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Lewis Case Study

Rob Miller | Tuesday December 11, 2012

Categories: GCSE, Eduqas (WJEC) GCSE, WJEC GCSE Media Studies, Hot Entries, Television, Television Crime Drama

After a successful pilot in 2006, the first series of Lewis was broadcast in 2007. Cloned from Morse Lewis is a high production value ITV Crime Drama that has developed into a flagship, or tentpole programme for ITV in terms of ratings, attracting advertising revenue and critical success. As with Morse Lewis is set in Oxford and is closely affiliated to Oxford University and university buildings – much of the crime and investigations are set in and around the Oxford University colleges and are often linked to students, tutors, employees and associates of the university.

The series stars well known and respected television actor Kevin Whately (Morse, Auf Wiedersehen, Peak Practice...) as Detective Inspector Robert ‘Robbie’ Lewis and also Laurence Fox (son of iconic actor James Fox) as his ‘sidekick’ Detective Inspector James Hathaway. The two form a classic buddy cop crime drama partnership. In Morse (1987-2000) Kevin Whately played Sergeant Lewis who was the sidekick of Chief Inspector Morse played by John Thaw. Chief Inspector Morse (the character) died on screen in 2000 while John Thaw the actor died in 2001 – ITV decided to devise a spin off to Morse where Sergeant Lewis would be in charge as Detective Inspector.

Homage and intertextual linking was paid to Morse in the 2006 Lewis pilot when, after flying in from the British Virgin Islands where he had been living to try and get over the death of his wife, Lewis nearly gets run over by a vintage, red Mark II Jaguar – the iconic British car Chief Inspector Morse drove throughout the Morse series. The death of Lewis’ wife was crucial to understanding the conventions of TV Crime Drama (see genre below) where often the central protagonist or in this case Detective has significant personal problems and issues audiences can relate to - Chief Inspector Morse in Morse was often portrayed as an enigmatic, sometimes lonely, upper middle class ex-army bachelor who loved opera...

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