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Lewis (2006-) is a Spin-Off 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.


This show provides examples of:

  • Ambiguously Gay: Hathaway seems conflicted with the relationship between sexuality and religion, especially in "Life Born of Fire"; although in S3 he does sleep with a female coworker before she leaves their precinct.
  • Asshole Victim: Platt in "Whom the Gods Would Destroy". Was anyone not rooting for his death?
  • The Boxing Episode: "Music to Die For"
  • 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.
  • The Butler Did It: In "The Dead of Winter" and "Wild Justice."
  • 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
  • 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".
  • Da Chief: Chief Superintendent Innocent.
  • Deadpan Snarker: All the recurring characters have a tendency towards this.
  • Driven to Suicide: Kicks off the plot of "Life Born of Fire".
  • 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.
  • Grammar Nazi: Hathaway's pet peeve, to the extent that he even gets Lewis noting apostrophe misuse around town.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Bradley James (aka Prince Arthur from Merlin) shows up as a murder suspect.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Let Off by the Detective: Lewis commits this in "Whom the Gods Would Destroy".
  • Literary Allusion Title: "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."
  • 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.
  • Murder by Mistake: In Music to Die For, and again in The Point of Vanishing.
  • 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
  • New Media Are Evil: In "Generation of Vipers", two websites feature prominently in the plot; neither appears to advantage.
  • The New Rock and Roll: For some reason, the fantasy genre in "Allegory of Love".
  • 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.
  • Parental Incest: Dorian Crane and his foster mother Ginny in "Allegory of Love". Dorian's fiancee usurping Ginny as his muse (along with the fear of said fiancee learning about the relationship) was what drove Ginny to murder).
  • Pay Evil Unto Evil: "Whom the Gods Would Destroy" and "Life Born of Fire"
  • Real Life Relative: In "Allegory of Love," one of the guest stars is James Fox, the father of Laurence Fox (a.k.a. Sergeant Hathaway).
  • 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.
  • 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 way.
  • Shout-Out: "The Dead of Winter" is full of these:
    • To Sherlock Holmes: A lost 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.
  • Sinister Minister
  • Spin-Off: Of Inspector Morse.
  • Surprise Incest: In "Falling Darkness".
  • Take That: "Allegory of Love" delivers multiple smackdowns to the cult of J. R. R. Tolkien and swords-and-sorcery fantasy novels.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: the pilot is essentially Hamlet; "Old, Unhappy, Far-Off Things" is Gaudy Night.
  • 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 Killed My Mother: The motive in "Whom the Gods Would Destroy".
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