Inspector Lewis - End of Story

by kimbesa

Lewis episodes have aired, and the series is at its end. At least for the moment. But hints are out there, and the story line has left some loose ends.

Oxford, England. In the shadow of ancient spires, the Inspector Lewis series ends with Lewis and Hathaway drinking a couple of pints.

No surprise, their table is outside a pub, in the sunset hours, overlooking the River Thames. A spot these two have visited often, after the workday.

Whatever the next chapters might be for these beloved characters -- Detective Inspector Robert (“Robbie”) Lewis and Detective Sergeant James Hathaway -- neither man is planning to spend it in police work.

Lewis is so close to the pensioner life he can taste it. Hathaway seems to be rudderless about his future, but he’s sure enough that he’s done with what police work has turned him into.

As we all know from the plot twists in Lewis, plans may be one thing. Events are another. Gone doesn't always mean gone for good.

Photo: Oxford cityscape, including Christ Church. Credit:

The Duo of Lewis and Hathaway

Fans will miss these two detectives. The finale seems so low key, and with little fanfare leading to the close.

Main characters of the Lewis seriesOne has to wonder. Certainly there are hints that something might come back in the way of their story, coming from the characters in addition to those in the press.

Chief Superintendent Innocent hints more than once that Lewis does love solving crimes, and that growing carrots or watching TV are not likely to satisfy him.

Lewis looks pretty happy, spending an evening on the couch with Hobson and a glass of wine. After a year or two of cooking dinner, is he going to feel the same?

Hathaway does like helping people, though things don’t always come out the way he might like. And there are the mental challenges of solving crimes. Can he really settle down to enjoy civilian life, after the excitement of police work?

What can I imagine for James? Would mystery writer cut it? For him, or for Lewis?

The Last Lewis Series

This is called Series 6 in the US. The three episodes were aired as 90 minute programs on PBS in 2013.

In “Down Among the Fearful,” a psychology experiment takes a deadly turn when played out in psychic guise. 

“The Ramblin’ Boy” finds Hathaway on a foreign trip, and Lewis pulls him into a murder close to home.

Another plot that turns on university life, “Intelligent Design,” shows that the past can very well step on the heels of the present.

Inspector Lewis on TV

If you’re new to Lewis, the entire series (pilot and various number of episodes (usually four) have been aired in different combinations in the UK, US and other countries.

Detective Inspector Robert Lewis is a character from the prior, and very popular, Inspector Morse series. Lewis was the sergeant (or “bag man” who generally got the dirty or tedious jobs) to Morse in that story. The stories in the Morse series were based on the novels of Colin Dexter. Lewis is based on the character.

The Lewis series (Inspector Lewis in the US) began in 2006 with the pilot, and 2007 for regular episodes. The character of Dr. Laura Hobson also came from Morse. All the other characters in Lewis are new, including the police force, Oxfordshire Police.

The city and university environs of Oxford are real. The dreaming spires of this old university town, along with the insider culture, peculiarities and class distinctions that go with them, are worked into the mysteries.

In the UK, Lewis aired as one-hour episodes. In the US, Inspector Lewis has been aired on PBS as part of the Masterpiece Mystery series, in 90-minutes programs, with about 10 minutes taken out of each original UK version (including on the video copies).

Look for “full UK versions” to get the whole show when looking for DVDs, or get them from the UK to play on your “region free” DVD player.

Perhaps there will be another version of Lewis at some point in the future, less constrained by official police practice, and more along the lines of Miss Marple, or even the Castle series in the US, where the crime-solving can skim the edges of the rules, and not be hampered by them.

Check Out Inspector Lewis

Lewis and Oxford
Lewis and Oxford
Image based on my copy of Lewis V

Playing My Lewis DVDs

I enjoy these programs over and over again

I like having a "Lewis Marathon" by watching my DVDs over and over.

It helps, too, to have the full UK editions, that have all the footage. Some of the sets (especially the older series) are edited to allow for space for the PBS intro. It's worth it to search out the original versions to get every bit, even if you have to get a region-free player to view them.

I watched just Series V recently, and it was refreshing. I know, they're setting up the ending that's coming in Series VI. Still, I enjoy Lewis and Hathaway taking a few friendly jabs at each other, because their association is good and they can.

Guess James never did give up smoking though.

Can Hathaway Live a Tame Life?

Before he turned to police work the character James Hathaway was headed toward being an Anglican priest. Then something happened.

A start at understanding Hathaway: Look at “Life Born of Fire” from Series 1, and “The Dead of Winter” from Series 3 in order to get much of what’s been revealed about Hathaway’s early life..

If he’s going to quit the police, where is this man headed?

Christ Church Oxford “The Gift of Promise” in Series 4, brought up some interesting ideas, knowing that this young girl would have to grow up before she might be old enough to consider a guy like Hathaway.

I could see inklings of a meeting of minds. If a story line were built from this episode,  could James really settle down and help with the family publishing business?

Or, could a character like this young lady foreshadow the type of woman that James could settle down with?

The writers of Inspector Lewis can probably come up with something more satisfying. And it’s only speculation that another series involving any of these characters might ever be produced.

Check out Lewis on DVD in order to enjoy what you might have missed, and become familiar with a fan favorite British crime drama series.

Photo: Christ Church, Oxford. Credit:

Updated: 09/02/2013, kimbesa
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Are You A Lewis Fan?

kimbesa on 07/15/2013

LOL! I'd say...get as many BBC in America channels as possible!

BrendaReeves on 07/15/2013

I love, love, love the British mysteries. I have been watching them on Netflix. I can't stand American TV programming. I may have to move to Britain.

kimbesa on 07/08/2013

You'll recognize Lewis and Hobson, and in the Lewis pilot especially, lots of Morse references.

sheilamarie on 07/08/2013

I love British mysteries, too. I was a big fan of Inspector Morse, but I haven't seen this series. I'll definitely check it out.

kimbesa on 07/06/2013

I understand! Come back when you've seen them, and fill in some background.

PeggyHazelwood on 07/06/2013

I want to watch this series so only skimmed your article. I didn't want to read any spoilers!

kimbesa on 07/06/2013

They approach the stories differently than the US mystery series. I'm interested to see how they will now progress with the new Morse prequel, Endeavour.

Ragtimelil on 07/06/2013

I am indeed a Lewis fan, and a fan of most of the British mysteries.

kimbesa on 07/03/2013

I want them all, and the complete length programs, with no trimming of scenes.

kimbesa on 07/03/2013

Yes, this show has Oxford on my list of places I'd love to visit. And it has helped me with my British vocabulary. There were so many hints in the last series, maybe there is some hope for more eventually.

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