The Luminaries Review

Yesterday, Paramount+ unleashed The Luminaries.

When we are first introduced to the series, we are transported to New Zealand 1886, where a woman is distressed and running through the woods. After a shootout, the woman looks into a shack to find a dead body and her hands covered in glittering dust, fainting as a result. The man survives, having been saved by the large mental pendant he is wearing, watching as the woman is carried off to the nearest town.

This is just the hook to get us invested in this murder mystery during the Gold Rush period. Going back nine months earlier, we see the distressed woman, Anna Wetherell (Eve Hewson), taking a solo trip from London to New Zealand, and the reason why becomes apparent as the series unfolds. On the ship she meets Emery Staines (Himesh Patel), and a connection is made instantly, agreeing to meet up later. But things don’t go to plan.

After being pickpocketed, Anna meets Madam Lydia Wells (Eva Green), who knows a good recruit when she sees one. Anna’s plans to meet Emery once docked are thwarted due to her not being able to read, so Lydia plans to have her lover, Francis Carver (Marton Csokas), do away with Emery.

Will these two cross paths again? Only time will tell, but there’s a lot more to this story that I won’t spoil for you.

Screen writer Eleanor Catton has cleverly stripped back her novel of the same name, and hooks the audience with a series full of murder, love an revenge that engrosses you from the first minute.

Eve Hewson and Eva Green are just delightfully compelling, and also watch out for Australian actors Ewen Leslie, Callan Mulvey, and Michael Sheasby, and adopted Aussie Erik Thomson.

Deeply intriguing and compelling, The Luminaries is one worth checking out.

3.5 Stars

The Luminaries landed on Paramount+ today.  


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