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Inspector Lewis: Series 6(TV) (2013)
Lewis and Hathaway face three new mysteries inspired by the Inspector Morse novels of Colin Dexter. Episodes include - Down Among the Fearful; The Ramblin' Boy; and Intelligent Design.
For more about Inspector Lewis: Series 6 and the Inspector Lewis: Series 6 Blu-ray release, see Inspector Lewis: Series 6 Blu-ray Review published by Brian Orndorf on June 11, 2014 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Kevin Whately, Laurence Fox, Thomas Brodie-Sangster
» See full cast & crew
Inspector Lewis: Series 6 Blu-ray Review
Death before neck pain.
Reviewed by Brian Orndorf, June 11, 2014
After their crime-busting efforts in "Series 5" proved highly engaging if a tad routine, the creative course for "Inspector Lewis: Series 6" takes the venerable ITV program down a slightly different path of sleuthing and character development, introducing a turn of events that tease the end may be nigh for the small screen adventures of D.I. Robert Lewis (Kevin Whately) and D.S. James Hathaway (Laurence Fox). Granted, a new batch of episodes is set to debut this fall, but "Series 6" feels like a transitional year for the show, making the most of its limited screentime to rearrange vocational interest and private pursuits, perhaps on the verge of a major casting shake-up to come. Or maybe the production doesn't know quite what to do with these reserved personalities anymore, breaking them down before building them back up for yet another round of extensive investigation. "Series 6" is odd at times, but rarely does "Inspector Lewis" fail when it comes to tinkering with the puzzle of murder, delivering a satisfactory season of slippery suspects and personal inventory.
As with "Series 5," the episodes are uneven, with closer "Intelligent Design" enthusiastically creating a fascinating network of motivations with a mystery novel-style collection of feisty and fractured personalities, while the middle excursion for the cops, "The Ramblin' Boy," barely holds together, weakened by tedious minutiae and Fox's strange absence from the episode (more on that in a moment). When it cooks, "Inspector Lewis" captures a rhythm of clue-gathering and pleasingly dry banter among the stars, managing the mystery at hand while developing longstanding characters, deepening the world as it searches for ways to keep the routine fresh. "Series 6" is mostly successful in terms of avoiding stale encounters and goosing whodunit elements, but it's not always consistent, occasionally losing its way as it develops more elaborate plots and introduces a wealth of new characters.
What's most bizarre about "Series 6" is how Fox doesn't entirely commit with enthusiasm to the project, almost entirely written out of "The Ramblin' Boy," while "Down Among the Fearful" finds the actor replicating stiffness in a neck brace for nearly the entire show. Something just isn't right about the situation, especially when Lewis is left with a new partner for the second episode, bristling at the idea that he could do what he does best with just anyone as his colleague. The neck brace addition admittedly leads to a few unintentional laughs, watching Fox sell high drama while wrapped in foam, and I'm not entirely convinced the producers are playing it straight anyway. To Fox's credit, he make his moments count, once again sharing terrific chemistry with Whately, who's allowed a tinge of romance to play with as Lewis finally conquers his fears and pursues pathologist Dr. Laura Hobson (Clare Holman). Maybe Fox had a movie commitment or perhaps he wanted a few breaks after playing Hathaway for so long. Either way, it's unfortunate how the interesting character is either away or incapacitated for much of the program.
"Down Among the Fearful" (90:45)
After being struck from behind by a careless driver, Hathaway is left in a neck brace, fighting discomfort as he joins Lewis on another case. When psychic Reuben (Edwin Thomas) is killed by lethal injection, motives are difficult to identify, as the secretive man was also a university researcher working on a controversial project created to disprove religious belief. Leaving behind wife Polly (Catherine Steadman) and an infant daughter, Reuben's suspiciously intimate dealings with co-worker Vicki (Tuppence Middleton) trouble the detectives, who can't see a killer in the frightened young woman. Turning their attention to the world of psychics, Hathaway and Lewis question arrogant huckster Frank (Dominic Mafham), who was out to discredit Reuben, and reclusive tarot card reader Justine (Beatie Edney), while hunting down any missing supplies of the chemical cocktail used to off the victim and threaten the well-being of others.
"The Ramblin' Boy (92:26)
Taking on a much needed holiday, Hathaway departs, leaving Lewis temporarily partnered up with D.C. Alex Gray (Babou Ceesay), unsure of the new man's police skills. The pairing is quickly put to the test when an embalmed body is discovered, leaving clues behind that point to the bizarre ignorance of undertaker Brian (Tom Brooke) and the strange behavior of young Liam (Taron Egerton), who's trying to save his relationship with girlfriend Ruth (Harriet Ballard). When a prominent doctor turns up dead, the case intensifies, even reaching Croatia, effectively complicating a host of domestic betrayals and the dubious behavior of untrustworthy types. As the investigation continues, Lewis and Laura find their awkward flirtations transforming into something romantic, bringing some light to the inspector's grim world.
"Intelligent Design" (95:06)
After serving only one year of a three year prison sentence for drunk driving, Richard (Stephen Churchett) has returned home to wife Martha (Alison Steadman). Run over in the middle of the night, Richard's death calls in Hathaway and Lewis, who's been working on his relationship with Laura, teasing thoughts of retirement so he can enjoy the finer things in life. Finding considerable motives from a list of suspects, including Rachel (Crystal Leaity), the sister of a woman killed by Richard, the detectives confront the victim's academic history, questioning colleagues and rivals as they zero in on the suspect. For Hathaway, a cruel turn in the case causes him to reassess his law enforcement career, trying not to disappoint Lewis as both men consider a future away from an untrustworthy public.
Inspector Lewis: Series 6 Blu-ray, Video Quality
The AVC encoded image (1.78:1 aspect ratio) presentation fares a bit better than most PBS releases, never struggling with significant crush issues, with most blacks properly defined. Some contrast muddiness is detected, along with light banding, but this is an inviting viewing experience with encouraging detail. Age lines and skin textures are exposed in full, while set design achievements are easily surveyed, keeping the visuals interesting. Colors are stable and true, finding highlights in greenery and domestic interiors, where paint choices and fabrics bring out bolder hues. It's a very crisply shot HD program, and the discs preserve the basics with satisfactory definition.
Inspector Lewis: Series 6 Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There's minor surprise with the 5.1 DTS-HD MA sound mix, which actually offers a small dose of directional activity with vehicle movement during the series, instead of simply employing surrounds to push out scoring efforts. It's a modest addition but a nice one. Dialogue exchanges are the primary focus here, finding voices crisply defined and contained, preserving the straightforward emotionality of the show, while accents are clean, easy to follow. Music isn't a priority for "Inspector Lewis," but synth-based offerings are respectfully balanced with the human element. Atmospherics are welcome, creating defined environmental changes.
Inspector Lewis: Series 6 Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
There is no supplementary material on these discs.
Inspector Lewis: Series 6 Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
While there's no finality to "Series 6," it often plays like "Series 7" isn't going to happen. The writing teases thoughts of retirement and soulful inspection, generating an end-of-the-line tone of life-changing decisions for Lewis and Hathaway. Admittedly, such soul-searching is a quick way to rile up the program, opening new dramatic opportunities as age becomes a factor for its stars. However, "Inspector Lewis" isn't about hand-wringing or confession, but tightly-bound offerings of identity mixed in with the game of murder. Maybe it's all a tease to goose ratings, but if "Inspector Lewis" is indeed winding down, let's hope the next series keeps Fox around for the full ride. Whately's a fine actor, but the show just isn't the same without their cautious and casual interplay.
Lewis: Other Seasons
Inspector Lewis: Series 6 Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Inspector Lewis: Series 6 (Original UK Edition) Blu-ray - May 6, 2013
PBS has announced the Blu-ray release of Inspector Lewis: Series 6, in which Lewis and Hathaway face three new mysteries inspired by Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse novels. Episodes include "Down Among the Fearful," "The Ramblin' Boy" and "Intelligent Design." Series ...
Inspector Lewis: Series 6 Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
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