'Luther' Series 5 Episode 1 Review: The 8 Burning Questions We Have As Idris Elba's BBC Drama Returns

There was a lot to take in as DCI John Luther returned.

Christmas may be over, but the BBC had been saving one last present for us all in the form of a new series of ‘Luther’, which kicked off on New Year’s Day.

But if you’d tuned in expecting something to wrap up the festive season nicely, more fool you, because what unfolded was even more gruesome than the last four series of the Idris Elba drama.


The fifth season kicked off with a whole new case for DCI John Luther and his new sidekick DS Catherine Halliday to investigate, but there was a treat in store during the closing moments for long-term fans of the show.

Here’s the eight questions we’re asking after the first episode...

Who did Luther arrest at the start?

After chasing him through a yard of shipping containers, Luther arrested a man before then handing him over to uniformed officers. Was this just a routine arrest to set the scene, or something that will become relevant as the series goes on?

Who was Paul Redford?

Paul was the first victim we saw killed in the opening minutes of the episode, who was impaled with lots of nails. However, this would suggest the murder was pre-meditated, unlike Lee and the girl on the bus. Therefore how was the killer connected to Paul? Police noted how Paul was on lots of dating apps, so had the killer contacted him through them? Or did they have another sort of relationship?


What happened to George’s son and it is connected to the other murders?

George’s son Alistair has clearly been kidnapped and is being held ransom, but who has him and why? As the head of an organised crime gang, George will clearly have plenty of enemies, but could his son’s kidnap somehow be connected to the other goings on in the episode? After all, Alistair had been tied to a bed, and we know the serial killer has abnormal sexual fetishes.

Who was watching George at the lido?

After taking a phonecall that revealed a video of Alistair tied up, George discovered he was being watched at the lido. It is surely connected to his son’s disappearance, but there must have been a reason we did not get to see the onlooker’s face.


What’s going to happen to Erol?

After George caught him wearing a wire, it was clear by what happened next the gangster was not going to let him get away with his betrayal, only surviving thanks to Luther’s ingenuity. While he has offered Erol protection, it is surely a matter of time before George and his mob catch up with him again?

Who was James Hauser?

A patient of Dr Vivian Lake was the prime suspect in the case when she alerted the police to his abnormal behaviour. The police later thought they have their man when he murdered himself during a chase through Hampstead woods. However, the end of the episode revealed that is it Vivian’s husband who is seemingly behind the killings, indicating she had been fitting her patient up to take the fall for her husband’s crimes. But who was James Hauser? Was he the man Vivian had made him out to the police to be, or had she used her position of power to manipulate him into covering for her husband? Or...

Is Vivian’s husband a copycat killer?

Perhaps James was the original masked killer, and Vivian fed her knowledge of his crimes to her husband. He could have then carried out murders in the same way, therefore giving him a certain level of anonymity, especially with James becoming a fall guy with the police. However, if this is the case, will we see Vivian’s husband change his killing style if he is to strike again?


Where has Alice been?

In one of the worst-kept secrets ever, Alice made a (not so) shock return to the series in the closing moments, finally confirming she was alive after disappearing at the end of series three. But her return is going to need a lot more explanation - where has she been and what has she been up to? Actress Ruth Wilson teased that “things have all gone a bit wrong” for Alice and she has “come back to get Luther’s help”, so we guess we’ll soon be finding out.

‘Luther’ continues on Wednesday at 9pm on BBC One.

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