With production officially underway for season 3 of British crime/police procedural Luther, it's time for the requisite casting news, plot whispers, and interviews to come sifting out of fair London. Fortunately for fans of the show on both sides of the Atlantic, these tidbits have been quite heartening so far.
Today, BBC released new casting and plot details for Luther's season 3. The largest of these was the announcement that Sienna Guillory (Resident Evil: Retribution) has been cast in a major role for all four of the upcoming new episodes.
According to a news release from the BBC, Sienna Guillory will play Mary Day, a vintage clothes saleswoman who falls into John Luther's orbit and becomes his new love interest. Guillory is perhaps best known as Jill Valentine of the Resident Evil film franchise. However, she has an extensive career in television and film beyond the video game-adapted series, including Love, Actually and Eragon.
In addition to the announcement of Guillory's casting, the BBC release teases a broad plot outline for season 3 and confirms the return of several previously established characters. Apparently, DCI John Luther (Idris Elba) will have to deal with two overlapping and increasingly bizarre cases while shielding himself from the wrath of an ex-detective determined to make Luther pay for his past sins. Meanwhile, he and Mary Day will engage in what will hopefully be a romance slightly less doomed than Luther's previous attempts at love.
Fans will no doubt be pleased to hear of the return of several supporting cast members: Warren Brown (The Dark Knight Rises) as Luther protégé DCI Justin Ripley; Dermot Crowley (Babel) as unit head DSU Martin Schenk; and Nikki Amuka-Bird (Coriolanus) as the prickly young DS Erin Gray. The season will also see appearances by Michael Smiley (Kill List), Ned Dennehy (Anonymous), and Lucian Msamati (Game of Thrones).
Judging from the enthusiasm of the participants (one can sense Idris Elba's glee when he declares, "Here comes John!"), it's looking like season 3 of Luther is shaping up quite well. One might point out that the plot summary feels a bit familiar – something of a crossbreeding of the first and second series. However, considering the solid cast and a production team clearly devoted to putting out a quality product, it's difficult to feel apprehensive about the new episodes.
That said, Sienna Guillory is something of a question mark amid a cast full of proven talents. She isn't exactly a dramatic dynamo in the Resident Evil sequels, but this may be a function of the material rather than any innate talent. Until we actually see her interacting with Idris Elba onscreen, the jury is out on whether she can keep up.
Luther season 3 is currently in production and will air in mid-2013.