'Luther' Back on American Airwaves Tonight

BBC America's detective show debuts at 9pm

'Luther' Back on American Airwaves Tonight

Premiering tonight on BBC America is the hit British detective show Luther, which stars Emmy-nominated Idris Elba, the actor formerly shorthanded as Stringer-Bell-from-The-Wire, more lately known as a beachy ballad belter who wants to enter your "private garden," ladies.

Elba's DCI John Luther is not an unfamiliar character. He breaks all the rules, but gets away with it because he's brilliant. He's tender, but with rage issues. He's a copper, but he wears expensive suits. (And boy hidee does he wear them well.) Luther's six-episode first season comfortably paired contained procedurals with a season-long arc around Luther's fraught romantic life. The season ended in a bloodbath and what felt like a significant cliffhanger.

Season two picks up not too long after said bloodbath, but the cliffhanger is dispatched with minimal fuss or dramatic tension. Instead, it's right right back down to business – which, for Luther, is the business of hunting down serial killers. First season regulars Detective Sergeant Ripley (Warren Brown) and Luther's psychopath pally Ruth (a hypnotic Alice Morgan) return, while the noodge from Police Complaints, Dermot Crowley's Martin Schenk sees his role expanded and made more palatable.

The first of season two's four episodes debuts tonight (9/29) at 9pm on BBC America as part of the channel's Dramaville block. Nervous about jumping in without watching the first season? The below clip crams six hours into two minutes. It's nothing but spoilers, so consider yourself warned. Also be warned: The peppy (to the edge of pill-popped) speed and sentiment of the recap isn't remotely indicative of the show's slow-burn tension and cool.

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Belinda Acosta, Oct. 15, 2010

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Luther, Idris Elba, Dramaville, BBC America

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