Thursday, June 13, 2013

Quick Reviews: Lewis, Series 1 through 6, ITV

The Show: Lewis (ITV, 2006-2013), which just finished its seventh and apparently last series on ITV and will be broadcast on PBS this summer, is the excellent spin-off of the wonderful Morse (ITV, 1987-1993 and 1995-2000). Lewis follows the investigations of Morse’s former partner Lewis (Kevin Whately) and his ex Cambs theology student partner Hathaway (Laurence Fox) as they uncover murderers in the college town of Oxford, most of them academics. Of the many joys of Lewis, scenes of gorgeous Oxford and its college architecture and the puzzle that is the murders, to pick two examples, it’s the academics as murderers one that I probably enjoyed more than any other. And while I realise most academics don't commit murders in the numbers they do in Lewis (and Morse) there is a dark side to the ultimately silly and petty power games that academics really do play behind those ivy covered walls. 4 to 4.5 stars.

The DVD: Very good transfer. Good clean audio. A bit difficult for an oldie like me on a few occasions. 4 stars.

The Package: Up to ITV’s usual standard for its larger box sets: Mediocre. Two of the discs in the second and third of the three keepcases were off their spindles. Thankfully they weren’t damaged much. One of the discs, the behind the scenes disc in series one (disc three) was scratched and buffed and didn't function properly freezing up, thanks to the scratches and buffings, periodically. 2 stars.

Miscellaneous: For those of you who don't have an all region DVD player the first series of Lewis put out by the sometimes incompetent PBS is the cut PBS version of Lewis, cut bizarrely in order to fit into the Masterpiece 1 hour and a half slot, not the full ITV version. So at this point you have no other option, if you want series one, than to go for the hack and hacked up PBS version of series one. So many DVD companies aren't worth the cost of plastic in the DVD's they peddle.

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