As I eagerly await the as yet unannounced Netflix premiere of season 5 of Luther, I have watched the official trailer, read reviews of the opening episode on British television, and read interviews with the star, Idris Elba, and the writer, Neil Cross.
Watch “LUTHER Series 5 | OFFICIAL TRAILER – BBC” on YouTube
I am fascinated by the character. Luther is a big man who brings his big walk, and gale force passions into the world of psychopaths and serial killers. Cross gives a nod to Columbo and explains that Luther is not a “Who done it” but rather a “How to Catch Them.” This characteristic is also shared with Law and Order: Criminal Intent. I definitely compare DCI John Luther’s intelligence with that of Lt. Columbo and Detective Robert Goren.
Cross compares Luther’s tendency to “cross the line” and frenetic need to be in more than one place at a time to the Vic Mackey character from The Shield. Luther is definitely not the quiet sensitive serial killer detecting empath, Will Graham, portrayed by William Petersen in the 1986 film Manhunter. (My favorite adaptation of The Red Dragon by Thomas Harris which continues to be my favorite novel in this genre.)
Watch “Manhunter (1986) [Collector’s Edition] – Official Trailer (HD)”
Like millions of other readers and viewers around the world, I enjoy peeking into the darkness as I read novels by Harris and Cross and watch movies and television programs based on their work. This is why Amazon Prime video suggested that I might want to watch Taboo. I could not look away from the darkness and unashamedly binge watched the entire season.
Watch “Taboo Official Trailer (HD) Tom Hardy (Season 1) FX TV Drama” on YouTube
If you are concerned that this focus on the dark will scar my psyche, well you should have been around when I was nine years old. That was the year I read Edgar Allen Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne. The next year it was Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Shelley’s Frankenstein. Were these works not on your high school and college reading lists?
Aspects of Taboo that annoyed critics tended to amuse me. For example, James Keziah Delany was delusional. Many of the fictional characters that I have enjoyed over the past 68 years have been delusional. By today’s standards a number of important historical figures were delusional. Important historical events resulted from mass hysteria or delusions. Who decides when another person’s supranatural belief system is delusional.
And could James, a severely traumatized man, sometimes be experiencing flashbacks instead of delusions? According to his servant his mother did try to drown him when he was an infant. According to the storyline, he did play an important role in sending a hole full of enslaved Africans to a frightening death. I could go on and on.
However, the most important thing about Taboo for me is that it forced me to look more closely at some historical questions. I now have a better understanding of who ruled England during the American Revolution and the War of 1812. I definitely know more about the East India Company, the conflict with Spain over the Northwest passage to China, and the treaty establishing the border separating Canada from the US.
I have a better idea of what life was like in the British Isles during this time period. I sidestepped into some fictionalized accounts of the settling of Australia as a penal colony. I watched both the controversial Banished and The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant.
AFTER MARY BRYANT it was time to switch back to a more romantic view of Cornwall. I accomplished this by using my Masterpiece Theater subscription to finish season 4 of Poldark. WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU NEVER HEARD OF POLDARK? WE LIVE IN ALTERNATE REALITIES.
Watch “Poldark: Trailer – BBC One” on YouTube
Hey, I snuck in a viewing of Avengers: The Infinity War https://youtu.be/6ZfuNTqbHE8
After getting my Scifi fix, I jumped back in time to watch season two of Jamestown. It hit a little closer to home. For more than 30 years, I attempted to explain to students that the integrationist versus the separatist orientations among African Americans did not start with Dubois and Garvey. I loved seeing them played out on screen between Maria and Pedro.
Watch “Jamestown Series Two – Coming Soon” on YouTube
Maria’s tortuous punishment brought me back to where I was once again able to read more of the Underground Railroad.
I USE BOOKS, TELEVISION, AND MOVIES TO DISTRACT ME FROM PAIN. I DON’T HAVE THE ENERGY TO FORMAT AND SPELLCHECK.