DVD review: “Lewis: Season 6 – 9” (2006-2015)

“Lewis: Season 6 – 9” (2006-2015)

Television

Thirteen Episodes

Created by: Colin Dexter

Featuring: Kevin Whately, Laurence Fox, Rebecca Front, Clare Holman, Angela Griffin and Steve Toussaint

DI Lewis: “Listen, You grab a table. I’ll get them in.”

DS Hathaway: “Thanks, Sir. Mine is a pint.”

DI Lewis: “Mine is a pint, sergeant. You are driving.”

[Throws car keys at Hathaway who catches easily]

DI Lewis: “Orange juice or what?”

Released recently on DVD are the last four series of the English crime drama “Lewis – Season 6 – 9 ” (2006-2015) which itself is a spinoff of the long running “Inspector Morse” (1987-2000) which featured John Thaw as Detective Chief Inspector Morse and Kevin Whately as Sergeant Lewis who were a mismatched pair that were always solving crime in Oxford.

This new series sees the now promoted Detective Inspector Robbie Lewis, still played by the excellent Kevin Whately, now he is assisted by his partner D.S. James Hathaway played by newcomer (to the series) Laurence Fox who as an educated police officer does an excellent job acting the part Morse used to, which is still a priceless dynamic.

As you would expect the relationship commences on a rocky note but as all odd couples do, both police officers find their feet over the series which, because of all those involved is done as smartly as possible with excellent directors and a great supporting cast with some excellent guest stars in each story. Together they investigate murder mysteries against the historic and glorious backdrop of Oxford and its University campus. With Clare Holman as Dr Laura Hobson and Rebecca Front as Chief Superintendent Innocent.

It’s pretty simple in terms of whether you will enjoy this series, if you enjoy mysteries that are set in idyllic locations as well as a storied University with all that entails you will love this series. It has a number of excellent actors who take their job seriously so they inhabit their characters which is fun to watch. I had never watched much of “Inspector Morse” but when it came to this series I really enjoyed it and was sad when it ended.

Episodes

Series Six

The Soul of Genius: A botanist accidentally unearths the corpse of a recently buried professor who was fixated upon solving a seemingly impossible riddle by Lewis Carroll. The victim had a long-standing rivalry with his brother – giving Lewis and Hathaway an obvious suspect – but the case is hindered by the mind games of two students who seem intent on causing trouble in their quest to gain admittance to a mysterious club.

Generation of Vipers: A professor feels humiliated when her internet dating video is leaked onto a website and watched by her students. The next morning she is found dead, the victim of what appears to be a straightforward suicide. However, Lewis is not convinced and digs deeper, identifying several suspects including the site’s founder. But as he and Hathaway get closer to the truth amid a rising death toll, they find their personal and professional lives dredged up online for all to see.

Fearful Symmetry: The murder of a babysitter throws up a number of questions for Lewis and Hathaway – was she the intended target or was the killer aiming for her employers? Was the crime calculated or opportunistic? And why is she elaborately tied up after being murdered? Soon after the first death, a friend of the dead woman is brutally killed, which brings up a slough of new questions. As the detectives dig for clues, they are led into a world of suburban swinging and fetish photography, far removed from the Oxford they know.

The Indelible Stain: When a visiting American academic delivers a controversial speech, many audience members are worried that his ideas could be used to target ethnic minorities. Thus when he is found hanged the next morning and Dr Hobson quickly discounts suicide, Lewis and Hathaway realise they have many suspects – from the local anti-racism activist who is first in voicing her disgust at the professor’s beliefs to the women who had bombarded him with threatening e-mails. But then another body turns up and the detectives find themselves pursuing even more leads.

Series Seven

Down Among the Fearful: The death of psychologist Reuben Beatty throws up a number of questions when he is found murdered in the offices of psychic Randolph James. It soon becomes clear that the two were one and the same: Beatty is moonlighting as a clairvoyant. Lewis struggles to unravel his baffling double life whilst contending with Oxford’s sinister psychic community.

The Ramblin’ Boy: Chief Superintendent Jack Cornish – an old acquaintance of Robbie’s – goes missing and a recently embalmed body is discovered near an isolated farm track: could there be a link? As Hathaway goes on sabbatical in Kosovo, Lewis takes the awkward, young but bright DC Gray under his wing to investigate the case. 

Intelligent Design: After seven years of ducking the question, Lewis and Hobson are embarking on a relationship, though the detective has a new puzzle to solve. An elderly don, Richard Seager, is struck by a car on the night of his release from prison; before dying, however, he mysteriously scratches the number ‘500’ into the paintwork. Lewis must contend with Seager’s wife, convinced that the sister of her husband’s victim is the guilty party. This episode features Miranda Raison as Prof. Stella Drew.

Series Eight

Entry Wounds: Hathaway starts work on his first murder case as an inspector with the help of a new partner, DS Lizzie Maddox. But as the pair delve into the worlds of neurosurgery, blood sports and animal rights, Hathaway’s theories are challenged by alarming new developments. He realises he needs the insight of the retired Lewis to close the case. 

The Lions of Nemea: Lewis, Hathaway and Maddox’s abilities as a team are severely tested when they investigate the brutal stabbing of an American classics scholar. The bizarre case that follows takes in the cocaine trade, astrophysics and ancient drama, but the truth is hidden in plain sight: a heartbreaking tragedy made possible by the most ordinary of secrets. 

Beyond Good and Evil: Thirteen years ago, Lewis successfully apprehended hammer killer Graham Lawrie. Now Lawrie is on the verge of freedom thanks to new evidence. Lewis fears the worst, but nothing can prepare him for a string of murders resembling the original case. With his mentor’s reputation in jeopardy, Hathaway races to catch the killer.

Series Nine

One For Sorrow: A new boss arrives at Oxfordshire Police, and he begins to question Lewis’ role as a consultant. After an exhibition of anthropomorphic taxidermy, the body of a young avant-garde artist is found. Lewis, Hathaway and Maddox must delve into the worlds of social media, drugs, taxidermy, alternative art and the homeless East European community. Meanwhile, Hathaway confronts his father and sister, with whom he does not have a good relationship. 

Magnum Opus: Lewis and Hathaway are called to investigate a body in some woodland. But realising three more murders are to follow, the team must hurry to catch the killer, before they happen. Hathaway is struggling to cope with his father’s illness, as he begins his search to find out his past before the dementia presented.

What Lies Tangled: A summer’s day in Oxford is torn apart, when a parcel bomb explodes. The team are called in to investigate, the victim is a womanizer, having been known to have had numerous affairs with younger women. With his six-month trip to New Zealand with Hobson on the horizon, Lewis is in a race against time to save his career and relationship.

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