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Inspector Lewis TV Mystery Series

Updated on April 25, 2018
Oxford Cityscape
Oxford Cityscape | Source

Gotta Love Lewis

For Detective Inspector Robbie Lewis, it looks like Dr. Hobson’s prediction is true: once a copper, always a copper.

Retirement just doesn’t suit Lewis. He’d already tried allotment gardening. No go.

Looks like boat building and cookery are not for him, either.

Problem solving, that he can do. Especially the criminal kind.

As for newly promoted Detective Inspector James Hathaway looks like he can use the help. So severe, after this mysterious walk around Spain. (NOT a pilgrimage, he says).

What’s with the short hair?

He’s so terse he cannot seem to keep detective sergeants around very long, though this latest partner, DS Lizzy Maddox, has promise.

The 2014 series of Inspector Lewis (Season 7 in the USA, Season 8 in the UK).

Now that Lewis is un-retired, fans like me are looking forward to more of the story!

Lewis Series Numbers

The newest Lewis series is Series 8 in 2014, UK numbering.

In the USA, the 2014 episodes are called Series 7.

Check the episodes by name, to be sure you're getting the series you mean to!

Where Lewis Left Off

The 2013 series of Inspector Lewis ends with a pair of pints, Lewis and Hathaway relaxing by the river, and fuzzy notions of what they might each do next. Too vague to be called plans.

What each man knows for sure: Big changes are coming..

The episodes of the 2013 series are: Down Among the Fearful, The Ramblin' Boy and Intelligent Design. (Series 7 in the UK and Series 6 in the US)

Lewis Returns

It looked like it was certain, that the 2013 series would be the last. Fortunately the producers left the door ajar, and good screenwriters found openings that made sense.

The Oxford police, and especially James Hathaway, can use more of Lewis' wisdom.

The 2014 series will at least hint at the answers left open after the 2013 series. (But I'd spoil it if I told you all the hints I've seen.)

  • Lewis will retire eventually. What will he do?
  • Hobson can't be left hanging forever. Will Lewis and Hobson finally make up their minds, one way or the other, about a closer relationship?
  • Hathaway has a lot on his mind. Will he continue in police work, or strike out into another career?

Yes, yes, and hard to say.

Hathaway knows what he doesn't want. Is he going to be happy without the adrenaline rush or mental challenges he found in police work? Yet, he said several times he wouldn't want to do it without Lewis. It's got to be more than a job to James.

Keeping Lewis Fresh Over Time

Lewis TV Series Background

Spinoff From Inspector Morse Series

This popular British TV mystery series is based on the long-running favorite, Inspector Morse. The program is called simply "Lewis" in the UK.

It's no surprise that Inspector Lewis (played by Kevin Whately) is popular in its own right, with new mystery fans, and carry over fans from the Morse series, based on the novels of Colin Dexter. The Robert Lewis character was a sergeant when he worked with Chief Inspector Morse of the Thames Valley Police.

In the Lewis series, Lewis works in his new role as Detective Inspector. (Morse fans will recall that Sergeant Lewis was off taking the exam for this promotion at the end of that series.)

This new series focuses on the Inspector Lewis character, well known from the Morse series. Lewis appears in almost every one of the Morse episodes.

The name of the police force has been changed to Oxfordshire, a fictional police agency. (Thames Valley is real.)

The medical examiner, Dr. Laura Hobson (played by Clare Holman), also comes over from the Morse series. The other main characters are new, including Lewis' partner, Detective Sergeant James Hathaway (Laurence Fox) and the new head of their station, Chief Superintendent Jean Innocent (Rebecca Front).

The evolving association between Lewis and Hathaway is one of the most interesting parts of the Lewis series.

In addition to solving crimes (and sometimes because of all they've seen) both men are continually examining the greater meaning of their lives..

Lewis Series - In the USA

Inspector Lewis Gains More Fans

American fans of Inspector Lewis can enjoy Lewis episodes on DVD, including the new 2014 programs.

It's no surprise that the Lewis series is one of the top most-watched television dramas in the UK, with more and more fans in the USA each year.

When purchasing Lewis programs on DVD, take note of the name of the series. The 2011 programs are Series V in the UK, but called "IV" in the US and in the nutshell descriptions -- 2011 is Series V, according to the entire Lewis series history. When viewing or purchasing, check The names of the episodes to make sure you are where you want to be in the series.

Also give attention to the program length. Some of the DVDs sold in the USA have shorter, 90- minute edited episodes. If you want the full versions, look for the UK versions, and make sure you have a region-free DVD player for them.

Lewis Series 5 - My Review

More Oxford Mysteries - And Relationships Evolve

All four episodes of Inspector Lewis, Series 5, have aired in the UK, where it's known simply as Lewis.

If you're a serious Lewis fan, perhaps it won't matter if I give away some hints, because you watch the episodes over and over, to see the details of the relationships, as well as the mystery plots. Here are the episode titles for this latest series:

  • Old, Unhappy, Far Off Things
  • Wild Justice
  • The Mind Has Mountains
  • The Gift of Promise

As in all the Lewis episodes, crime in Oxford keeps the police on their toes. The students, staff and faculty are not immune from the emotions and relationships that sometimes lead to murder.

The actors and production of Series 5 is top notch, in keeping with the earlier programs. My one question...the motives for some of the murders are not completely clear. How did a certain killer decide that a certain person had to go? Perhaps I missed a detail in a couple of the episodes. I'll have to watch again. (I'd do that anyway.)

Can DS Hathaway Stop Smoking? - I Guess We Know

Don't you just love the snarky tone of that tape Hathaway was listening to, a few seasons back? Now that we've moved forward in time, I guess we know the answer.

As James moves forward will smoking lose its appeal? Can he ease his anxiety with something else?

Can Hathaway Ditch the Cigs?

See results

Inspector Lewis - Sergeant Hathaway - Relationships

How Do They Get on in Series 5?

Spoiler: Some things just don't change.

In Lewis, Series 5:

  • Lewis continues to keep an eye out for Hathaway, and Hathaway continues to watch over Lewis behind the scenes. Neither one wants to think about their working lives without the other one, warts and all.
  • Lewis and Hathaway are continuing to evaluate their lives, and thinking about the future. Will Lewis retire? Will Hathaway change careers? Yes or no, how will it go?
  • It's nice to see James acting more in an Inspector capacity. Their relationship seems to be in adolescence. Those growing pains are coming out at times, and then they settle into a new level of working well, as the cases progress.
  • And who knows...before the Lewis program ends in some far future there a love interest for Hathaway, dawning on the horizon? A pretty, intelligent woman who can challenge the mind as well as attract his eye?
  • Love for Lewis...his relationship with Hobson seems to have moved forward only a bit, to the frustration of almost everyone else. What are they waiting for? And if Lewis retires, will he stay in Oxford, or move up north, close to this daughter and her growing family?

My test for how things are going in the backstories in Lewis is this: who walks off into the sunset with who at the end of each episode. I'm sure the producers are doing this on purpose. The events in the last two minutes of an episode foreshadows things to come.

As you watch Series 5, look for these details, and see what you think! The same with the later seasons.

Overall, Lewis Series 5 is a worthy addition to the Lewis programs, and I hope to see more episodes being made for years to come. On to the next set of new Lewis episodes.

Inspector Lewis Series - One Viewpoint

Many fans of Morse are also following the Lewis series. Some say that this offshoot is even better than the original.

I have to agree, though I like the Morse series as well. Why? Or the closer idea, easier to relate to -- I believe that one reason is the changes in technology (both on and off screen). The new series feels like today because it is current. The older series is enough older that it feels a bit out of phase.

But the biggest reason, I think, is the main characters. We love Morse, though he is quixotic. DI Lewis is steady, smart, and determined. Two different but complementary approaches to solving cases. We can see things that Lewis learned from Morse come into play, yet Lewis puts his own stamp on his work.

Viewers are interested in these characters because they are interestingly written and acted. In addition to the crimes to be solved, we find out about the characters' personal lives. We get a sense of how much Lewis has suffered from the unexpected death of his wife, and his ongoing process to move on with his life.

DS Hathaway, Lewis' assistant, is also very interesting. He was studying for the priesthood, then made a detour into police work, under circumstances that are not completely explained. When Hathaway doesn't want to answer questions about himself, he knows how to deflect them.

Kevin Whately, who plays Lewis, makes it look effortless. Laurence Fox, who plays Hathaway, does a fine job as well. I hope to see this series continue for years to come.

Morse or Lewis?

See results

Lewis DVDs From the UK

Extra Footage - Extra Features

Look for the UK versions of the Inspector Lewis TV series (called simply Lewis in the UK) to have about 10 extra minutes of footage in each episode. In the US versions,especially in the early years.

PBS has trimmed out some scenes to allow for an overall run time that fits within the 90-minute program schedule.

This change allows for the Masterpiece Mystery introduction and closing titles. Some US versions on DVD do not replace this footage.

Some aficionados of the Lewis series are getting their disks from the UK, noting the exchange rate and postage. Just make sure you have a DVD player that is either region free, or can play Region 2 disks. (DVDs from the US are Region 1.)

Check out one of the Lewis selections on the Amazon UK site for versions that include extra features as well, that are not included on the individual series' sets.


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