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Mystery TV - Mystery! Inspector Lewis - Pilot Episode aka Reputation

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Inspector Lewis
Pilot aka Reputation
Kevin Whately, Laurence Fox, Charlie Cox
BBC TV 2006
WGBH PBS TV 2006
112 minutes

I am sure all Inspector Morse fans were waiting impatiently for the first Inspector Lewis mystery (now available on DVD) after the demise of both Morse and actor John Thaw and that this first, officially untitled episode of Inspector Lewis was compared with the original series. I have now idea what the result of that was as I have not been an assiduous Inspector Morse watcher.

Inspector Lewis picks up a couple of years after D.I. Morse's death when Lewis (Kevin Whately) comes back from some foreign country and is immediately involved in a murder mystery case with Detective Sergeant Hathaway (Laurence Fox). This, according to his supervisor, only as long as another detective is busy with another case. The case itself, the murder of an American math student at Oxford, ties in with a case Morse was looking into as the suspect, Danny Griffon, is the son of a car maker whose death was also a mystery.

Not having followed the Morse mystery series I could still appreciate the occasional tips of the hat to the previous show and they did not get in the way. The case itself here, unfortunately, gets a little too convoluted and most of the leads the viewer and Inspector Lewis gets are rather misleading. I was rather unsatisfied with the wrap-up on this one as there is little in the entire show to really guide the viewer to the conclusion and solve provided here.

As in any good TV mystery the opening scene is important to get to the end so watch carefully. There is no doubt there will be more Inspector Lewis mysteries in the future. Lewis is an interesting character and his sidekick has been given enough of an interesting past in the pilot episode, unofficially titled Reputation, to make viewers want to know more. The first episode of this mystery, now available on DVD, promises a lot for the future but is a bit of a dud.

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