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If there’s one show American audiences have yet to discover and appreciate, it’s the BBC’s Luther. Idris Elba, known for his roles as Stringer Bell in The Wire and as Nelson Mandela in the recent biopic Mandela: The Long Walk To Freedom, is the titular character, DCI (Detective Chief Inspector) John Luther, a London cop dangerously obsessed with doing his job. Unlike Sherlock, which has found an overseas audience, Luther is dark and gritty; there feels like there is more at stake in every episode, and the writers have been given the green light to kill off main characters. Elba’s Luther is obsessive, single-minded, driven and brilliant, and so much of what makes this show fun and compelling is watching him exercise his acting chops.

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