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4.8 out of 5 stars89
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 5 August 2010
As a follow-on series to Morse, probably the greatest ever tv detective show, Lewis seemed doomed to suffer in comparison and yet over 16 episodes (so far) the series has more than lived up to expectations. It maintains Morse's languid, elegant, slow-moving style that's at odds with most modern tv shows with their tight editing and camera work courtesy of wobblycam. It continues to attract numerous well-known actors, has high production values, unintrusive quality music, excellent scenery, and has murder mysteries that are so convoluted nobody can figure them out.

Having praised the show, some aspects of the earlier episodes are uncertain and it takes a while to perfect the format. Early on there's an understandable need to link in to Morse and so there are numerous attempts to shoehorn in items such as scribbled messages by Morse on crossword puzzles. Usually these homages don't work and thankfully when the show finds its feet references are used less often and with more effect. The oddest and most important of these links is the decision to morph Lewis's character into, well, him becoming Morse. In the earlier series Lewis provided an essential contrast to his curmudgeonly boss. He was happy, was devoted to his family, and he employed dogged police methodology that would eventually happen across the vital clue to the mystery while Morse was busy falling in love with the murderer and drinking beer.

This time Lewis's wife is dead leaving him morose, we see little of his home life other than to stress that he is lonely, and he solves crimes with brilliant deductive analysis. He even drinks lots of beer and listens to Wagner. At first this feels an odd change, as it seemingly ignores the Lewis character that built up over many years, but it does make sense as Morse's love of opera did gradually grow on Lewis during the earlier series. And Morse would have developed his interests and characteristics over many years and so here we, in a way, get to see how Morse developed into the man he ended up being.

Lewis's sidekick of Hathaway also initially feels wrong, presenting a mish-mash of quirky sidekick features: he's a brilliant, enigmatic, computer literate, ex-theologian with a funny walk. But the role quickly settles down and his relationship with Lewis is played effectively with frequent amusing exchanges and plenty of sparring when their contrasting viewpoints clash. The series also uses to good effect the various enigmatic aspects of his past such as the reason why he gave up on theology.

Making up the rest of the regular cast are Lewis's shouty boss Innocent, who takes over from Strange's role as the shouty boss. Innocent has little to do other than to complain about the press or budgets or whatever is necessary to take a contrary view to Lewis's to browbeat him some more. But the pathologist Doctor Hobson (reprising her role from the later Morse episodes) is given meatier scenes and more of a rounded character than any pathologist on the show has ever had before. Her friendship with Lewis is nicely believable with just the right level of hinted romance, especially as their scenes are usually played out over bodies where plenty of plot exposition can be delivered in a fun way.

As for the individual episodes, they are consistent and the later ones are as strong, if not better, than the earlier ones. Out of the 16 I'd suggest that only series 3's Counter-Culture Blues is a failure with its terrible acting, silly plot, and central idea that's been done far better elsewhere. The rest do well to introduce memorable characters while mixing in clues from literate sources such as Greek mythology, opera and art leading to revelations that are rarely the expected one that the most famous guest star did it. With a fifth series already commissioned I hope this annual piece of quality tv can continue for a while longer.
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on 9 February 2011
For Morse fans this is a real treat and even better than the original. Lewis and Hathaway make a great team and the relationship between them is fascinating. Both actors are superb with Kevin Whately developing his original character and at times outmorsing Morse. Lawrence Fox is very charismatic as Hathaway and takes on the academic side of Morse with wit.
Beautiful photography and such intelligent writing. Don't stop making them ITV!
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on 1 October 2010
Very good series (1-4). Pretty much exactly the same as Morse but with no Morse and some new characters. I very much enjoyed it but still cant get over how many murders are committed in one town! Kevin Whately is very good in this role.
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on 19 November 2010
Love Lewis & Hathaway, more congenial partners than Lewis & Morse. Good mysteries, typical of British tv. Have been watching on PBS for years (since Dorothy L. Sayers' Peter Wimsey back in the 70s). I hate how PBS shortens the shows, so the solution was to buy PAL DVDs & an all region player. Works like a charm & we don't miss a minute. Wonderful!
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on 26 January 2011
Robbie Lewis with his sidekick Hathaway in this great boxset, not only gives you outstanding thrills from outstanding actors. It gives you +1500 minutes on 17 discs at a grat price. All Morsefans should get it as the spirit of the good old DSI hovers over the intigue an in dialoue. My greatest congrats to all of you who get it!
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on 9 March 2013
When I heard that Series 7 would be the last of this superb series, I immediately ordered Series 1-4 to begin my collection. Each episode is worth re-viewing over time.
The package was surprisingly strong and attractive; the mailing expeditious.
I have alerted friends who love British mysteries and detective drama to use this seller for surety of and excellent product and expediency in delivery.
The quality of film and sound were superb.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 17 September 2014
I had some doubts on this one, Morse was a fine detective series and I honestly thought it would be tough for Kevin Whately successfully pull off the lead role having been his side kick for so long. On reflection though the series works very well, with all the refined trimmings you would expect from a team that has previously honed their skills on the Morse series.

Here Whately steps into the main role as Detective Inspector Lewis, joined by Laurence Fox as Detective Sergeant James Hathaway and Clare Holman plays Dr. Laura Hobson the forensic pathologist as she did in the original Morse series. This set contains the pilot and the series up to 4, currently we're on series 7 so you might want the up to date boxed set if you're a big fan. However if you're looking for a bit of a taster to see if you like it this set is good value and offers enough material to get stuck into.

The first disc kicks off with a pilot which is film length at about 90 minutes we discover Lewis is recently widowed and as expected we more than a few references to Morse including a scene where a similar Jaguar car nearly hits Lewis after he departs the airport with DS Hathaway. It's got a strong story though and some good supporting cast members soon the bodies pile up in a good introduction to the series.

Series 1-4 (including the pilot) has 4 episodes, later Lewis runs had a few more and we're up to series which is a testament to the popularity of the show it's certainly lived up to it's heritage. Lewis as a character develops more over time the widower aspect means he devotes more and more time to his job as a detective at the expense of his personal life. He might not quite have the unique somewhat gritty charm that John Thaw had in his day, however Whately is a good actor and gets into the role nicely and Laurence Fox works very well as his new partner in solving the crimes, both are quite different personalities.

If you were pondering if Lewis is a second class Morse then don't, all the elements of a good detective series are here, whilst some stories are stronger than others nothing obviously sub par stands out, good performances an experienced production team it's nicely polished and a very satisfying way to move forward from the original. Certainly worth investigating for fans of the detective genre
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on 24 March 2013
I'm a great fan of Lewis (after Morse of course) and I enjoy the story line though some can be mind boggling but Lewis and his side kick complement each other with their different personalities they portray in the acting .As the series have ended I decided to get the first 4 series which also inc, the pilot --great !! Will enjoy watching them from time to time.
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VINE VOICEon 27 March 2014
I must say i very much enjoyed these first 4 series of Lewis.I didn't think it would grab me like it did but the 2 lead characters really work well together and are both very watchable.The stories are of a high quality also which is always a great thing with police dramas so all in all very enjoyable.
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on 1 March 2013
I all way watched Morse because of John Thaw being one of the best actor off this generation, but the Lewis series are a match or better than Morse very strong story and well balanced well done to Kevin Whately and the cast for carrying on where John Thaw left off.
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