No-one really expected this would happen. All involved had, before last year, pronounced the seventh series of Lewis (by UK count, not Masterpiece count) the last one. So of course the fandom had held out hope, but I think we’d all sort of wished them farewell with a teary eye and made our peace with it, but apparently the series continued to get such a positive response that they asked Whately, Fox, Front, and Holman to return for another go. Kevin Whately has gone on record saying that he’s doing it sort of reluctantly and that he hadn’t really planned on being this involved in this series at all, but that it just happened and he’s not unhappy about it, either, because making the series is always a lot of fun. He went on to say that he’s willing to do one more, but would feel bad at making more Lewis than there has been Morse — at 30 episodes, they’re closing in. Continue reading →
And then ITV followed up with this press release! Follow the link above to get to the full document. But have this quote before you go:
Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox reprise their roles as the detectives who investigate grisly murders against the backdrop of the beautiful university spires of Oxford. But this time it’s different… After an extended break from the Police, Hathaway has been promoted to Inspector. When the chemistry that exists with Lewis eludes Hathaway, retired Lewis is drafted back to renew their partnership. It’s a new dynamic for our detectives, but one they’ll have to come to terms with quickly if they are to achieve results.
Lewis will return with six new episodes in what’s going to be Series 8. Laurence Fox has confirmed, on Twitter, that filming will take place in the spring. So, two things to look forward to: new episodes of Lewis and new behind-the-scenes tweets and photos from Mr Fox and Mr Whately. #henman
Now, is it just me, or has all the shit in the universe been raining down on Hathaway these last six or seven episodes? Thought so. While it’s not a strictly scientific observation, I must say: this isn’t just existential flu, this is a properly depressing cluster-cuss.
This was much better! After episodes 1 + 2, I was a bit concerned that either I’d lost my spark, or Lewis had; but this two-parter had a lot more energy and more pull. The case was interesting and engaging, and it didn’t veer off the path the way the last one did. Plus, not only was the script (written by Lucy Gannon) tighter, plot-wise, it also showed more zest and, dare I say it, spurious glamour in dialogue, pacing, and characterisation.
How well do we know anyone we love? In a world where everyone has their reasons, who’s capable of murder? And when someone crosses that line, who will be the one paying the sentence, the crime and the calamity etched into their skin like an indelible stain? Let’s find out.
Tyger, tyger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
— The Tyger | William Blake
Honestly, what case? Jessica Lake, babysitter, gets murdered for no apparent reason, the detectives discover bondage artist Marion Hammond, including pictures that have Hathaway blush and choke again, and Swinging with the Finkels, Oxford suburbia style. Baby’s dad seems to have a motive, there’s a lot of poking around in a lot of private lives, someone else dies, red herrings are dangled like mistletoe at yuletide (no, Andrea, do not start thinking about writing a Lewis/Hathaway ficlet involving Laura, Jean, and mistletoe. FOCUS!), and in the end it turns out that the boyfriend’s dad did it, caught in a psychotic episode. Convicted by Noo-Noo, a plush giraffe.
Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine
— Scarborough Fair | Simon & Garfunkel
Is that a dislike for the two resident poets on the meadow I sense there, Sergeant? Be that as it may, and disregarding the probability of me inhaling rosemary any time soon while putting Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme on repeat, let’s talk about how this series of Lewis has already upped the ante, again. Production values have always been high, but this series is something else, because cinematography and set designs tie in with what I feel is producers, writers, directors, and, most importantly, actors raising their game once again, beyond the excellence we’ve already come to love them for.
Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.
— Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
The Impossible Quest
The premiere episode of Series 6 has so many red herrings dangling around it’s basically set in a pond, and at first watching it felt a bit as if, perhaps, one or two might have been better left out, but on second thoughts, no, it’s fine the way it is. It all comes together nicely in the end, which is as heartbreaking as it is inevitable. Hathaway was right—there was no motive, no reason for Alex Falconer to kill Michelle Marber’s son. He did have a hand in all the other murders, but Stevie’s mother will have to live with the realisation that her son wasn’t who she’d convinced herself he was.
While the first victim, Murray Hawes, was obsessed with Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark, the resident Miss Marple and Falconer himself are on impossible quests of their own. Michelle is desperate to piece together the last moments of her son’s life, trying to find another explanation than the obvious one. Unable to bear that her son might have been a drug addict and died entirely by accident, wasting all that genius and potential, wasting himself away, she seeks someone to blame, a reason that she can accept, though not understand. Alex Falconer is searching for a cure for his wife’s cancer, using the Doctrine of Signatures—an impossible quest if there ever was one, and lives are destroyed by it, and relationships torn apart.