When is Luther on TV for series five? Who’s in the cast? What’s the plot?

Idris Elba has put the coat back on to play DCI John Luther in four more episodes

Luther Idris Elba

It’s official: DCI John Luther is returning to BBC1 this Christmas. The BBC crime drama will be airing over the holiday period in 2018, with Idris Elba returning to the role for four more episodes.


Find out everything we know about Luther series five below.

When is Luther back on TV?

In the UK, the drama returns on New Year’s Day (Tuesday 1 January) at 9pm on BBC1. It then airs at 9pm on Wednesday 2 January, 9:05pm on Thursday 3 January, before concluding at 9pm on Friday 4 January.

The series kicks off on Sunday 3 February at 8:30pm on international channel BBC First.

Tell us about your Christmas TV traditions

Is there a trailer for Luther series 5?

After a teaser trailer for series five, which shows the troubled detective breathing heavily and limping through a darkened corridor with the words “This. Will. Hurt.”, the BBC has released a new trailer featuring a terrifying encounter that will put you off taking the night bus forever.

Who stars in Luther series 5?

Elba will return as “near-genius murder detective” Luther, the maverick cop whose passion always seems to set him on a collision course with dangerous violence.

The actor also hinted to RadioTimes.com that Ruth Wilson’s enigmatic killer Alice could return, last seen in the series three finale four years ago. “There’s no point trying to make something unfamiliar,” he said. Her reappearance has now been confirmed – as the official trailer reveals a VERY brief glimpse of Alice’s bloodied face.

Wunmi Mosaku joins the cast as new recruit DS Catherine Halliday – which means the return of previous sidekick DS Emma Lane (played by Rose Leslie) seems unlikely.

Cold Feet star Hermione Norris will play a psychiatrist named Dr Vivien Lake who is called on to help Luther get to the bottom of a swathe of brutal murders.

What will happen in series 5?

“It’s classic Luther,” Elba told RadioTimes.com as he prepared to film series five. “We’re not reinventing the wheel.”

Rose Leslie Luther, BBC publicity, BD

Announcing the four-episode series, screenwriter Neil Cross also gave us some clues about what’s to come.

“Now what? It’s a question Idris and I get asked a lot,” he said. “What happened to John Luther after we last saw him striding unbowed through the streets of his city, his blood red London? 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.

“In the end, we picked up the phone to some old friends and asked if they’d like to find out what happens next. It turns out, they would. So that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to find out what happens next.

“Now what? Luther’s coming back. That’s what.”

Check out the official Luther series five synopsis from the BBC below:

When the moonless shadows of London give birth to a new nightmare, DCI John Luther played by Idris Elba is once more called to immerse himself in the deepest depths of human depravity.

While the monstrous and seemingly indiscriminate killings become ever more audacious and public, Luther and new recruit D.S. Catherine Halliday played by Wunmi Mosaku are confounded by a complex tangle of leads and misdirection that seems designed to protect an untouchable corruption. But even as the case brings him closer than ever to the true face of evil, a reluctant Luther is forced to confront the unburied demons of his own recent 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.

Has filming for Luther series five finished? 

Production on the fifth series began back in January with Elba marking his first day back on set with a Twitter video.


Now with filming finished, it’s time to look ahead to the series release this Christmas…

Sign up for the free RadioTimes.com newsletter