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Series: Lewis
Lewis (2006-present) is a spinoff series of Inspector Morse. The series centers around Robert "Robbie" Lewis (played by Kevin Whately), who, in a five year gap after the events of Inspector Morse, has lost his wife in a hit and run accident and, thanks to his promotion from Sergeant to Inspector, once again finds himself solving murders in Oxford.

Lewis is joined by the young Sergeant James Hathaway (played by Laurence Fox) a former priest-in-training, who gave up his education and joined the police instead. The other regular cast members are Lewis's superintendent, Jean Innocent (played by Rebecca Front), and pathologist Laura Hobson (played by Clare Holman), the only other returning character from Inspector Morse.

The show originally ended after seven series because both lead actors wanted to move on. The final episodes showed Lewis deciding to retire and Hathaway leaving the force after becoming disillusioned with police work. It was Un-Cancelled a year later, however, and returned for an eighth series in 2014 with Hathaway returning to the force and receiving a promotion while Lewis comes out of retirement due to boredom.

A ninth series is due to go into production in 2015.

This show provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Hospital: In "Falling Darkness", Hathaway and Lewis have to go find the employment records of a murder victim in the abandoned hospital where she worked as a nurse. Part of the Halloween Episode's horror vibe.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Hathaway. His only love interests have been two women plus a male-to-female transsexual, but he's shown to be conflicted over the relationship between religion and sexuality though that's partly because of his guilt for ruining a friend's life with religion-driven homophobic advice and doesn't answer when Lewis asks if he's gay.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Deconstructed in "Whom the Gods Would Destroy". At first it appears as though the married couple have a dreadful marriage, only for the wife to save her husband's life after he chokes on his lunch, and for a tearful confession of love to commence in the hospital. Then we discover that she hated him, and was only keeping him alive because he was the only one who knew the location of her mother's body.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Regan Peverill, the series' first murder victim, turns out to have been this, for not only cheating on Danny Griffon with at least two other guys, but e-mailing their professor to brag about disproving the theory which made him famous, along with generally mocking him and calling him an idiot while bragging about her own intellect. It's implied that he could have just about lived with having the theory disproven, but the mockery pushed him over the edge.
    • Platt in "Whom the Gods Would Destroy". Was anyone not rooting for his death?
  • The Atoner: The first victim in "Intelligent Design", a chemistry professor just released from prison after killing a young woman in a drunk driving accident. It turns out that he also regrets a scam he participated in with a fellow professor and a dean to have unqualified students admitted to the college for a hefty fee, which is the real reason he is killed.
  • Berserk Button: For Lewis, his wife's death and, by extension, dangerous drivers.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Elmo after he jumps off a building in "The Gift of Promise".
  • The Boxing Episode: "Music to Die For"
  • Blackmail Is Such an Ugly Word: Roger Temple, the porter in "Dark Matter", characterizes it as an "understanding" with which he and his wife use to supplement their meager income.
  • British Brevity: Each series has four two hour episodes, apart from the first, which had three.
  • Brotherhood of Funny Hats: The Sons of the Twice Born in "Whom the Gods Would Destroy", a secret society with a lot of nasty secrets.
  • Buddy Cop Show: The comparatively snark- and antic-filled Lewis-Hathaway partnership fits the bill much better than Morse-Lewis did.
  • The Butler Did It: In "The Dead of Winter" and "Wild Justice".
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: "But she was just a whore!" Platt makes the mistake of saying this to his murder victim's daughter in a tone that demonstrates he's totally gobsmacked that it's at all possible that she's taking revenge for her mother's death.
  • But Now I Must Go: Both Lewis and Hathaway at the end of series 7. Lewis is looking forward to retirement, while Hathaway, realizing he no longer has any appetite for detective work, quits.
  • Butterfly of Doom: One courtesy of Morse in "Music To Die For". Turns out that during the 1980's, Morse had sent a letter to an East German professor thanking him for a book, marked with a UK police stamp instead of a regular postage stamp. This ended up causing the professor to be imprisoned for being a spy and later shot, after an unscrupulous Stasi informant used this as "proof" of treason. The murders of several people during the episode were the result of either reprisals for the death of the professor or attempts by the informant to cover up what they'd done. As Lewis laments, in the end it all really boiled down to a borrowed book and the wrong stamp!
  • Camp Straight: Professor Deering in "Allegory of Love".
  • Cartwright Curse: If Lewis gets close to a guest character, it's a good bet that they'll turn out to be guilty of the crime, or end up dead, or both.
  • Casting Gag: Alan Davies as a quizmaster in "Your Sudden Death Question".
  • Character Title
  • Chekhov's Gun: Hathaway's neck brace in "Down Among The Fearful" is about as obvious as they come. Especially as poor Laurence Fox has to wear it through almost the entire story for the sake of the one scene where it becomes relevant.
  • Connect the Deaths: Usually. (See Never One Murder.)
  • The Coroner: Dr. Hobson.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: Written in the victim's blood, in "Allegory of Love".
  • Continuity Nod: In "The Lions of Nemea", Lewis remarks that they're near to the scene of one of his earliest cases — a woman found hanged in her kitchen. That case would be "The Dead of Jericho", the first episode of Inspector Morse.
  • Cure Your Gays: A Christian group in "Life Born of Fire" claims to be able to do this, though it doesn't work out well for anyone involved.
  • Da Chief: Chief Superintendent Innocent. She often warns Lewis and Hathaway to be careful of P.R., or of offending a rich and powerful suspect. Although they respect her this is of course frustrating, especially for Lewis, who doesn't give a damn how "important" a potential murderer is. She also threatens to put Hathaway back in uniform at one point.
  • Deadpan Snarker: All the recurring characters have a tendency towards this.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • Many of the murderers cross it, especially the killer who had discovered that not only was he the long-lost brother of his adored wife, but that they both had a rare and incurable sleep disorder that would eventually kill them.
    • Hathaway teeters on it in "Intelligent Design", after realising what a toll police work has taken on his view of the world. He decides to dodge the horizon by quitting the force.
  • Decoy Protagonist: In the pilot episode, Danny Griffon is set up as an Expy of Hamlet, trying to uncover the truth about his father's death, the heir to a large car company, embroiled in a Love Triangle, and a suspect for the murder of his girlfriend. He's killed halfway through the episode for reasons that had nothing to do with any of this.
  • Disney Villain Death: In "Falling Darkness" a murderer jumps off a balcony.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Kicks off the plot of "Life Born of Fire".
    • Happens near the end of "Dark Matter" when the murderer attempts to kill herself with a rifle for her crimes. She points it at Lewis when he tries to intervene and sticks it back under her chin after she explains everything. Hathaway prevents it.
    • In "Entry Wounds", the father of a young man permanently disabled by a botched surgery hangs himself. His wife and her friend try to make it look like a murder for the insurance.
  • Expy: Hathaway is cut from the same cloth as Kershaw, the Temporary Substitute for Lewis in the Inspector Morse episode "The Wench is Dead".
  • Fate Worse Than Death: One of the killers in "Falling Darkness" has a brain disease that prevents sleep and which will slowly bring about the onset of madness.
  • Finger Twitching Revival: In "Old, Unhappy, Far Off Things", this is how the girl that's been in a coma for ten years wakes up.
  • Foreshadowing: Hathaway makes a comment about Lewis' choice in women at the end of the first episode in the second season only to fall for Zoe, the serial killer from "Life Born of Fire", the third episode of that season.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Constantly, such as cutting away to flying mirror shards instead of the woman getting her throat sliced with the remains of the frame in "Allegory of Love", fading quickly to one of the credit slides when a man shoots himself in "Life Born in Fire", and otherwise cutting to reactions, building exteriors, or other scenes and leaving the gore implied.
  • Goths: A house full of them in the Halloween Episode.
  • Grammar Nazi: Hathaway's pet peeve, to the extent that he even gets Lewis noting apostrophe misuse around town.
  • Halloween Episode: "Falling Darkness" starts off on Halloween, with Lewis fielding trick-or-treaters. The episode as a whole uses several spooky horror tropes.
  • Heroic BSOD:
    • Hathaway experiences one in the last episode, after it turns out that a student suspect was Driven to Suicide after Hathaway accused him of the murder, (unknowingly) as the student was failing and learned that he shouldn't even have been admitted to Oxford. He spends the rest of the episode wracked with guilt, resulting in Hathaway deciding to quit the force. In general, Hathaway is more prone to having these than Lewis; for all his snark he's not so used to horrible things.
    • Hathaway himself parodies it in "Counter Culture Blues" when he says he's going to need therapy after jumping in "a lake full of crap with knives in it" to rescue a would-be murder victim.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: In "Dark Matter" the murderer was the dormitory housekeeper, who hid the rifle on her cleaning cart and just threw a cloth over it. Lewis demonstrates how, nobody taking any notice of her or her cart to start with, they would automatically see the disguised rifle as a broom or suchlike.
  • Hitler Ate Sugar: Played with in "The Indelible Stain", when an American professor is proposing a new crime prediction model that many are concerned would discriminate against black people, even though he himself claims not to be racist. A law student confronts him on this, and he responds by saying that by her logic, the Wright Brothers and Albert Einstein were to blame for the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima respectively... to which the student says that they do deserve to be blamed for those events, because they should have foreseen the possibility that someone would use their creations for destructive means.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Deconstructed in "Life Born of Fire" in which the woman who claims to have been in love with a gay man has actually gone through a sex-change in order to be with him in a way that doesn't violate his Christian beliefs. Needless to say, it doesn't turn out well.
  • Instant Drama, Just Add Tracheotomy: A wife does this to her husband in the first series (she's a trained nurse). Luckily, Lewis has a pen.
  • Insufferable Genius: Oxford is full of them in this series. Variations include professors who ignore any students who aren't geniuses, tutors who kick students out of courses (or out of the University) rather than help them when they struggle with coursework, and arrogant students who despise anyone who isn't up to their intellectual standard.
  • In with the In Crowd: The undergraduates in "The Soul of Genius". Unfortunately for them, there isn't an in crowd — it's just a sadistic trick.
  • Just Friends: Lewis protests this repeatedly about himself and Dr. Hobson.
  • The Law of Conservation of Detail: "Music To Die For" features Lewis snagging his clothing on a rose bush at a suspect's house. This is important later when a particular type of soil is found on a murder victim that has been moved from the place of death.
  • Leitmotif: As well as the series' own themes, strains of the Inspector Morse theme can be heard when Lewis comes across something that reminds him of his boss.
  • Let Off by the Detective: Lewis commits this in "Whom the Gods Would Destroy".
  • Literal Metaphor: The murder victim in "The Dead of Winter" was hunting for a "king's ransom"—an actual king's ransom, buried treasure that Charles I had tried to use to buy his freedom.
  • Literary Allusion Title: At least half the episode titles. "Whom the Gods Would Destroy", "And the Moonbeams Kiss the Sea", "The Quality of Mercy", "Old, Unhappy, Far Off Things", "Wild Justice", "The Mind Has Mountains", "Generation of Vipers", and "Fearful Symmetry".
  • The Lost Lenore: Valerie Lewis is obviously still dearly missed, even years after her death. Lewis eventually finds a Second Love with Laura Hobson, but it takes years and doesn't mean he's forgotten his first love, just found happiness with his second.
  • Meaningful Name: In "Life Born of Fire", Zoë claims she's an expert on the meanings of names. It takes Lewis an absolute age to work out the significance of hers. It's a Title Drop.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: Simon Monkford's hotel con in "The Quality of Mercy" results in Hathaway accidentally discovering that it was Monkford who was driving the car that killed Lewis's wife.
  • Mistaken for Gay: In "Expiation", a school headmaster mistakes Lewis and Hathaway for parents looking for a school for their child.
  • Mood Whiplash: From Lewis and Hathaway trying to covertly (and illegally) dump Lewis's mattress in a public dumpster to Lewis talking about how every time he throws out something he had from when his wife was still alive, he catches himself wondering how long until he's thrown out the last bit of his marriage.
  • Murder by Mistake: In "Music to Die For", and again in "The Point of Vanishing" and "The Soul of Genius".
  • Murder-Suicide: The killer in "Life Born of Fire" plans to end the episode's Roaring Rampage of Revenge by dying alongside Hathaway, the last and most sympathetic of the people partly responsible for Will's suicide.
  • Mysterious Past: Hathaway's particularly tight-lipped about his past and refuses to tell anyone why he left the seminary.
  • Never One Murder: Happens so often that it is almost Once an Episode.
  • Never Suicide: A variation in "The Soul of Genius", where a the mother of a chemistry prodigy is convinced that there's no way he could have been taking drugs (to say nothing of overdosing on them) and must have been murdered. Averted in the end; it turns out that he really did just die from an overdose.
  • New Media Are Evil: In "Generation of Vipers", two websites feature prominently in the plot; neither appears to advantage.
  • The New Rock & Roll: For some reason, the fantasy genre in "Allegory of Love".
  • Nietzsche Wannabe: Graham Lowrie and Luke Burgess in "Beyond Good and Evil."
  • Noodle Incident: We never found out why Hathaway left the seminary. And now we never will.
  • Oh, Crap: Played for pure hilarity in "Ramblin' Boy" when Laura Hobson walks into a pub and unceremoniously snogs the living daylights out of Lewis, only for her to be informed that Innocent and Hathaway are sitting right there. And are very interested in the proceedings.
  • Old Cop, Young Cop: Lewis and Hathaway, just as Lewis used to be the "young cop" to Morse's "old cop".
  • Oop North: "Old School Ties" doesn't take place Oop North, but we get an earful from the author Lewis is guarding. Lewis himself is from Newcastle and takes a dislike to said author for being a "professional Geordie."
  • Oxbridge: The "Ox-" half remains one of the most dangerous universities in England.
  • Papa Wolf: The father of Beatrice, the rape victim in "The Great and the Good". Both of them, actually—her biological father kills her rapist and a blackmailer to avenge and protect her, and the father who raised her nearly takes the blame out of guilt for failing to protect her that once and later attacks the other man when he thinks he's a threat.
  • Parental Incest: Dorian Crane and his foster mother Ginny in "Allegory of Love". Dorian's fiancée usurping Ginny as his muse (along with the fear of said fiancée learning about the relationship) was what drove Ginny to murder.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: "Whom the Gods Would Destroy" and "Life Born of Fire".
  • Power Trio: As of "Entry Wounds," Lewis, Hathaway, and Maddox.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: Hathaway thumps his mirror in "Life Born Of Fire", though it isn't damaged. His friend, whose funeral he is getting dressed for, was gay, and Hathaway had given him homophobic advice that had led to his eventual suicide.
    • One of the hospital orderlies takes a punch at his own reflection in "Beyond Good and Evil."
  • Redemption Earns Life: In "Whom the Gods Would Destroy", the Sympathetic Murderers planned to spare one member of the Sons of the Twice Born specifically because he showed remorse for his part in murdering their friend/mother.
  • Redemption Equals Death: The second victim in "The Point of Vanishing". The same episode also includes a non-villain example of Death Equals Redemption.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Lewis and Hobson, finally, in Series 7.
  • Reluctant Retiree: Averted or subverted with Lewis, who of course gives retirement a lot of thought but makes the decision himself. But he finds that he misses his job and jumps when Innocent asks him to fill in their staffing shortage.
  • Renamed For The Export: Sort of. The show is Inspector Lewis for PBS viewers in the United States. Probably calculated to ring the "Inspector Morse" bell because Inspector Morse is certainly known but not as immensely popular as in Britain, and hearing "Lewis" alone may not be enough to place the name.
  • Retirony: A non-lethal example occurs in the pilot, as the DI who Hathaway is initially working under gets sacked for drink-driving on the job, just a couple of weeks before he would have retired anyway.
  • Sex for Solace: Hathaway's slightly inebriated decision to get into bed with Zoe in "Life Born of Fire" comes after the suicide of an old friend that he was partly, if innocently, responsible for and a bad falling-out with Lewis. Unfortunately, Zoe is a serial killer avenging the suicidal friend's death and tries to kill him.
  • Shipper on Deck: As of "The Mind Has Mountains", Chief Superintendent Innocent appears to be shipping Lewis/Dr Hobson. Sometimes Hathaway too, albeit in a much more subtle, slightly more jealous way. She gets her way in Series 7.
    • Also with reference to the cast members' twitter; Rebecca Front has voiced her support for Lewis/Hobson, as well as Laurence Fox supporting Lewis/Hathaway.
    • Innocent attempts to ship Lewis with a friend of hers in "Allegory of Love", but fortunately it comes to nothing.
  • Shout-Out: "The Dead of Winter" is full of these:
    • To Sherlock Holmes: A lost English Civil War treasure with coded clues to its location.
    • To Brideshead Revisited: Hathaway's return to the Mortmaignes' stately pile.
    • To Gormenghast: The young heir of the property is called Titus.
    • To Clue: The victim's name is Dr Black, and an attractive young female suspect is called Scarlett. Other characters' names are also references; all the Cluedo characters except Mrs Peacock get some kind of mention.
    • "Wild Justice" is filled with allusions to Jacobean revenge tragedies: a minor supporting character is named Karen Middleton- Thomas Middleton was a Jacobean playwright known best for his work in that genre.
    • The title of "Allegory of Love" is a shout out to C. S. Lewis, whose day job was literature professor, and whose first big book in that capacity was entitled "The Allegory of Love", being about medieval love poetry. And of course Lewis and Tolkien (see below) were friends and influenced each other's fiction.
    • "Falling Darkness" is wall-to-wall Edgar Allan Poe references, as befits a Halloween Episode.
  • Sinister Minister
  • Spinoff: Of Inspector Morse.
  • Stealing The Credit: The murderer in "Intelligent Design". She claims she had every right to steal ground-breaking research from her student and pass it off as her own, because as her supervising professor, she had a claim to both the responsibility and the credit for any work her student might do. While this is technically true, she takes the extra step of cornering the student when she protests, leading the student's death.
  • Stepford Smiler: Rebecca from "Expiation" is a loving mother, happily married, and is constantly helping charities and taking on charity cases. She surrounds herself with goodness because she needs to constantly remind herself that people are not dolls that can be taken apart and sewn back together, like she tried to do to her little brother.
  • Straw Feminist: The lady professor at the Oxford women's college who has chosen celibacy and opposed making the college co-ed is nasty and unpleasant. She turns out to be a hypocrite about the celibacy business (she had a male lover years ago), and also happens to be the murderer.
  • Surprise Incest: In "Falling Darkness" the married couple found out at some point in the past that they are siblings who were put up for adoption.
  • Take That: "Allegory of Love" delivers multiple smackdowns to the cult of J. R. R. Tolkien and swords-and-sorcery fantasy novels.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Ultimately, Hathaway's, due to the series continuing unexpectedly—and Lewis' himself, to a lesser extent; his retirement was the ordinary sort and he just misses his job. Coppering just isn't easy to leave behind, apparently.
  • Tempting Fate: In "Entry Wounds", Lewis tells a suspect "No-one's accusing you of anything." Hathaway, who's been away taking a telephone call, returns and immediately arrests him.
  • That Man Is Dead: Zoe always speaks of Feardocha as if he is dead in "Life Born of Fire".
  • Transsexual: Played for tragedy in "Born of Fire". Zoe Kenneth was originally Feardocha Phelan, who was Will's boyfriend. After the Cure Your Gays group they were both attending causes Will to start to hate their relationship, Feardocha jets off to Brazil to become Zoe so that Will could finally love a girl. Sadly it didn't work out, and Will's suicide becomes her Despair Event Horizon which turns her into a Serial Killer.
  • Visual Pun: In "The Dead of Winter" Lewis and Hathaway follow a centuries-old treasure trail to a Roman statue of Juno and her geese - at which point Hathaway points out that it's a "wild goose chase".
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: A rather gentle example. Lewis and Hathaway trade jabs with each other all the time, although Hathaway always maintained a respectful tone. The barbs become stronger, but remain friendly, when Hathaway is promoted and both detectives are of equal rank.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The killer in "Intelligent Design" claims to be this, when they murder two people and cover up a fatal accident to protect her research into a possible cure for Alzheimer's Disease. However, she passed off her student's ground-breaking work as her own, then killed the student (supposedly accidentally) and hid the body when the student had the gall to protest. For the last few years, the student's work has been her meal ticket. She is also incredibly snide, dismissing the genius student as "average" and loftily informing Lewis that "this is Oxford" when he points out that the missing student was known to be brilliant, not a lab dogsbody as the professor was implying. This would suggest that she's not so much concerned with the fate of humanity as her own glory.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Morse's Jaguar Mark 2. He left to Lewis in his will but it has never been seen or discussed on the show. Given the five-year gap between Inspector Morse and Lewis, at least part of which Lewis spent working overseas, it's possible the car was sold when he thought he wasn't coming back.
  • What Have I Become?: In the final episode of Series 7, Hathaway realizes that he's stopped seeing people as basically good and blames himself for the suicide of a young student, leading to his resignation from the force.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The pilot is essentially Hamlet; "Old, Unhappy, Far-Off Things" is Gaudy Night.
  • With Due Respect: A variant, lampshaded:
    Lewis: I've noticed, Hathaway, that you always call me 'sir' when you say something mean.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: In "The Soul of Genius", Michelle Marber seems to be a victim of this at first, thinking that she's the heroine of a Little Old Lady Investigates mystery and that Lewis and Hathaway are examples of Police Are Useless. Her motivations are actually more complicated, though she still never gets the genre right.
  • You Called Me X, It Must Be Serious: Lewis calls Hathaway "James" when he finds him in the burning house, completely unconscious.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Said by the villain in "The Gift Of Promise".
  • You Killed My Mother: The motive in "Whom the Gods Would Destroy".
  • You Look Familiar: While Inspector Morse had averted this by not reusing guest actors, the producers on Lewis decided that they would only apply this to episodes of their own series, thereby allowing them to bring back actors from Morse in different roles. Consequently, a murderous driving instructor and a promiscuous history professor from Morse both turn up as an allotment owner and record producer respectively in this series.

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