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DVD Review

DVD cover

Series Nine


Starring: Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox
Distributor: ITV Studios Global Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 30 November 2015

Kevin Whately returns for the last time, bringing his usual charm and experience to the role of Detective Inspector Robbie Lewis, ably assisted by his young sidekick, the sharp and intelligent D.S. Hathaway played by Laurence Fox, in the ninth, and final series of this hit detective drama...

In the historic and beautiful city of Oxford and its university campus, Lewis and Hathaway are faced with a series of puzzling crimes that will keep viewers guessing all the way through.

The series follows Lewis and Hathaway as they work their way through a series of crimes in three new episodes; One For Sorrow; Magnum Opus; What Lies Tangled and which were originally broadcast on ITV between October and November 2015.

In One For Sorrow Lewis and Hathaway get a new boss, who arrives from his previous post at New Scotland Yard. He's more of a hands on boss and starts to question Lewis’s ability as a consultant. When the body of an avant-garde taxidermy artist is found it looks like a simple accidental overdose. But as Lewis and Hathaway dig deeper they realise that there's a lot of people who wanted her dead.

Magnum Opus opens with the discovery of a body of a man in the woods. As things unravel, it appears that he is part of a secret alchemy society. And as other members start to turn up dead the race is on to discover and stop the murderer.

What Lies Tangled when a parcel bomb claims its victim Lewis and Hathaway's investigation into the man's history dredge up a number of people who have motive for murder. But as the investigation continues the detectives lives are put at risk when another bomb is discovered.

Running as story arcs in the background of this series, is Hathaway's dad's illness. He's suffering with the early symptoms of dementia and Hathaway not only has to make amends with his father, but also his sister. Additionally, Lewis is torn between going abroad with Dr. Laura Hobson. Will he be replaced while he's away?

The show had probably overstayed its welcome by at least a couple of series, if series nine is anything to go by. Whately has visibly aged since I last caught the show, back in series five.

This collection sees three stories, each split into two halves (a format I didn't much like compared to the old episodes which were self contained). And another element that I wasn't overly fond of was how the show seems to have upped the level of onscreen violence in a bid to continue to shock the audience. I've always believed that implied violence is more effective than graphically showing someone being beaten with a baseball bat.

Sadly, this is not the greatest way to to say goodbye to a character that has been embraced by millions since his introduction in Inspector Morse back in 1987.


Nick Smithson

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