Unusually, LEWIS, who was originally Morse's Detective Sergeant, is not really based on a fictional character at all. He was, originally, a 60-year old Welshman in the original Colin Dexter Inspector Morse series, but when they came to make the Morse TV series, he was transformed into a young Geordie with a family, acting as a foil to Morse's terse loner. It worked perfectly, and Kevin Whately's portrayal of Lewis was so successful that following Morse's demise, the producers decided to make a LEWIS series. Despite rumours to the contrary, a sixth series is under production, which is very good news indeed. Lewis is a British television detective
drama made as a spin-off from Inspector Morse, and set in Oxford. Kevin
Whately reprises his character Robert "Robbie" Lewis, who
had been Morse's Sergeant in the original series. Lewis has now been promoted
and is assisted by DS James Hathaway (Laurence Fox). The series is produced for ITV. Following the airing of a pilot in
2006, a first series of three episodes was broadcast in February/March 2007. A
second series of four episodes aired in early 2008. A third series of four
episodes was aired on ITV1 and ITV-HD from March–April 2009, but for some
reason this was not shown in Scotland. A fourth series aired throughout the UK
(including ITV1-HD where available) from 2 May 2010, and a fifth series from 3
April 2011, each again of four episodes. In June 2011, ITV announced that a
sixth series of 4 episodes has been commissioned for airing in 2012. PBS broadcasts
the series, as Inspector Lewis, in the United States and British
Columbia, Canada, as part of its Masterpiece Mystery series. Like most successful detectives, Lewis relies on his assistant, DS
Hathaway, using him to bounce ideas off, and occasionally Hathaway has flashes
of genius, but it's generally Lewis who solves the mysteries, and in this
respect he is like Barnaby (the original Jim Barnaby, played by John Nettles).
Lewis does appear in the original Morse novels, but you wouldn't recognise him.
Kevin Whately played the part to perfection in Morse, and has more than come
into his own in his own spin-off series. The series is stylish and stately, and
invariably involves an upper-middle-class or even aristocratic backdrop, either
in one of the Oxford colleges or in a nearby stately home, most of which are
well known to James Hathaway, of course. This series works perfectly because of
the chemistry between Lewis and Hathaway, and because of the extremely strong
supporting cast, with Lewis's boss, Chief Superintendent Jean Innocent played
by Rebecca Front, and pathologist Dr Laura Hobson, with whom Robbie Lewis now
has a serious relationship, played by Claire Holman. All five series so far shown
on ITV and ITV-HD are available on DVD, with 5.1 Surround sound, they do not
appear to be in high definition.
It is regrettable that no novelisations of any of the Lewis series have
been written, and this would appear to be a serious oversight. The TV series is
immensely popular and fans would, I am sure, welcome the opportunity to read
Lewis novels, though how this could be achieved without Colin Dexter's input is
hard to imagine. There is plenty of Lewis fanfiction at fanfiction.net, but I
would personally steer clear of it - it is mostly rubbish, and like most fan
fiction, often descends into an excuse for unlicensed sex and distasteful flash
fiction. For the time being, it seems, we must be content with watching the
magnificent Kevin Whately as Chief Inspector Robbie Lewis and the fantastic
Laurence Fox as DS Hathaway. For me, Lewis was always the best character in the
Morse TV series, and the LEWIS TV series is among the very best detective drama
on television - long may it continue. Press Release: Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox's Lewis has been picked up for another series by ITV1. The Morse spinoff, which has been a regular
ratings hit for the broadcaster, features Whately and Fox as Oxford's Inspector
Robbie Lewis and DS James Hathaway. Three new titles for the series have been
revealed as 'Generation of Vipers', 'The Age of Foolishness' and 'Death of the
Author'. 'Vipers' has been penned by Patrick Harbinson, while Rachel Bennette,
Simon Block and Russell Lewis teamed up for the other episodes. "Lewis and
Hathaway have become a formidable partnership not only in terms of cracking
murders cases, but also in terms of their popularity with ITV1 viewers, "
said ITV's controller of drama commissioning Sally Haynes. "We're thrilled they are returning
to work on some great new stories." Exec producer Michele Buck said:
"Lewis and Hathaway's partnership has grown in popularity with every
series as viewers enjoy the fine writing, acting and excellent production
values Lewis has to offer." David O'Neill
(Law & Order) has been unveiled as the director of episode one,
while Toby Stephens (Die Another Day) is the first guest star confirmed
for the latest run. Morse creator Colin Dexter will continue to act as
consultant for the series.
Pilot: The drama began with a one-off pilot,
written by Stephen Churchett from an idea by Russell Lewis, with
Morse creator Colin Dexter in a consultant's role. As a result of the
pilot's success, ITV announced a full series of three new episodes. Lewis returns from overseas, having come to
terms with the loss not only of Morse, but also of his wife Val (killed in a
hit and run incident). The pilot introduces the key new characters, Hathaway
and Innocent. Throughout the course of sixteen episodes produced so far, a bond
of trust, first professional and later (and lesser degree) personal, is seen to
grow between Lewis and Hathaway.
1. Whom The Gods
Lewis and Hathaway investigate a murder
involving a group called the Sons of the Twice Born named after an epithet of Dionysus relating
to his birth, whose activities are shrouded in Greek codes, quotes from Nietzsche and
a Dionysian fondness for drugs. The title is part of a quotation mis-attributed
to Euripides - the full quotation is Whom the
gods would destroy, they first make mad. (q:Euripides)
2. Old School Ties
When an ambitious Oxford student is
found dead in her hotel room after inviting a reformed computer hacker to speak
at the Union, Lewis and Hathaway are called in to investigate. The pair are
soon drawn into a case driven by celebrity, ambition and dangerous sexual
politics, which strikes alarming chords with Lewis.
Lewis and Hathaway investigate the
alleged suicide of a housewife living in Summertown.
1. And The
Moonbeams Kiss The Sea
Lewis and Hathaway investigate the
death of a maintenance engineer found shot in the head in the basement of the Bodleian
Library. A search of the dead man's house reveals a stash of valuable volumes
and a connection to the local gamblers anonymous group, with further probing
exposing a scam involving two Oxford academics.
2. Music To Die For
Lewis and Hathaway are called in to
investigate a boxing scam, a close link to Lewis' old boss, Inspector Morse,
and a love triangle linked to the Stasi.
3. Life Born Of
Lewis investigates when a devout young
Christian desecrates a church by committing suicide on its altar, claiming in a
call to the police that it was "murder". Hathaway recognises him as
Will McEwan, an old school friend. As the detectives delve deeper, a series of
gruesome murders occur, all involving members of "The Garden", a
modern Christian club, and Hathaway, who once trained for the priesthood,
appears to know a lot more than he is willing to tell his boss.
4. The Great And
Following the rape of a teenage girl,
Lewis and Hathaway stumble across the curious private dinner parties of high
school computer technician Oswald Cooper, who ends up being brutally murdered
and castrated after entertaining several highly respected society figures.
1. Allegory of Love
A Czech barmaid is found slashed to
death by an antique Persian mirror, paralleling an incident in a
newly published fantasy novel Boxlands, which was
inspired by the childhood stories of C.S. Lewis (after whose book The Allegory of Love the episode is named). When the author's fiancée finds her life
under threat from a shadowy stalker, Lewis suspects that the first murder was a
case of mistaken identity, and must work fast before the killer returns to
rectify the mistake.
2. The Quality Of
A preview performance of a student
production of The Merchant of Venice is cut
short when the actor playing Shylock is stabbed to death with a prop
knife. The victim was a womaniser and drug-user who, when he could not borrow
money, stole instead. Lewis and Hathaway are working their way through a
lengthy list of suspects when another person connected to the play is killed.
In a separate investigation involving a con man, Hathaway faces a dilemma
involving Lewis's past.
3. The Point Of
Lewis and Hathaway look into the murder
of a man found beaten and drowned in his bath, with massive burns due to the
boiling water. The deceased is identified as a man who once attempted to murder
Tom Rattenbury, a celebrated atheist, but instead crippled Rattenbury's
daughter, Jessica. The investigation is not helped by Rattenbury's ambitious
and over-protective wife. A Renaissance painting, The Hunt in the Forest (also
known as The Hunt by Night or simply The Hunt) by the Italian artist Paolo
Uccello, is a key clue in the mystery. It is perhaps the best-known painting in
the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, England.
4. Counter Culture
An ageing pop star causes complaints
when he fires off his hunting rifle and disturbs the local Sunday service. When
he goes to caution him, Lewis is shocked to encounter Esme Ford, a rock singer
he had once admired, who was believed to have drowned years ago. The body of a
teenage boy, who has been repeatedly run over by a vehicle, points to a
connection with members of Esme's old band.
Series Four The four episodes of Series 4 were
filmed in the summer and autumn of 2009, and began airing on May 2, 2010.
1. The Dead of
After a body is found on an Oxford tour
bus, Lewis and Hathaway are led to Crevecoeur Hall, a sprawling Oxford estate
where Hathaway spent much of his childhood.
2. Dark Matter
When Andrew Crompton, amateur astronomer and
Master of Gresham College, is found dead at the foot of the University
Observatory stairs, Lewis and Hathaway find that the finger of suspicion points
at all the staff - from tutors right down to the head porter and the college
scouts. Lewis uncovers a college-wide blackmail plot and is confused by a
mysterious astronomical conundrum. Hobson is unexpectedly drawn into the case
while rehearsing for a performance with a local orchestra at the college.
3. Your Sudden
Over an August Bank Holiday, an empty
Oxford college is the venue for a weekend attended by professional quiz
contestants. Though both have personal plans for the weekend; Lewis going out
of town to attend a play, and Hathaway a rock concert, they are called in when
outstanding competitor Ethan Croft is found floating dead in the college
fountain. They learn that Croft was an outrageous flirt with a number of
secrets, and the pair race to uncover the killer before the gathering breaks
up. Meanwhile, Hathaway discovers that Lewis was planning a romantic weekend at Glyndebourne with
a mystery date. On the side Lewis assists Hathaway in retrieving his
vintageGibson guitar, which was stolen from his car while at the rock
4. Falling Darkness
On Halloween night, a university friend
of pathologist Laura Hobson is found staked through the heart. During their
investigation, Lewis and Hathaway are approached by a medium who claims that
they are in grave danger. The following day a student is murdered in the house
that Hobson shared with her university friends, and a clue at the crime scene
leads Lewis and Hathaway to a third victim. As the body count rises Lewis and
Hathaway are forced to acknowledge that Hobson might know more about the deaths
than she is letting on.