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Posts Tagged ‘Inspector Morse’

It’s no secret that I love Oxford – city of dreaming spires, home to one of the world’s most ancient and beautiful universities, site of my starry-eyed study abroad semester in college and my blissful year in graduate school. I never tire of it, and I regularly read books set there. But I’ve recently been revisiting Oxford in cinematic form, via the Inspector Lewis TV series.

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(Image from pbs.org)

Lewis is inspired by the Inspector Morse novels of Colin Dexter (whom I met long ago in Oxford), which follow Morse and his sergeant (Lewis) as they solve crimes in and around Oxford. I watched an episode or two of the Inspector Morse TV series during my first semester in Oxford, but I’d never watched Lewis until my friend Amy convinced me to give it a shot. She predicted I’d enjoy both the plotlines and the Oxford setting. She was right on both counts.

new college quad

When Lewis opens, Morse has died and Lewis has been promoted to inspector, and paired up with a new sergeant: James Hathaway (the tall blond bloke above), a former seminarian who left the ministry for a police career. Like every good pair of detectives, they are opposites in some ways. Lewis is an agnostic workingman who grows impatient with Oxford’s intellectual snobbery; Hathaway is brainy, Cambridge-educated, and harbors complicated feelings for the church he left. They make an excellent team, though, and their sly asides to one another are one of the show’s great pleasures. (Like Castle, which I also love, Lewis has a few other recurring characters: Dr. Laura Hobson, the sharp-tongued, kind medical inspector, and Jean Innocent, the keen-eyed superintendent and Lewis’ boss.)

My husband doesn’t always join me in my TV obsessions, particularly the British ones (see: Downton Abbey), though we do watch Castle together and we both adore Friends. But after listening in while I streamed my first episode of Lewis, he asked to watch the next episode with me. Two days later, we were checking out an earlier season on DVD from the library.

J has visited Oxford several times, though he doesn’t love it as I do. But we’re both enjoying the intricately plotted mysteries, though he does laugh at me when I squeal at the sight of a familiar Oxford spot (there are many) or point out a geographical error (there are very few).

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The Radcliffe Camera

According to our usual TV-show pattern, we discovered Lewis just as it was ending, so we’re saving the series finale for some later date. (Since it usually takes me about a year to get through TV series – Friends, Gilmore Girls, Mary Tyler Moore – I’m assuming I’ll get around to the finale months from now, which means I’ll have to find it on DVD.)

For now, though, we’ve got a slew of episodes to work through, a few dozen cases to solve alongside our crack team of detectives, and many hours to spend in my favorite city.

Have you watched Lewis or Morse (or Endeavour, the new prequel to Morse)? Are you a fan?

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