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Dark and stormy ‘Luther’ presses on Ruth-lessly

Road to the Emmys 2012: Movies and Miniseries

When the second season of BBC America’s crime mini-drama “Luther” aired last year, many fans were surprised to realize that one of the show’s key characters would only be playing a bit part this time around.

Beguiling psychopath (and, some might say, the yin to the yang of Idris Elba’s John Luther) Alice Morgan appeared in just two segments of the season’s four-episode arc. But if it were up to Neil Cross, Luther’s creator-writer, things would have worked out differently.

“Candidly, it was something I had no control over,” explains Cross. “I would have loved to have more Alice in season two, but what we didn’t have was (actress) Ruth Wilson, who plays the role.”

Due to Wilson’s prior scheduling commitments, the production only had access to her for two days.

“I had a whole Luther/Alice thing planned out; places I wanted them to go, and places I wanted them to be at by the end of the show. But, you know, if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”

While fans were possibly left wanting for more Alice, her absence didn’t affect the show’s viewership. In fact, the two episodes Wilson didn’t appear in (episodes three and four) were the most-viewed episodes of the show’s entire run.

But with a third series slated to begin production this fall, surely fans can expect to see more of her when it debuts next year. Right?

“This is a different time in (Luther’s) life,” he says. “There won’t be any Alice in season three.”

Still, Cross isn’t done with Alice just yet.

“I want to move things forward and give Alice a show of her own, even if it’s just a miniseries or two,” adding that “I think there’s awesome things we can do with her, and I think each character can exist without the other. They’re rich enough to take a world on their own shoulders.”

Road to the Emmys 2012: Movies and Miniseries
Smorgasbord defies easy judging | ‘Sherlock’ suffers no fools Stateside | Dark and stormy ‘Luther’ presses on Ruth-lessly | Longform serenade
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