Ispector Lewis, called Lewis outside of the States, is easily one of my favorite TV shows. Chronicling the adventures of Detective Inspector Lewis and Detective Sergeant James Hathaway the show follows the two as they solve crimes around Oxford, both the town and the university. Many of the crimes are deeply intellectual, giving a nod to the learned inhabitants of the area. The concentration for the show is not on the gore and violence (a problem many an American cop show has) but on the resolution.

DS Hathaway is an intellectual, a Cambridge graduate, trained in Theology. We are told he was a successful athlete who earned the nickname ‘Atta-way Hathaway” for his rowing prowess. Lewis once stated that between he and Hathaway they made “one good detective.” Lewis went on to say, “I, of course, am the brains” but it would be more accurate to say that they are both the brains, just representing the two different sides. Hathaway is the right brain. He knows a great deal about art, literature and music, can translate Latin and is deeply interested in philosophy and theology. When the crimes take an odd turn, and they often do, Hathaway’s knowledge is put to good use.

Lewis is the right brain thinker. He is logical and analytical, fascinated by puzzles and determined to solve them. He has a keen understanding of human nature and an even deeper understanding of the criminal mind. Hathaway often comes up with the pieces of the puzzle while Lewis places them so that they reveal the whole of the picture. Professionally, they are the perfect couple.

I like their personal relationship as well. They behave like typical co-workers; they progress slowly in their friendship, careful to remember that they have to face each other the next morning over the first cup of the day. They aren’t best friends, constantly hanging out but have actual lives which have nothing to do with work. Lewis is the older of the two, with a grown daughter. He is a widower who was devastated by the death of his wife as the result of a hit and run, a crime which he and Hathaway eventually solve. Hathaway takes some valuable life advice from Lewis but his training in theology also enables him to give Lewis some much needed advice as well.

If you haven’t seen the show and like mysteries, I would encourage you to try it out. If you have seen it, what are your thoughts? Any recommendations for other British cop shows?

– Maggie AAR