As restrained and craftsman-like as ever, Series 7 of the Inspector Lewis mysteries doesn’t exactly break new ground, but still hits the right notes of character and complication in the unusually dangerous environs of author Colin Dexter’s Oxford.
Kevin Whatley and Laurence Fox return for another go as Detective Inspectors Lewis and Hathaway, along with other series regulars Claire Holman as the forensics expert Laura Hobson, and Rebecca Front as Chief Superintendent Innocent. Hathaway is also joined by his new partner, DS Lizzie Maddox (an underused Angela Griffin).
The series consists of three feature-length episodes: “Entry Wounds,” “The Lions of Nemea,” and “Beyond Good And Evil.” At the end of Series 6, both main characters seemed to be done with police work: Lewis through a well-earned retirement and Hathaway through a spiritual journey overseas. But as the title implies, Lewis is called up to assist the newly-returned and -promoted Hathaway in new cases of off-screen murder and literate mayhem.
While Series 7 is no more or less solid and entertaining as expected, the last episode, where an early case of a cop killer comes back to haunt Lewis, especially proves that this comfortable formula still has a slice of grit left in it. All three of the mysteries are compelling and clever enough, keeping you guessing without abandoning character or that mood of intellectual melancholy that runs through the series as a whole.
One can’t help but admire the economy of the writing as well. It’s a truism of TV mysteries that no character or detail should go to waste, but the scripts of “Lewis” do so in a sharp-witted and satisfying fashion. When the ‘gun’ is shown in the first reel (i.e. the telescope that belonged to Newton), there’s always a satisfying way for it go ‘bang’ by the third reel (be used as a blunt instrument to cave in the skull of an astrophysics professor). Maybe not what Chekhov had in mind, but it will certainly do.
The Blu-ray of “Inspector Lewis: Series 7” is presented on two discs, in 1080i High Definition. The color and detail look very good, and there is an option for English SDH subtitles.
The audio track is 2.0 Stereo, and covers the bases well enough for the dialogue-heavy sound.
There are no extras included in this set.
“Inspector Lewis: Series 7” hits its cozy marks as capably as ever, with intricate mysteries and the ever-likable Kevin Whatley in charge.