Wednesday, 7 October 2015


[Spoiler-Free] Oxford-set British detective drama Lewis (Inspector Lewis in the US), a spin-off from Inspector Morse, was launched in 2006. Although it was assumed that Series 7 would be its last, Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox returned as Lewis and Hathaway for an eighth series last year on ITV.  

Series 9 premiered yesterday in the U.K. (Lewis is co-produced by the American network PBS) with the first part of One for Sorrow.

DI Robbie Lewis, pathologist Laura Hobson (Clare Holman) and DS Lizzie Maddox (Angela Griffin) try to identify the remains of a body found in a well. Meanwhile DI James Hathaway visits his estranged father Philip (Nicholas Jones), who's now in a care home because of dementia. Young avant-garde artist Talika Desai (Shanaya Rafaat) and her agent Sean Wilkinson (Ralf Little) open an exhibition of her artwork mixing video and taxidermy. But she's found dead the next day from an apparent drug overdose. Joe Moody (Steve Toussaint), the new Chief Superintendent, is dubious about Lewis's motivation for coming out of retirement and he threatens his position as a consultant for Oxfordshire Police.

Since 2013 each series of Lewis consists of stories split by ITV in two 60-minute instalments. This inappropriate change, conveniently turning three episodes into six, breaks the momentum of the story. Thankfully, feature-length versions are still aired on PBS or French public broadcaster France 3. Directed by Nick Laughland (Midsomer Murders), One for Sorrow is written by the talented Helen Jenkins, behind the return of Lewis and Hathaway in the excellent Entry Wounds last year. The cast, which also includes Emma Cunniffe, Steve Pemberton, Helen Schlesinger, and Tim Piggott-Smith, is really great.

The portrayal of Philip Hathaway by Nicholas Jones is touching. Dementia is approached with sensitivity in this very good episode (1). Angela Griffin returns to what successfully became a detective trio in the previous series. The only problem for now is the new boss, CS "Don't bother with the 'Sir' thing, it's Joe" Moody, whose only purpose is to be the perfect idiot. Of course, it's hard to replace Chief Superintendent Jean Innocent, played by Rebecca Front, but let's hope that the character will evolve rapidly in the second half (2). Lewis is a co-production ITV Studios and Masterpiece. The music, composed by Barrington Pheloung, is orchestrated and conducted by Matthew Slater.

(1) Interestingly, Kevin Whately investigated the subject of dementia in a formidable 2009 documentary produced for ITV's programme Tonight (
(2) The two-part format definitely doesn't help.

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