Lewis series 6 with Kevin Whately PREVIEW

Back on the case – Kevin Whately as Lewis. Pics: ITV

Rating: ★★★½

ITV1: starts Wednesday, 16 May, 8pm

Story: Botanist Liv Nash accidentally digs up the body of recently buried English Professor Murray Hawes. Lewis and Hathaway have to discover how a man fixated upon ‘solving’ the riddle of Lewis Carroll’s ‘The Hunting of the Snark’ ended up in a shallow grave.  Was his obsession dangerous enough to get him killed?

Can anyone get hugely excited about the sixth series of Lewis?

It might seem ill-mannered to be rude about a venerable TV institution, but – let’s face it – we all know how it’s going to go.

It will start with dreaming spires and lush music. There’ll be a corpse, and Lewis and Hathaway will appear at the crime scene. Lewis will dance round that blonde pathologist, but nothing will happen romantically, while Hathaway will show off his Latin and at some point the two lonely detectives will have a pint at a nice pub. The murderer will be apprehended from a line-up of snooty cleverdicks and local oddballs at the end of two hours.

Having a laugh down the pub – Hathaway and Lewis

Would-be Miss Marple
And that’s exactly what happens in the first of the four latest mysteries – ‘The Soul of Genius’. Lush music over and we’re at the crime scene, a botanist having found a body buried in the woods. ‘Male adult, must have been in there a couple of weeks,’ Dr Laura Hobson says.

The suspects include the dead man’s intellectual snob of a brother, the Reverend Dr Conor Hawes (a dead ringer for The Bride of Frankenstein‘s Dr Pretorius), played by Alex Jennings, and local ‘gentleman scientist’ Dr Alex Falconer, aka James Fleet.

Then there’s unstable Professor Wright – actress Matilda Ziegler – and interfering would-be Miss Marple, Michelle Marber, played by Celia Imrie, who switches from eccentric to tragic beautifully.

Kevin Whately’s 26th year as Lewis
It’s all very polished and as comfy as an old cardigan. Lewis looks great and there are good performances, intriguing twists of character and tender scenes – particularly when Lewis bonds with Mrs Marber over their mutual grief (his departed wife and her son).

Kevin Whately and Celia Imrie

So, why am I not aquiver with anticipation for the new series?

When Showtime (Homeland), AMC (Breaking Bad) and HBO (Boardwalk Empire) in the States, along with the Danish and Swedish networks (The Killing, The Bridge) – damnit, even Israeli TV looks worth a peek at the moment (Prisoners of War) – when all these are all producing such riveting and original series, it’s hard to get worked up about Kevin Whately’s 26th year playing Lewis (if you include the Morse years).

Let’s have a crime series that’s daring
OK, a lot of people love Lewis (a hefty 6.3 million watched series 5), and it sells everywhere from Russia to the Middle East. Despite this, Colin Dexter, the creator of Lewis‘s guvnor Inspector Morse who still has input with the spin-off, caused a rumpus in this week’s Radio Times by saying, ‘They’ll probably do one more series.’

This prompted ITV to say it is ‘committed to Lewis‘ and series 7 goes into production next month. But even if Lewis did retire, there is a new series of Endeavour for fans to look forward to, but good luck to these staples, so long as there is an audience for them.

But against what to me is the homegrown Mogadon of same old, same old – Midsomer Murders, Silent Witness, Lewis, New Tricks – it would be deliriously intoxicating to see ITV and the Beeb sometime soon stepping out of the comfort zone of the past hits and formats to produce a crime drama that is an intelligent, ballsy, 10- or 20-part epic.

Cast: Kevin Whately DI Robert Lewis, Laurence Fox DS James Hathaway, Clare Holman Dr Laura Hobson, Rebecca Front Ch Supt Innocent, Oliver Johnstone Vincent Vega/Simon Dawkins, Daisy May Mia Wallace/Isobel Strong, Nadine Lewington Liv Nash, Paul Jerricho Mr Atkins, Alex Jennings Rev Conor Hawes, Celia Imrie Michelle Marber, Matilda Ziegler Helena Wright, Richard Durden John Gracey, James Fleet Dr Alex Falconer, Lotte Rice Kirsty, Annabel Mullion Verity Falconer 

Follow @crimetimeprev

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    I so agree. It seems that new shows are cancelled too soon- Zen and Inspector Jericho are 2 I wish had been continued. And these aren’t daring, that is for sure.

    So Endeavor is being picked up as a series?

  2. Yes, Endeavour, will return as a four-part series, with Shaun Evans back in the lead role. I’m guessing it could be back early in 2013.

  3. I love Inspector Lewis and Hathaway is fine too. I love the complexity of the stories, even if we know how it will go and all that. With all the unfathomable, hysterically loud and lousy shows that are on, Lewis “is” a comfort to watch.

    • Anonymous says:

      Here in the US we have our hands full f gruesome, nasty crime dramas. I stand on my head to catch Lewis and pay extra for the back series. Count your blessings UK!

  4. I agree with MWK. Despite the predictability of Lewis,there is still a good story being told,unfolding.What’s wrong with that, we can have both, ‘balsy’ as in Sherlock and comfortable Lewis.I also enjoy the music and the “englishness” of the series. I want a variety police procedurals.The more the merrier.The British do crime fiction well. Silent Witness is also good value, although the newest series was a bit surreal and lost some authenticity. Encourage more of the crime fiction industry. Don’t pan what works and satisfies and don’t fix what ain’t broke. Just get the Brits to get on with what they do best – great story telling and beautiful productions and good crime television.Yay and hurrah for Lewis and the rest. Zen and Inspector George Gently were riveting and gone too soon. kristafeline

  5. I agree with MWK. Despite the predictability of Lewis, there is still a good story being told,
    unfolding and intriguing .
    What’s wrong with that? We can have both, ‘balsy’ as in Sherlock and comfortable Lewis.I also
    enjoy the music and the “englishness” of the series. I want a variety ‘police procedurals’. The
    more the merrier.The British do crime fiction well. Silent Witness is also good value, although
    the newest series was a bit surreal and lost some authenticity. Encourage more of the crime
    fiction TV industry. Don’t pan what works and satisfies. “Don’t fix what ain’t broke”. Just get the
    Brits to get on with what they do best – great story telling and beautiful productions as well as good
    Crime television.Yay! and hurrah for Lewis and the rest. Zen and Inspector George Gently were riveting television gone too soon. kristafeline

  6. Worry not. Kevin W is past police retirement age. I foresee that at the end of series 7 he will catch young Jim and Laura doing the horizontal mambo and will flounce off to Newcastle with a baleful backward glance.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I enjoy them, sometimes the new is not needed by some of us. We like old school and not the raunch and in your face. And I am American. Keep them coming I say!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Lewis is brilliant! So English, beautifully written, filmed and acted. It is great to have an antidote the the many ‘Fast Paced’ dramas! It can run and run, when Lewis retires it can morph into ‘Hathaway’ as the lead role with a new sidekick! Intriguing or what!!!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hello to all from Belgium. Let me just say that I hope that they will go on making more Lewis’ episodes. Great scenery, good stories great dialogues and not to forget a truly BRILLIANT cast. Kevin Whately what an actor. I enjoy every episode, buy them on DVD to rewatch now and then. Keep them comming please.

  10. I can’t imagine not being excited about Series 6 of Inspector Lewis. I’ve been waiting with great anticipation. In fact, I came across this story while looking to discover when the new season would start.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I love Lewis – it’s well written, continues to produce interesting and intriguing storylines, and is beautifully produced. Just because it is a traditional drama does not mean it can’t be good – too much CSI, SVU etc – more of this brilliant series please.
    PS sad to see it criticised – would the critic prefer to sit his bottom down in front of a wonderfully intellectual episode of Big Brother perhaps???

  12. Anything but Big Brother! Lewis is not my thing, but it’s just won a viewer’s award at the CWA Crime Thriller Awards and as the comments here show, people love it. As long as it’s getting the viewing figures, long may ITV keep it going. I just wish sometimes that ITV would step outside the police procedural and thriller mainstream and make something a bit more ambitious and daring.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Another American here who can hardly wait for new Inspector Lewis (and Sherlock) mysteries. Only BBC makes such amazing crime drama; both are beautifully set, wonderfully acted, and smartly written.

    We are indeed are inundated with super-high-drama crime series’ here and my husband, girlfriends, and parents are also super-fans of these BBC MM shows.

    I too found this site trying to find out when the next Lewis will show!…and I do buy the DVDs (I also own all the BBC’s Poirot and Miss Marples DVDs).

  14. The new 2013 series starts on Monday, 7 January, at 9pm, with a story called Down Among the Fearful. Enjoy!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Well an Aussie here who loves loves Lewis. I was trying to buy the 6th series DVD which is how I ended up here. I hope Lewis keeps going and going; just like Midsomer Murders. I have all the DVDs up to series 5 and I am happy to watch them repeatedly, as I have Midsomer Murders. We have so many gritty, realistic US crime shows here, really that’s all we have here US crime and our own reality programs…ugh.. Lucky Brits who have already started watching series 7. I’ve yet to see 6 but am quivering in anticipation. Go Lewis and Hathaway…for a long time. No need to watch if you don’t like it.

    • Anonymous says:

      please don’t take Lewis off, it’s my only hour of internment on sunday. o love anything from the UK

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