Luther season 5 release date: Idris Elba’s TV return confirmed by BBC

Four new episodes will be unveiled in the new year

Jacob Stolworthy
Tuesday 04 December 2018 16:05
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Trailer for Luther Series 5 starring Idris Elba

The BBC have confirmed when Luther will be returning for its fifth season.

Earlier this month, the channel stated the grizzled detective, played by Idris Elba, would make a comeback as part of its Christmas schedules after a new run was announced in June 2017.

The news was swiftly followed by a trailer teasing a brutal return to form for the series, capped with a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo from none other than Ruth Wilson’s fan favourite, Alice Morgan.

It’s now been revealed that four brand new episodes from co-creator Neil Cross will begin airing on 1 January 2019.

Other returning cast members include Dermot Crowley, Michael Smiley and Patrick Malahide as DSU Martin Schenk, Benny Silver and George Cornelius.

New recruits include Wunmi Mosaku, most recently seen in End of the F***ing World, and Cold Feet star Hermione Norris who’ll play psychiatrist Dr Vivien Lake.

Episodes will see “the moonless shadows of London give birth to a new nightmare” as a series of killings pave the way for “devastating consequences” for those closest to Luther.

Elba has teased the show’s return promising a “classic” return to form by assuring fans: “We’re not reinventing the wheel.”

Wilson, who is currently winning rave reviews playing her own grandmother in BBC drama Mrs Wilson, confirmed her appearance to The Independent earlier this year, telling fans to expect the unexpected.

“She’s definitely back for a bit,’ she said. ”She is back with a vengeance.”

Cross has made no secret of the fact that he’d like to bring the character to the big screen following the show’s success overseas. Discussing these plans, Elba added: “It’s very much in our minds, the film. I think it could be an amazing series of films.”


Season five will air as part of the BBC’s bustling Christmas lineup which will also include an Agatha Christie adaptation featuring a rather different version of Poirot, played by John Malkovich.

Luther returns on 1 January 2019 at 9pm on BBC One

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