Luther is a British psychological crime drama starring Idris Elba as the titular character Detective Chief Inspector John Luther. The first series debuted on 4 May 2010, and ran for a total of six episodes.. The show follows the character of John Luther, a highly talented murder detective whose brilliant mind cannot always save him from the strength of his passions. Creator Neil Cross has said that Luther is influenced by both Sherlock Holmes and Columbo: The nature of Luther's intellect and its application to solving crimes is comparable to Holmes', whereas the show's use of the "inverted detective format" (wherein the audience is aware of the identity of the criminal but not of how they will be caught, as opposed to the conventional format of the audience discovering the criminal as the characters do) was inspired by Columbo. The series also appears to exist within the same fictional universe as a number of other crime dramas, due to mentions of a Detective Munch, who works within New York's Special Victims Unit.