Cape Town – After a four-year hiatus DCI John Luther (Idris Elba) is back on the small screen with a new partner in tow.
Bafta award-winning actress, Wunmi Mosaku joins the cast as a kick-ass detective sergeant, Catherine Halliday. But of course, the 32-year-old is no stranger to playing a law enforcement officer - in fact this role totals it to the fifth time.
Well-known for her role on the popular long running crime drama, Vera, where she cut her teeth as a detective constable, the actress then moved up the ranks to star as counter-terrorism officer, Olivia Greenwood in crime-thriller, Fearlesss – and then to a hardened murder squad detective in the Netflix comedy-drama, The End of the F***ing World and a detective inspector in British drama, Kiri.
For Wunmi, playing Catherine was different from the other roles as she is usually cast in more serious ones.
“Catherine has such a lightness to her, she shows a part of me that people don’t get to see - the kind of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed woman.”
“It’s the type of character that I haven’t gotten to explore yet and that’s why I wanted to play her,” she tells us during a telephonic interview.
Viewers meet Catherine on her first day on the job – she is very green and is in shock when she experiences her first crime scene.
“She is in a bit of shock at how dark the job can be but she finds her feet quickly,” she explains.
Where Catherine is a stickler for the rules, Luther on the other hand breaks them. This makes for an interesting dynamic between the two characters, 'bad cop, good cop.'
“I think there is a lot of mutual respect between the two of them. Catherine admires him but also finds him dangerous and finds his methods unorthodox.”
A MONSTROUS KILLER
This season, the detectives have to catch a masked serial killer, who sadistically tortures his victims before murdering them. Catherine and Luther are confounded by a tangle of leads and misdirection that seem designed to protect an unspeakable horror.
One of the antagonists, Vivien Lake (Hermione Norris) plays a psychiatrist with ulterior motives.
While the show itself was dark, Wunmi tells us she had a memorable experience joining the cast.
“It wasn’t an intimidating set to work on. First thing, Idris comes and greets you and then Jamie [Payne] the director was warm and welcoming. My highlight was meeting and getting to know Hermione. She is someone that I have always admired, we had a true connection.”
Working alongside Idris, who is also one of the executive producers, was a huge learning experience for the British-Nigerian actress.
“I learned from Idris, that the lead sets the tone of the show and the working environment. He has a good spirit, and a good energy – and has a way of bringing everyone together. He takes that very seriously and he was a wonderful leader of the whole show.”
In closing, Wunmi hopes the viewers buy into her character.
“It is a really dark story. I found reading the script quite disturbing, I hope it translates as well as it did when I was reading it and that people watch it and buy into it.”
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE:
Season 5 of Luther airs on BBC First (DStv 119) fom Sunday, 27 January at 21:00.