Idris Elba's Luther special sets December premiere date | EW.com

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Idris Elba's Luther special has set a premiere date

(Robert Viglasky/BBC)

John Luther, the brilliant but self-destructive London detective played by Idris Elba in Luther, can’t stay away. And now we know just when he’ll be back.

Elba is set to return to the title role in a one-night special airing Dec. 17 at 9 p.m. ET, BBC America announced Thursday.

Written by Luther creator Neil Cross and directed by Sam Miller, the special will find its tormented hero thwarted in his efforts to lead a normal life as he’s drawn into a complex case involving a cannibalistic serial killer.

The cast also includes Rose Leslie, Laura Haddock, Darren Boyd, John Heffernan, Patrick Malahide, Michael Smiley, and Dermot Crowley.

Reflecting on his character’s state of mind, Elba said in the announcement, “I think Luther goes back just because he can’t stay away from it for too long. Ultimately, because he’s a protector, [he] just wants to be able to fix what he can see other people won’t be able to.”