Season 1 Episode 1

Episode One

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM May 04, 2010 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
127 votes

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Episode Summary

DCI John Luther, returning to duty following the arrest of serial killer Henry Madsen, investigates the murder of the parents of child prodigy Alice Morgan. It soon becomes clear that their daughter was responsible, but Luther's challenge is to prove it.

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  • Dawn of Darkness

    DCI (Detective Chief Inspector) John Luther, having just caught the notorious pedophilic serial killer Henry Madsen suffers from a nervous breakdown returns to duty a year later with Madsen in a coma after an altercation that let to the finding of Madsen's last victim. Luther then takes on the case of a young woman, Alice Morgan, who supposedly found the bodies of her entire family murdered by gunshots to the head and challenges the police and Luther in particular to prove her guilty of the charges. Luther tries to reconcile with his wife, but it proves futile as she has taken on a love named Mark and he may be too late to unravel the lies surrounding the Morgan investigation. Overall a very dark, compelling series that puts Idris Elba in a star spot as a haunted detective as afraid of his own capabilities as he is of the killers he tries to hunt. Strong beginning, especially the chemistry that he and Alice share on screen real steals the moments for me anyway. Good on you BBC.moreless
  • American-style cop show on the BBC: trust me, it's better than it sounds.

    Five minutes into this cop drama I nearly shut it off; it really felt like they were taking the "tough guy cop on the edge who always gets his man" thing a little too far (and a little too literally). I guess this is more of a cliche on American TV and might seem fresher in the UK, but the opening sequence was over the top even by US standards. Luckily the show recovered from this almost immediately. Idris Elba is a terrific actor and it's good to see him get the chance to carry a show on his own, and do it with a type of character we haven't seen him play yet. Ruth Wilson almost steals the show as a genuinely creepy villain who I believe is capable of anything. A well-executed and entertaining, if not exactly original, hour of TV. Looking forward to ep 2.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Alice Morgan: You'd degrade the law you serve just to protect some woman who cast you aside like offal?
      John Luther [ puts his wedding ring back on ]: In a second.
      Alice Morgan: And you think I'm the monster. Love is supposed to dignify us, exalt us. How can it be love, John, if all it does is make you lonely and corrupt?
      (Luther turns and walks away.)
      Alice Morgan: Answer the question! Don't turn your back on me!

    • DCI Luther: I'm coming for you.
      Alice Morgan: Not if I come for you first.

    • Alice Morgan: Are you trying to beguile me?
      DCI Luther [ chuckles ]: No, I wouldn't be so foolish. But I will tell you this, Alice. You can revel in your brilliance for as long as you like, but people slip up. Happens time and time again.
      Alice Morgan: Well that's just faulty logic postulated on imperfect data collection. What if you only catch people who make mistakes? That would skew the figures, wouldn't it?
      DCI Luther: Yes, it would. But criminals aren't as smart as they think they are.
      Alice Morgan: Oh, that must get monotonous for someone as brilliant as you.

    • DSU Teller: So where's the gun? It's got to be somewhere. Everything's somewhere.
      DCI Luther: I don't know.
      DSU Teller: Say that again. That was special.
      DCI Luther [ chuckles ]: I don't know where the gun is.

    • DCSU Cornish: So, he's back.
      DSU Teller: From outer space.
      DCSU Cornish: You do know the man is nitroglycerin?
      DSU Teller: With respect, sir, a comprehensive investigation under your edict cleared him of any wrongdoing.
      DCSU Cornish: Not least because the only other witness is in a coma, measuring three on the Glasgow scale.
      DSU Teller: And Mia Dalton's in school today, and not in the ground.
      DCSU Cornish: Rose, if you bet too heavily on Luther, then you stand or fall with him and with you goes this unit, and my credibility as its architect. Haven't you worked too hard for too long to take that big a risk on such a wild card?
      DSU Teller: I don't consider him a risk.
      DCSU Cornish: Then what is he?
      DSU Teller: An investment.
      DCSU Cornish: And if Henry Madsen wakes up, gives his account of what happened that night? Will Luther drag us all down? Let's hope not.

  • NOTES (1)