Idris Elba is back as tormented genius DCI John Luther in the trailer above. The London detective, whose brilliant mind is often in conflict with the dangerous violence of his passions, returns in two new one-hour episodes next month which have been given confirmed air dates. On BBC One in the UK, the special kicks off December 15, and on BBC America in the States, it will air on December 17.

When we last saw Luther it was on Southwark Bridge in the Season 3 finale back in 2013. Since then, he’s tried to leave the darker side of humanity behind for a chance at a normal life. But that’s been thwarted as he’s pulled out of seclusion and pushed “closer to the edge than he’s ever been,” says BBCA of the new special that sees Luther tracking a cannibalistic serial killer.

The episodes are written by series creator Neil Cross and directed by Sam Miller. The special also stars Laura Haddock (Guardians Of The Galaxy) as a mysterious woman from Luther’s past; John Heffernan (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell) as the sadistic cannibal Steven Rose; Patrick Malahide (Game Of Thrones) as an old school gangster; Michael Smiley (Doctor Who) as returning computer whiz Benny Silver; Darren Boyd (Veep); Rose Leslie (The Last Witch Hunter); and Dermot Crowley (Babel).

Adam Robert Sherman
8 months
...does no one here remember Marshall Stacker "TONIGHT, WE ARE CANCELLING THE APOCALYPSE" Pentacost?
8 months
He was awesome in the wire. I don't he gets offered any better roles.
Flawless
8 months
This is the best news ever. Amazing franchise. Thank you BBC.

Elba has hinted that a major event occurs in the special. “I think there were bigger challenges when he lost his wife and his best friend. That was a huge pinnacle and something that it took him a long time to get over. And in this [special] there is something similar that happens to him that is definitely traumatic.”

Luther is a BBC In-House Drama Production and BBC America co-production distributed by BBC Worldwide.