Oxford Trinity

For the purposes of this blog post, this anglophile is not referring to Trinity College, Oxford, as the “Oxford Trinity”. I am, of course, talking about the three extremely appealing Masterpiece mysteries: Inspector Morse, Inspector Lewis and Endeavour, all set in the beautiful and photogenic city of Oxford. Inspector Morse is a much-loved show of mineI even dedicated a blog post to the titular Inspector in 2013. I was grateful that the Mercer County Library System owned the DVDs, which allowed me to indulge in binge watching like the PBS glutton that I am! The show is like comfort food to me and I watch reruns of Inspector Morse whenever I feel the need to see a program that is literate and engaging with interesting characters and beautiful music. Bereft of new episodes of Inspector Morse, I was ecstatic when they released its prequel, Endeavour, which resurrected a young Morse and provided the back story of how Morse came to be. But that is for another blog post. This blog post is about Inspector Lewis.

In Inspector Morse, Robert Lewis was Morse’s sidekick. Playing a modest, decent, somewhat earnest character, Detective Sergeant Lewis drove Morse around, took statements, did a lot of plodding legwork and paid for all his boss’s drinks. After watching thirty three episodes of Inspector Morse (twice over!), I was glad that Inspector Morse’s bagman Robbie Lewis finally got a promotion. A bagman no more, Lewis got his own show: Inspector Lewis. And what a treat it has been to watch this mystery series that combines complex mysteries with a superb cast of characters.

Inspector Lewis
Despondent after his wife’s death in a hit-and-run car accident, Lewis returns as Detective Inspector in the Pilot show, "Reputation". Together with his partner, Detective Sergeant James Hathaway, Lewis turns his deduction skills to solving murders and navigates with ease Oxford’s town and gown citizens in his usual no-nonsense manner.

Just as working-class, affable Lewis was a foil to cerebral, prickly Morse in the Inspector Morse series, Hathaway is the perfect partner for Lewis. A Cambridge graduate, trained in theology, Hathaway is an intellectual. He is knowledgeable about most arcane matters. Whether it is art, music, poetry or literature, Hathaway’s erudition serves him well, especially when it comes to dealing with the arrogant Oxford dons. Boyishly charming Hathaway delivers pithy comments in a deadpan manner. But Hathaway is not without his own personal problems for which Lewis provides him with guidance and support in his steady down-to-earth manner. Part of the enjoyment of this show is the interaction between Lewis and Hathaway as their relationship evolves from polite professionalism between colleagues to an easy camaraderie.

There are plenty of dead bodies and intricate plotting, which ensure that one never knows who the culprits are until the very end. But, of course, Lewis and Hathaway always get their man, or woman.

Glued to my television every Sunday when PBS aired this show, I refused to answer my phone or be distracted by mundane matters. But after thirty three episodes, Inspector Lewis has come to an end as Lewis leaves for a long overdue vacation with his girlfriend, forensic pathologist Dr. Laura Hobson. Thankfully, the show lives on in all the DVDs that can be found, where else, but at your local library. Enjoy!

Inspector Lewis Television Shows
Pilot (2006) "Reputation"
Series 1 (2007) "Whom the Gods Would Destroy"; "Old School Ties"; "Expiation"
Series 2 (2008) "And the Moonbeams Kiss the Sea"; "Music to Die for"; 'Life Born of Fire"; "The Great and the Good"
Series 3 (2009) "Allegory of Love"; "The Quality of Mercy"; "The Point of Vanishing"; "Counter Culture Blues"
Series 4 (2010) "The Dead of Winter"; "Dark Matter"; "Your Sudden Death Question"; "Falling Darkness"
Series 5 (2011) "Old Unhappy, Far Off Things"; "Wild Justice"; "The Mind Has Mountains"; "The Gift of Promise"
Series 6 (2012) "The Soul of Genius"; "Generation of Vipers"; "Fearful Symmetry"; "The Indelible Stain"
Series 7 (2013) "Down Among the Fearful"; "The Ramblin’ Boy"; "Intelligent Design"
Series 8 (2014) "Entry Wounds"; "The Lions of Nemea"; "Beyond Good and Evil"
Series 9 (2015) "One For Sorrow"; "Magnum Opus"; "What Lies Tangled" [Not Yet Available in the US]

—Rina B.


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