Tuesday 26 February 2008


I was dubious about the concept of ‘Lewis’, the spin-off from ‘Inspector Morse’. Much as I enjoyed the character and the actor in the original series, my instinct was to side with those who felt that enough was enough, and that television should give the dreaming spires a rest for a while longer. I’d been (apart from a few episodes) disappointed with the Geraldine McEwen version of ‘Marple’, and less than enthralled by the news that Julia Mackenzie is now being lined up to play Christie’s great spinster sleuth. I’m sure I’m not the only crime writer around who couldn't help thinking that it was time to give a few less familiar detectives a try on the small screen!

But that was before I saw ‘Lewis’ for the first time last Sunday. A very strong episode, written by the reliable Alan Plater, ‘And the Moonbeams Kiss the Sea.’ The cast was excellent, with the likes of Neil Pearson and Haydn Gwynne joined by the very attractive Emily Beecham (a murder victim all too soon, alas) and, in a very fine performance, Tom Riley as a gifted young artist with a form of autism. The Oxford locations were as pretty as ever, and the story-line came up with murder in the Bodleian – a classic ‘body in the library’, if ever there was one.

I really enjoyed the show. It may have lacked John Thaw, and one or two of the plot elements were a shade contrived, but it was great entertainment, up there with the best episodes of ‘Inspector Morse’. Lewis’s new sidekick Hathaway is an appealing character, and the mystery was witty (I loved the hoax Oxford tourist tours) and ingenious, with a couple of very interesting underlying themes linked with plagiarism and probability theory.

Excellent Sunday evening entertainment. It wasn’t quite as good as seeing Dionne Warwick live the previous week, but I shall certainly watch ‘Lewis’ again.


Patricia said...

I've only seen one quite a while back and I had the same reaction. Nicely entertaining. Enjoyed your post.

Anonymous said...

It will be a while, I'm sure, before we get to see Lewis over here, but I'm looking forward to this new series, especially after such an enthusiastic report from you.

He's not related, though. I'm pretty sure of that, too.


Martin Edwards said...

And I very nearly gave this episode a miss! It does make me wonder how many other gems I'm missing through sheer lack of time. Lots, I guess!

Kerrie said...

I'm with you on enjoying Lewis. It is sufficently different to Morse and I do like his offsider who represents in some ways the new side of policing, but in others is a reminder of Morse. And then Lewis is doing, voluntarily, some of the things that Morse did. There have been some nice touches like the Endeavour awards too.