Kevin Whately returns as Inspector Robbie Lewis tonight in the first of three new episodes of Lewis on ITV. The Inspector Morse was the UK's highest rating drama of 2006. Last year's feature length film attracted more than 11 million viewers. Now the much loved Oxford policeman is back in three new episodes along with his young partner DS Hathaway, played by Laurence Fox.
Tonight's story revolves around a group of former Oxford students being murdered by a woman who calls herself Fury. Despite the story being based on a Greek myth, Whately told ITV.com that Lewis remains a good, honest and unsophisticated detective. “Hathaway is almost a prototype Morse; he's a brilliant Cambridge graduate with a spiritual side. Lewis is a good cop but you can't suddenly turn him into Sherlock Holmes.”
There's already talk of four more Lewis stories being shot this year for broadcast in 2008, suggesting there's plenty of life left in the character. Colin Dexter's famous detective may be gone, but he's not forgotten. Each of the three new episodes being broadcast over the coming weeks features a brief nod to the late, great detective. Inspector Morse made its debut on British TV 20 years ago and became one of the most acclaimed and watched detective dramas in television history. It'll be interesting to see if Lewis can emerge from that shadow and build its own following.