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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.

What Did You Like About the Inspector Lewis Series? - What's Your Favorite Episode or Character, and Why?

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    • Charmcrazey profile image

      Wanda Fitzgerald 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      Wow Inspector Lewis is back! Awesome. Great review.

    • profile image

      sybil watson 

      4 years ago

      Inspector Morse is one of my favorite PBS series and I'm heartbroken that it won't be back. You've done a great job of describing what makes this partnership so interesting.

    • kimbesa2 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from USA

      @anonymous: Yes, I'm very disappointed as well. Word has it that the actors wanted to pursue other projects. Still, with four episodes per year, how long is the shooting schedule really?

      Some of the same people are involved in the new Endeavour series (writer, composer) so I'll see how I warm up to that. But it's NOT the same, for sure.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I'm devastated that Inspector Lewis will be no more. Lewis and Hathaway had such a special relationship. Please bring it back. The new Morse (Endeavor) series is a poor substitute.

    • kimbesa2 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from USA

      @emmakeynes: I know...I'm sad to see the end of Lewis. Maybe there could be another series eventually, like Morse. What will Lewis and Hobson be up to? And James Hathaway. A less than halfhearted effort to stop smoking, but what are his future plans? If not a cop, then what?

    • emmakeynes profile image


      5 years ago

      They can't stop the show! I love it so much and it's ending too quickly. No matter what people say about the show getting dull or whatever, I think they should continue. I like every episode and don't think they're getting dull.

    • SheilaMilne profile image


      5 years ago from Kent, UK

      I used to watch Inspector Morse (though I preferred the books). I didn't know about Lewis but after reading your review I'll have a look and try an episode or two.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      What a great review!

    • safereview profile image


      5 years ago from Kansas City

      I have never watched it and didn't know anything about the Inspector Lewis series, but I do now! Amazing amount of information. Blessed!

    • kimbesa2 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from USA

      @BrianRS: There are some press reports out there, to that effect. I'm hoping they've just left it up in the air enough so that they could continue if they want to. Or, who knows. Perhaps there could be a further spin off, the Adventures of Hathaway or some such... Thanks for stopping by!

    • BrianRS profile image

      Brian Stephens 

      5 years ago from France

      I watched the last episode last night, beginning to think that it might be the very last.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I not yet watch this show, thanks for sharing !

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 

      5 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      I get to watch these on Netflix. I love crime-solving shows.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great show and intricately woven plots. Love the show!

    • victoriuh profile image


      6 years ago

      I love the interaction between the two! Love the show.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      great "straightforwards" and wonderful "asides"....'>)...programming for the it!!

    • IQplusone profile image


      6 years ago

      I love Hathaway - he has so much charisma

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for introducing me to this show.

    • hessa johnson profile image

      hessa johnson 

      6 years ago

      I love this show - Hathaway is my favourite character, but I like the chemistry the two of them have. Really looking forward to watching the new season. Great lens!

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 

      6 years ago

      Cool Lens! I loved Morse; Inspector Lewis is good too, I like them all and wish they were on more often. I heard they actually have Inspector Morse Tours in England; I'd love to do that.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I like Lewis and Hathaway both the same, great programmes

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love this series. Just off now to catch up with the brand new episode that aired here in the UK yesterday :-)

    • Nancy S Oram profile image

      Nancy Oram 

      6 years ago

      Delighted to find this lens on one of my favorites! I've been waiting for them to come back this season.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Love this show! Fave character: Hathaway, cuz he's a guitar-playing rocker behind his cop exterior. :-)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I may have to buy this series so I can talk about it

    • MarcoG profile image


      6 years ago from Edinburgh

      I live just outside Oxford, so I love this :)

    • gottaloveit2 profile image


      6 years ago

      I don't watch much tv but may have to tune into this series now.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      The pairing of Whateley and Fox was masterful. The repartee is excellent and the realtionship between the two can be friendly, obtuse and moving. The stories are thoughful and rewarding. By far the best programme on TV for many a year. Most especially now that there is so much mind numbing trivia swamping the TV Channels. By comparison, Morse was a smug, lazy, opinionated narcissist who grosssly misused Lewis and took credit where it wasn't due!

    • kimbesa2 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from USA

      @melissiaoliver: Thanks for adding my lens to your Oxford is a good fit! Lewis and Morse fans love to see the real places where these series' are set.

    • melissiaoliver profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi, thanks for creating this great lens, thumbs up! I love Morse and Lewis, both the books and the TV series. I've linked to your lens on my lens 'a guide to the city of Oxford' - I thought it tied in well :)

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 

      6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      My husband watches this on a regular basis. I just get it hit and miss.

      I'll pass this information on to Will. Blessings.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 

      6 years ago

      lewis is the hero so he's my man.

    • TTMall profile image


      6 years ago

      Thank you for such an informative lens.

    • emmakeynes profile image


      6 years ago

      Love Lewis! Almost as good as Sherlock, but not quite there. Great lens!

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 

      6 years ago from Albany New York

      The series goes into a lot of detail. I like that. Nice lens!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens, great show, and I can't wait to catch the rest of it.

    • KarenHC profile image


      6 years ago from U.S.

      I've heard of this program, but haven't had the chance to watch it yet. I love well-done mysteries though, and will put this series on my "to view" list. You've piqued my curiosity about Inspector Lewis!

    • OldStones LM profile image

      OldStones LM 

      7 years ago

      Hard to put into words what I like about the Inspector Lewis Series, it's simply a fine intelligent mystery program. I think the Brits do mystery the best.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      7 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I skimmed this since I want to watch it and didn't want to read the spoilers. Sounds great!

    • adamfrench profile image


      7 years ago

      Impressive lens, thumbs up

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I love the way that the series takes you back to the way that England used to be, especially in the University town of Oxford. Debbie and I spent a day in Oxford in July, taking in locations used when filming Morse and Lewis, as well as Harry Potter.

    • kimbesa2 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from USA

      @LaraineRoses: I love the locations as well...they add so much to the story! I've never been to Oxford (only London) but one day... Thanks for stopping by!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 

      7 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      I enjoy it not only for the characters but also because the majority of the series is filmed in and around Oxford. Some scenes are also filmed at Brunel University, London. I enjoy seeing that part of the world.

    • bangcool profile image


      7 years ago

      I will check this one movie. I just heard here.. Great share

    • vauldine profile image


      7 years ago

      They are just about live scenes.Things that actually happen i life!

    • vauldine profile image


      7 years ago

      They are just about live scenes.Things that actually happen i life!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have not seen any of these series. But does sound interesting. It sounds like something I would check out.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I'm in the dark here as I haven't seen either Morse or Lewis. It sounds like a very interesting series.

    • kimbesa2 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from USA

      @thesuccess2: I think you'll enjoy Lewis! All mentions and allusions to Morse in this series are done with the highest respect. You'll see his stamp on Lewis, and Hathaway is also a bit of a chip off that block. Thanks for stopping by!

    • thesuccess2 profile image


      7 years ago

      I must be one of many who could not watch after Morse's death but after reading your lens will give it another try

    • UKGhostwriter profile image


      7 years ago

      They are all classics in their own right - great lens!

    • jackieb99 profile image


      7 years ago

      I'll have to check it out.

    • kimbesa2 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from USA

      @Louis Wery: Thanks! Yes, gotta love a guy whose name is Endeavour Morse...

    • Louis Wery profile image

      Louis Wery 

      7 years ago from Sarasota, Florida USA

      I liked reading your thoughts about the two series. While Morse seems dated, I like the edgy eccentricity of that series. And I love the setting in Oxford! Blessed...

    • kimbesa2 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from USA

      @sudokunut: I hear that it's more acceptable in the UK to be an unusual. Seems odd, with the perception of stuffiness that is sometimes seen from here. But it makes programs like these a lot more interesting. Thanks for commenting!

    • sudokunut profile image

      Mark Falco 

      7 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      Yes, this is a great series and I'm so glad it got a release over here in the US...I'm still waiting on some other excellent series I remember from back in England to get a release but the BBC and ITV are really slooooow at releasing them here. I could never get into Morse but my wife and I just watched the first three seasons of Inspector Lewis and really enjoyed them. My wife is really hooked on British mysteries and cop shows (especially those like Midsomer Murders, Inspector Lynley, A Touch of Frost) I think because of all the quirky characters.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for reminding this one!

    • kimbesa2 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from USA

      I like the characters (especially Lewis and Hathaway) and how they interact. They are private people, which adds to the curiosity. And there's the dry humor in their banter.


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