Luther’s Wunmi Mosaku gives us an inside peek into the new season and tells us what it’s like working alongside Idris Elba

Wunmi Mosaku as DS Catherine Halliday in Luther. (Photos supplied: BBC)
Wunmi Mosaku as DS Catherine Halliday in Luther. (Photos supplied: BBC)

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.

A scene in the series Luther.
A scene in the series Luther.

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.”

Idris Elba and Wunmi Mosaku in the series, Luther.
Idris Elba and Wunmi Mosaku in the series, Luther.


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.”


Season 5 of Luther airs on BBC First (DStv 119) fom Sunday, 27 January at 21:00.

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