
We'd say it's probably unlikely – the BBC know how precious Luther is, and are unlikely to let it go without a fight – but we wouldn't be surprised if Netflix was trying to work out some way of getting in on the action.
After all, Elba fronted Netflix's incredible movie Beasts Of No Nation, so the company's definitely a fan of the actor.
Could the long-rumoured Luther film eventually get backing from the streaming service? It's exactly the sort of branded content Netflix loves, and they've got the money to do it…
"[A film] is always going to be slightly different [from the TV series] because of how long you have to tell a story," Neil Cross has said.
"Ultimately, whatever Luther story you tell, in whatever medium, has to focus on that character so in some ways it will be exactly the same because it will be about him."
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