Idris Elba (next to Daniel Craig) is one of my favorite actors; I was highly impressed with the BBC series, “Luther” and “Luther 3”...and looking forward to "Luther 3" as well as the tentative film adaptation.
British television shows tend to have a bit more diversity, unconsciously, especially when dealing with actors of color, or even women. "Luther" definitely will not work on American network "telly" since 1. The writing is rarely that intense on American television. 2. The show stars a black actor, and American shows always have to make a big deal of the lead performer's racial background, especially if he or she is black (e.g. Star Trek franchise). 3. Luther has love interests that are Caucasian and Asian; American television usually feels that it is taboo for black individuals (particularly black men) to have a non-black love interest onscreen; but there are different standards if the lead was say, Asian female...since American television would usually pair that Asian female with a white male, and nothing would be made about their racial differences. Granted there are exceptions: "Private Practice" had Taye Diggs kissing a white actress passionately, and Taye Diggs in "Day Break" was dating a Asian (or more specifically, a Eurasian/Hapa/AmerAsian, depending on your term preference). "Doctor Who" is another example of a series that showcases different faces (e.g. black faces, black women with natural features: hair, complexions; black characters interacting with non-blacks - non-blacks not just meaning white individuals - in romantic situations. "Sarah Jane Adventures" was another show, like “Luther,” that probably wouldn’t have worked on American television; “Sarah Jane Adventures” showed a woman over 60 as a sexy, flawed, independent, and the show also had different faces/characters that got equal amount of focus(e.g. a black characters, Asian characters). Of course, if SJA was produced in America, we probably would have had Clyde - the black lead - pigeonholed to the background, Luke -the white male lead - made the focus of the show, Sarah Jane a cameo character even though the show bears her name, and Rani -the Asian female lead - Luke’s love interest. On the note of the character of Rani, her family was made into given three - dimensional characters, they’re people who could be flawed, sexy, etc.; and the Asian male supporting character (i.e. Rani’s father) wasn’t made to look weak, or get killed off, etc...he was “human.”***
I know Britain has their racial issues, but they definitely are a lot farther than America in showing people of color, or at least, black individuals. With that said, I’m aware that Idris Elba has been in talks with Barbara Brocolli to possibly portray Bond in future films; if that happens, that’ll be awesome. It was said in some articles online that Elba is hesitant because people will probably focus on his color rather than his skills than an actor. Still, someone has to do it, and I hope Elba will take the role if it is available and offered. (I just hope he gets the awesome scripts that Daniel Craig is getting...!)
Some British-isms I’ve learned or grown accustomed to after watching “Luther”:
- “Ma’am” sounds like “Mom” with the English accent...ex: “Yes, Ma’am.” (Also heard in recent Bond films with Craig).
- 999 is the British equivalent to 911.
My other favorite characters on “Luther” are Detective Ripley, and Alice. Both are somewhat “foils” to Luther, but also people who are his moral ground; although, with Alice that statement can go into a whole new argument. I understand that Sienna Guillory - Jill Valentine in the Resident Evil films - will be Elba’s love interest in the next Luther series as a new character, and I look forward to seeing how her characters handles the obsessed police detective’s attitude. (Note: I like the way “seasons” in England are referred to as “series”...)
I’ve just finished reading the prequel novel "Luther: The Calling." The novel further shows that John Luther is a flawed, slightly corrupted but at the same time moral person who is “interesting.” In some parts of the novel I found myself disliking Luther, but interested in how the character was going to solve the gruesome case. I also felt myself feeling more sorry for the wife, Zoe Luther.
***I do plan on reviewing the “Sarah Jane Adventures” once I review Star Trek: TOS, TAS, TNG 1st season; TNG’s “Data’s Day,” and ENT episode “E2” and the ENT 4th season. I will definitely get into why the series - “Sarah Jane Adventures” - won’t work in America due to American stereotypes/standards of gender, race, etc...