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Mystery!: Inspector Lewis
Mystery Inspector Lewis
Actors: Kevin Whately, Jemma Redgrave, Clare Holman, Jack Ellis (III), Laurence Fox
Director: Bill Anderson (III)
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2006     1hr 35min

MYSTERY! presents a gripping detective drama featuring echoes of the past, as Kevin Whately returns as Robbie Lewis, former sidekick to the legendary Inspector Morse. Inspector Lewis is an intelligent contemporary crime st...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Kevin Whately, Jemma Redgrave, Clare Holman, Jack Ellis (III), Laurence Fox
Director: Bill Anderson (III)
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, British Television, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: WGBH Boston
Format: DVD - Color,Letterboxed
DVD Release Date: 09/12/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 35min
Screens: Color,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Excellent sequel! More, please!
Price Grisham | Essex, MA United States | 08/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I watched this episode eagerly, yet somewhat appreshensively--but was delighted with the way Lewis had gained in his professional insights, while retaining his personality from the earlier Morse series. Morse having been the academic foil from whom Lewis learned (and who learned from Lewis), the introduction of a young academic as Lewis' suborindate was a brilliant stroke---as well as that of giving the younger man a theological background, even as Lewis struggles with his own loss of faith. (Indeed, a point of fine-tuned accuracy: the assistant is from Cambridge University, Oxford's rival and historically somewhat more sympathetic to traditional Christian theology).

I must agree with the reviewer who thought this episode rather more rushed than those that starred John Thaw. A few things did seem thrown in at the last moment. But how wonderful to see all the old Oxford sites, including (I believe) the Trout Inn at the end of the episode. Having once applied for doctoral studies there (Oxford, not the Trout, though I'm sure the two would become intertwined), I must confess that it was fantasatic to see the "city of dreaming spires" again! I sincerely hope there are many more episodes to come! (I would gladly volunteer as an "extra" on the set if they need a pseudo-academic with mild cerebral palsy!)"
An Old Formula in a New Mystery. Inspector Lewis Retains His
mirasreviews | McLean, VA USA | 08/01/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

""Inspector Lewis" is the successor to the immensely popular "Inspector Morse" detective series that featured the reclusive, erudite, Oxford Detective Chief Inspector Morse, created by novelist Colin Dexter, and his younger working-class partner Detective Sergeant Lewis. "Inspector Morse" began in 1987 and ran 33 episodes until Morse's death in 2000. "Inspector Lewis" picks up when DI Lewis returns from a 2-year assignment in the Virgin Islands. A lot has happened in the 5 years since Morse's death. Three years ago, Lewis lost his wife to an unsolved hit-and-run accident. This left him bitter and apparently unsuitable for duties in Oxford, so Lewis was transferred to the Virgin Islands. Now his new, temporary partner Detective Sergeant James Hathaway asks, "Has Oxford changed much since you've been away?" Lewis replies, "Nope. It changed before I left."

Regan Peverill (Sophie Winkleman), a mathematics student at Oxford University, is shot to death while volunteering at a Sleep Laboratory. Her classmate Daniel Griffon (Charlie Cox) apparently entered the building with his unique key code just before the shooting and has lost a gun from his dorm room, making Danny the prime suspect. DCS Innocent (Rebecca Frost) reluctantly allows DI Lewis (Kevin Whately) to head the investigation until he can be replaced. Although the DCS discourages "speculating unnecessarily", Lewis and DS Hathaway (Laurence Fox) doubt that the case is as cut and dried as it seems. Danny's family owns the luxury auto company Griffin Motors, and he is set to inherit controlling interest when he turns 21. Since his father's death. the company has been under the control of Danny's uncle Rex Griffon (Jack Ellis), mother Trudie (Jemma Redgrave), and finance director Tom Pollock (Danny Webb). Danny is an unstable young man obsessed with the idea that his uncle murdered his father. Professor Denniston (Michael Maloney) was tutoring Danny the night of the murder and provides his alibi. But more murders are in store. And Professor Denniston's clock is wrong.

"Inspector Lewis" tries to recapture the formula that was part of "Inspector Morse"'s great success, and it does a pretty good job. Lewis is still the ordinary guy. His younger partner Hathaway is a more educated former seminary student who was booted out of school for reasons unknown. The interplay between them recalls the relationship of Morse and Lewis: An Everyman and an Oxbridge-educated detective with very different, complimentary perspectives. Now Lewis is the world-weary partner, and he's atheistic, in contrast to Hathaway's religious background. So Lewis has taken on the Morse role in some respects and retained his old working-class identity in others. The recipe might sound stale and contrived, but Lewis is still a likeable character and Hathaway is sharp and intriguing. "Inspector Lewis" has a characteristic Greek Tragedy bent: Old family secrets and contemporary character flaws combine with tragic consequences. This Lewis mystery comes off as well as the later Morse mysteries."
Dreaming Spires of the Past
Matthew Gladney | Champaign-Urbana, IL USA | 08/04/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"From 1987-2000, mystery lovers across the world immersed themselves in the television adventures of Inspector Endeavour Morse and his sidekick, Sgt. Robbie Lewis. They solved intricate crimes, all the while taking-in the beautiful scenery of the city of Oxford and the surrounding countryside. Then, Colin Dexter, the author of the Morse novels that the series was based on, decided to kill-off his signature character, and the television series followed suit. Even more sad was the passing of John Thaw, the talented actor who portrayed Inspector Morse, just two years after the series ended.

Enter Kevin Whately in 2005. Whately played Sgt. Lewis alongside Thaw's Morse for the entire series (minus one episode), and has returned to the colleges and dreaming spires of Oxford once more in a show of his own, aptly titled "Inspector Lewis." It's five years since Morse's death, and much has changed in Lewis's life. His wife passed away in a car accident, he lost his faith, saw his kids grow up and move out, and has just returned from an assignment abroad. When his new partner asks if Oxford has changed much during his absence, Lewis wearily replies, "It changed before I left."

There is a new superintendent running the Oxford police, and she does not take to Lewis immediately. Morse's old sidekick is given a new assistant in the form of DS Hathaway, a younger man who used to attend divinity school. He is keenly intelligent, has a quiet strength, and is played well by actor Laurence Fox. Lewis and Hathaway are assigned to investigate the murder of student Regan Peverill, shot while she was a patient at a sleep clinic. The suspects range from a disturbed male student who may or may not have been sleeping with the deceased, the father of the disturbed student, an egotistical professor, the manager of the sleep clinic, and a plethora of other suspicious characters.

"Inspector Lewis" retains many of the traditional elements of the preceding "Inspector Morse" series, and references the character of Morse quite a bit. There are references to Hamlet, the city of Oxford is featured prominently, and fans of the old show will appreciate the inclusion of Clare Holman as Dr. Laura Hobson. The unraveling of the crime is, I suppose, satisfactory, although the pacing of the story felt faster than a typical Morse story of old. If you're not familiar with the character of Robbie Lewis, then this is a great place to start. He stands on his own quite well. There is, however, a pervasive sense of sadness that encompasses "Inspector Lewis," as the past makes way for the future.

-- Matthew Gladney"
"People do just die, every day, for no good reason."
Mary Whipple | New England | 06/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Inspector Robbie Lewis arrives at the Oxford Police Department to a whole new regime when he returns to Oxford after three years in the Caribbean. He has been trying to come to grips with the death of his mentor, Inspector Endeavor Morse (whose series, including specials, ran from 1987 - 2000), and of his wife Valerie, in a London hit-and-run accident. The Chief Superintendent is now Jean Innocent, an abrupt woman who immediately assigns Lewis to a senior training post, though he wants to get back into action. Reluctantly, she allows him to manage a new murder case, but only for three days.

A young math student has been shot in the head at close range while at an Oxford sleep lab to which only a few people have access. The suspect is Danny Griffon, a disturbed but brilliant fellow-student, and the heir to a sports car company which the Japanese are in the process of buying. Lewis (Kevin Whately) and his partner, James Hathaway (Laurence Fox), a former seminarian, investigate this death and several others which occur within the next few days.

Those who loved the Inspector Morse series and who mourned not only the death of Morse, in the final episode, but also of actor John Thaw, in 2002, will be delighted by this spin-off, which gives Morse's sidekick his own series. Actor Kevin Whately continues his self-effacing role, but he also conveys a sense of competence, and his relationship with Hathaway reminds one of Morse's relationship with Lewis. Whately has obviously aged in the seven years since the end of the Morse series, and this serves him in good stead here, providing a sense of gravitas.

The wonderfully intricate plot to this pilot, as good as the best of the Morse series, keeps the viewer totally involved, and the occasional references to Morse, including a poignant visual reminder via a crossword puzzle which retains the outline of his coffee cup, add to the sense of continuity. The photography is outstanding, though not as dramatic here as it was in the Morse series, and Barrington Pheloung, who did the brilliant music for the Morse series, returns for this series. In England, this pilot was followed by three more episodes in February and March, 2007, and one can only hope these will be made available soon to those of us who long for more of the clever mysteries and wonderful characters we enjoyed with the Morse series. n Mary Whipple
"