175 of 183 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2012
Check the Internet Movie Database where these episodes are listed as lasting 120 minutes. PBS has chopped them down to 90 minutes although some sources claim ONLY 10 minutes has been hacked off. It was particularly noticeable in Fearful Symmetries where the episode seemed so badly edited that it was at that point that I decided to see if it had originally been longer. Yes, it had. It is a pity that the original is not available. Very disappointing. Amazon Prime only gives the 90-minute version. PBS and Amazon both ought to do better.
79 of 86 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2012
There is a serious lack of clarity in the first three reviews of the "Inspector Lewis" series.
I own the Series One through Four of the UK versions, released by ITV Studios, [...].
Series Four includes the four episodes:
The Dead of Winter
Your Sudden Death Question
These are not the episodes in Series Five of the USA release, as described in the Amazon editorial comment.
Hope this helps decision makers. FWIW, the UK versions play wonderfully on my Pioneer DV-220KV-K all-region DVD player
which I purchased from an Amazon partner especially to play "Inspector Lewis".
To be able also to view the PAL version of "Blythe Spirit" is a great joy!
73 of 85 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 2012
This is the American blu ray of season 5 of Inspector Lewis by PBS. The numbering for the British and American releases of Inspector Lewis series are numbered differently. If you see the PBS on the DVD or the Blu Ray, you have the American version.
I have all of the Inspector Lewis and Inspector Morse sets, which are an outstanding series.
The PAL DVD set is always cheaper than the American DVD, and sometimes a better picture. The American blu ray is better than the British Blu Ray, by a little bit. The British Blu Ray is usually close in price, unless there is a price cut, then British Blu Ray is usually will cost less until the American blu ray does the same price cut.
I agree with most people, we do pay more for our DVD sets(American) than British DVD. It does pay to have a region free DVD player.
I will be buying this new blu ray set, season 5 of Inspector Lewis by PBS when the price decreases.
I bought the Blu Ray set, region A/1. This is the US/Canada reqion. Picture and sound are outstanding. The show is always tops.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2012
I bought these through Amazon Prime Online for $2/episode, a fabulous deal.If you're not a Prime member, you should be. Back to Lewis -- I've watched all of them and the writing has gotten better and better. The real story in these episodes is the slow enhancement of James Hathaway's character. He is getting better lines, smarter lines. Maybe there's another spinoff coming and Hathaway will get his own show. In the meantime, though, the Inspector Lewis series is one of the best going. The ensemble -- the doctor, the chief inspector, Lewis and Hathaway have all settled into their roles. Lewis is not the usual leading man, with the hard edges of Morse, Dalziel, or Wallender, but for all that he's more reachable, more of a guy you'd enjoy a pint with. There hasn't been a weak episode yet, although some rise above the others, such as "The Quality of Mercy," and "And the Moonbeams Kissed the Sea." If you haven't tried Lewis yet, I hope you do.
30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
This box series includes The Soul of Genius, Generation of Vipers, Fearful Symmetry, and The Indelible Stain. These were aired in the UK between May and June 2012 as UK Series 6. Hence US Series 5 is the same as UK series 6. I believe that each of these episodes is edited down by 10 minutes so as to fit the 90 minute time slot in the Masterpiece Mystery series.
It is hard to put your finger on just what makes Lewis work so well. However, a large part of its success must be down to the chemistry between Lewis, played by Kevin Whately and Hathaway (Laurence Fox). Hathaway acts as an excellent foil for Lewis in much the same way that Lewis himself previously did for Morse and the result is at least as effective. It is hard to remember now that this series was a spin off from Inspector Morse following the death of John Thaw and its pilot aired as recently as 2006. It feels like it has been around much longer than that and has almost become an institution.
This series follows the strong tradition set by the earlier series. We thought that Oxford seemed like a dangerous place to live as the body count mounted during the time of Inspector Morse. Lewis continues to add rather alarmingly to the death toll. As previously these episodes are quite varied. For example, this time round one episode concerns the strange death of a babysitter, whilst the final episode involves the mysterious death of a visiting lecturer which may have racial overtones. The lengthy feature film format gives the stories time to develop fully in an unhurried manner.
It is interesting that as this series has progressed, DS James Hathaway has become as significant a figure as Inspector Robbie Lewis and it is hard to imagine Lewis without him. It is very similar to the way Lewis became a central figure alongside Inspector Morse. It is an interesting statistic that the character of Lewis was introduced as long ago as 1986 so it is hardly surprising that we have grown rather used to him in the intervening 26 years! As always the rather regal buildings of Oxford provide an excellent backdrop for the series.
It is very pleasing that a further series has already been commissioned. The four episodes in this series mean that we now have 24 in all so far and with Series 7 that will make 28. Inspector Morse only ran to 33 so it seems very likely that Lewis will exceed even that which will be quite an accolade.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2012
I would give this 4.5 stars if I could. The first time I watched Inspector Lewis I mildly enjoyed it. I can't say I was excited to watch it the next time but whenever I sat in front of the TV this was the show that almost subconsciously I wanted to watch again. At any rate, over time it has really grown on me until I quite enjoy it and I looked forward to it so much that I bought the most recent season.
The characters are interesting but not overdone, like in so many TV shows. They add subtext to the mystery and plot. They also feel genuine, this is how I mostly imagine police work is actually done. Hathaway is especially delightful and has some incredibly witty, albeit dry, jokes. Inspector Lewis is just a down to earth "bloke." This is definitely british mystery, don't watch it if you like lots of action and actors shooting locks off doors. But the plots are good and you can feel attachment to the characters.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2012
"Inspecter Lewis," brings a whole new spin to crimestopping that adds a flair of Oxford intelligence to the process of catching the criminals. I was enthralled by the way the pieces of clues are slowly given to the audience and leaves you hanging as each piece of the mystery unfolds. You must stay for the very end when you might be right or wrong as the rest unfolds. A modern version of Sherlock with his trusty side-kick. It brings an intelligent edge of your seat feel to the story-line. Hang on for an interesting ride.
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
"Inspector Lewis" Series 5 maintains the quality of the last few seasons, which is to say that the episodes are entertaining but the writing is inconsistent. The plots are improbable, of course, but credibility is stretched to the breaking point in "Fearful Symmetry", in which it seems like everyone in Oxford has a connection to an obscure simian research lab. In "Generation of Vipers", the detectives make liberal use of CCTV and private information from the internet, which makes me wonder if the writers are trying to promote the UK's growing surveillance programs or question them. Also in that episode, critical information that cracks the case comes from a journalist who turns up something obvious, not from detective work. I didn't know what to make of that.
In any case, DI Robbie Lewis (Kevin Whately) and partner DS James Hathaway (Laurence Fox) still have a nice chemistry. Chief Superintendent Innocent (Rebecca Front) returns as their boss, though she has very little to do this season. Pathologist Dr. Laura Hobson (Clare Holman) is also back and still Lewis' might-be-but-never-quite love interest. Series 5 introduces a couple of new recurring characters in the competitive DI Peterson (Jason Durr) and striking young DC Julie Lockhart (Kemi-Bo Jacobs), who does a lot of spade work for Lewis and Hathaway. This is Series 6 in the UK, by the way. Entertaining, with lots of great Oxford locales. The episodes are:
In "The Soul of Genius", the body of English professor Murray Hawes is found buried in the woods by botanist Liz Nash (Nadine Lewington). Hawes was obsessed with solving a mystery hidden in Lewis Carroll's "The Hunting of the Snark", so much so that he had recently purchased a rare manuscript of the poem. As Lewis and Hathaway dig around at nearby Oxford Botanical Gardens, which Hawes frequented, and interview his manipulative brother Rev. Coner Hawes (Alex Jennings), an amateur sleuth named Michelle Marber (Celia Imrie) is also on the trail. She believes the death had something to do with drug trials that Hawes participated in under a Dr. Alex Falconer (James Fleet), but her investigation threatens to interfere with the professional detective work.
"Generation of Vipers" finds a lonely Oxford English professor dead in her home after a video she submitted to a dating web site was pirated for all to see on a site called Barker. It looks like a suicide, as Professor Miranda Thornton (Julie Cox) had painkillers in her stomach. But Lewis and Hathaway aren't sure, because the cassette tape from her antiquated answering machine is missing. Investigations lead to a web of relationships from twenty years ago, when Thornton was at school. Kit Renton (Daniel Lapaine), owner of the Barker web site, was at school with her, as was Susanna Leland (Kate Maravan), owner of the dating site to which the video was posted, and David Connelly (Toby Stephens), a real estate developer with whom Thornton was doing battle.
All roads lead, oddly, to a research lab for simian neuroscience in "Fearful Symmetry". When Nick (Ciarán McMenamin) and Honey Addams (Georgia Taylor) return home from a party, they find their babysitter Jessica Lake (Abigail Hardingham) dead and bound to a bed in a fetishistic pose. Jessica had been filling in for her friend Yasmin Randall (Leila Mimmack), who works at the lab under the tutelage of Dr. Joshua Ezrin (Gregor Truter) and Dr. Bob Massey (Con O'Neill), father of Jessica's boyfriend Gideon (Pierro Niel-Mee). Some art photos taken by controversial anthropologist and social pundit Marion Hammond (Lucy Cohu), depicting Jessica in a similar pose to the one in which she was found, may be the only clue to the identity of her killer.
"The Indelible Stain" also harkens back to events at Oxford decades ago. Dr. Paul Yelland (David Soul) gives a controversial lecture about a new theory of "criminal dangerousness" and is later found dead in his room. Ch Supt Innocent encourages the detectives to wrap this case up quickly, as the department had declined to provide Yelland with security. Initially, protesters who crashed the professor's lecture are suspect, but the criminologist who invited him, Prof. Anne Rand (Nancy Carroll), was cruelly using him . Her husband, Robert Fraser (Patrick Baladi), is having an affair with his accomplished student Nina Clemens (Pippa Bennet Warner), who might have motive for murder. And administrator Lillian Hunter (Nina Sosanya) has a connection to Yelland from long ago.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2012
This is by far my favorite mystery series. I love Oxford and the culture there, and the interplay of the characters. This is truly a great series!!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2012
Since there remains some confusion about which episodes are in which series (thanks to the UK and US broadcasters using different counting schemes), this review covers the following episodes, with playing-times rounded off to the nearest minute:
#1 - The Soul of Genius; 1-hour, 33 min (including a 40-second Alan Cumming pitch for PBS and Masterpiece, but not the background intro that PBS included in its broadcast).
#2 - Generation of Vipers; 1-hour, 31 min
#3 - Fearful Symmetry; 1-hour, 33 min (incl the above-mentioned 40-sec intro)
#4 - The Indelible Stain; 1-hour, 32-min
In my experience with this and earlier PBS DVDs, the phrase "Original UK Edition" pretty much guarantees that the portions PBS edited out (to fit their 90-min broadcast slot) are restored. They have also supplied subtitles to all episodes.
The restored material to the first three episodes is interesting, but not substantial. The edits to The Indelible Stain, however, were significant -- an entire subplot (the O'Briens) is left out. While it is rather amusing, it ends up being yet another red herring.
I would comment on the artistic content, but I am such an unabashed Lewis fan, that I could not possibly be objective.