Where to watch Luther: BBC show and The Fallen Sun movie and why you don’t *have* to see one before you watch the other

Wondering where to watch Luther? Whether you're looking to dive into the BBC show or the Luther: Fallen Sun movie we've got you covered

Where to watch Luther and Luther: The Fallen Sun. Idris Elba as John Luther in Luther: The Fallen Sun
(Image credit: Cr. John Wilson/Netflix © 2023)

Where to watch Luther might be the question on your mind amid The Fallen Sun movie release and here we reveal how to catch-up on all things Luther where you are. 

From the moment the Luther Netflix movie trailer landed it was clear that the return of Idris Elba as DCI John Luther was going to be a moment to remember - not least because of what went down in the final episode of the original BBC show. Having started in 2010 the crime series has gone from strength to strength leading to this feature-length story and we haven’t seen Luther himself on our screens since 2019. The movie hasn’t disappointed and its release has likely got many people looking to watch Luther and Luther: The Fallen Sun film that everyone’s talking about.

Here we reveal where to watch Luther the TV show and Luther: The Fallen Sun, how many seasons of Luther there are and whether you really have to watch all the episodes before The Fallen Sun…

*Warning: spoilers ahead*

Luther: The Fallen Sun. Idris Elba as John Luther in Luther: The Fallen Sun

(Image credit: Cr. John Wilson/Netflix © 2023)

Where to watch Luther

Watch Luther in the US

In contrast to the upcoming The Last Kingdom movie which will stream on Netflix just like The Last Kingdom seasons 1-5 did before it, the Luther TV series isn't available to watch via the same platform as the new Luther movie. The place to head for US-based fans of the original BBC show is Hulu where all seasons of the hit Idris Elba drama are available to watch to your heart’s content. Luther fans can also stream the first four seasons via Amazon Prime Video with a BritBox subscription.  

Luther: The Fallen Sun. Idris Elba as John Luther

(Image credit: Cr. John Wilson/Netflix © 2023)

Watch Luther in the UK

For any fans wondering where to watch Luther in the UK the answer is BBC iPlayer where all seasons of the show are ready and waiting to be watched now. The dark British crime drama was originally broadcast on BBC One and so it’s perhaps no surprise that it remained available to watch via its on-demand platform as a boxset, just as the likes of Line of Duty and Happy Valley are.  

Luther: The Fallen Sun. Idris Elba as John Luther in Luther: The Fallen Sun

(Image credit: Cr. John Wilson/Netflix © 2023)

Sadly, if you’re going to be abroad after finding out where to watch Luther, then you won’t be able to immerse yourself into Idris Elba's DCI John Luther's relentless pursuit of criminals as you normally would at home. Luckily there’s an easy solution and you can use a VPN to continue watching. This is a handy bit of software that changes your IP address so that you can access on-demand content or live TV just as if you were at home.

Our sister site, TechRadar, has tested all of the major VPN services and they rate ExpressVPN as the absolute best. They say, “It’s compatible with all of your devices, supports most streaming services, and ranks among the fastest. You can even install it on devices like an Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox, and PlayStation. So for a one-stop-shop, you can’t go wrong with Express.”  


ExpressVPN service | Get 49% off and 3 months FREE  

Ranked among one of the fastest VPN providers, this risk-free service is also compatible with all of your devices. Enjoy access to almost any streaming service, and if you don't like it there's a 30-day money-back guarantee.

If you've never installed a VPN before, don't worry, it's quick and easy. Just follow these three steps:

  1. Download and install the VPN following ExpressVPN's easy-to-follow instructions.
  2. Once you've installed your VPN, open the app and select your server location as anywhere in the UK.
  3. With your VPN installed and server location set to UK, you can now watch Luther online. 

VPN disclaimer

(Image credit: Future)

Where to watch Luther: The Fallen Sun

If you’re already a die-hard Luther fan and have been wondering where to watch Luther: The Fallen Sun now the movie has landed then look no further than Netflix. Both US and UK-based viewers alike can see Idris Elba back in action as the determined DCI in the film where he is one of two returning characters from the series, the other being his old boss Detective Superintendent Martin Schenk. 

Released in select movie theaters in February 2023, the Luther movie came to Netflix in March and has a running time of 2 hours 15 minutes. This allows for plenty of twisted reveals and high-octane chases as Luther’s journey to take down a psychopathic serial killer builds to the Luther: The Fallen Sun ending. Now you know where to watch Luther: The Fallen Sun there's plenty of time to make your way through the original TV drama before settling down to watch this spellbinding movie.

How many seasons of Luther are there?

There are five seasons of Luther, meaning that anyone who has yet to immerse themselves in the gritty BBC drama has quite the back catalog of episodes to enjoy making their way through. Each episode is an hour long and whilst some instalments especially in the later seasons feature cases that continue into other episodes, often the chilling crimes and their equally disturbing perpetrators are confined to a specific single episode as a standalone storyline. 

Luther: The Fallen Sun. Idris Elba as John Luther

(Image credit: Cr. John Wilson/Netflix © 2023)

Do you have to watch Luther before Luther: The Fallen Sun?

*Warning: Spoilers ahead*

It’s perhaps all--too easy to wonder whether you have to watch Luther seasons 1-5 before delving into Luther: The Fallen Sun movie however the answer is technically, no, although it does pick up after Luther season 5 chronologically. The Luther movie’s only returning characters from the original series are DCI John Luther and Detective Superintendent Martin Schenk, meaning there’s no need to have meticulously watched all of the TV show to be able to know who everyone is. Instead, movie viewers and long-time Luther fans alike are being introduced to plenty of intriguing new characters in Luther: The Fallen Sun. 

Luther: The Fallen Sun. Dermot Crowley as Martin Schenk

(Image credit: Cr. John Wilson/Netflix © 2023)

Admittedly the end point of Luther season 5 which saw Luther arrested by Martin is useful to know going into Fallen Sun where Luther is in prison. However, the movie begins prior to his arrest and then jumps forward to his imprisonment, giving context for why he was arrested for those who might not know. It even slightly re-interprets the ending circumstances for season 5 by making the movie’s primary villain David Robey (played by Andy Serkis) the one who got hold of the evidence that got him arrested in the first place. 

This isn’t something that was part of the Luther season 5 finale and has been weaved into Luther lore since, so newcomers again wouldn’t be left too adrift watching the film if they hadn’t seen the show first. The case Luther ends up pursuing in The Fallen Sun is also an entirely new one and isn’t connected to any of the investigations he led during the course of Luther seasons 1-5 which again places show fans and movie-only fans on an equal footing. 

Luther: The Fallen Sun. Idris Elba as John Luther

(Image credit: Cr. John Wilson/Netflix © 2023)

Ultimately, whilst it would give you greater understanding of the complexity of DCI John Luther as a character to have seen his journey throughout Luther seasons 1-5 before watching Luther: The Fallen Sun it’s by no means essential. Viewers can still enjoy every sinister twist and high-octane moment in the movie without watching a single episode of the BBC show. 

Likewise, show fans could choose to never see the movie and it wouldn't radically change their viewing experience. Season 5 left things with Luther being arrested, drawing to a close with his future unclear. The movie ending also leaves his future unconfirmed albeit its hinted he might be about to get a job offer, but overall the uncertain note remains consistent from TV show to movie.  

Those who were wondering where to watch Luther now have the answer so why not make your way through both the movie and show in whichever order suits you? Just be prepared for some seriously intense chases, morally ambiguous behavior and emotional scenes from DCI John Luther as he attempts to right the wrongs he investigates.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!