Lewis S01E01 2006 – "Reputation"

Introduction to Lewis

As the curtain rises on Lewis, the spin-off series from the iconic “Inspector Morse,” viewers are transported back to the hallowed halls of Oxford. DI Robert Lewis, portrayed by the ever-capable Kevin Whately, returns to the city after several years away. His reluctant assignment? To unravel the enigma surrounding the murder of an Oxford mathematics student. The episode titled “Reputation” sets the stage for a cerebral and intriguing journey into the world of academia, secrets, and deadly consequences.

Plot Summary

The episode opens with Lewis’s reentry into the Oxford police force, now under the watchful eye of DCS Innocent. His new partner, DS James Hathaway (played by Laurence Fox), is a sharp and intellectually formidable presence. Lewis senses a form of intellectual superiority in Hathaway, determined not to revert to the former humiliating relationship he often experienced with his previous boss, Chief Inspector Morse. The ghost of Morse still lingers, casting a long shadow over Lewis’s investigative path.

The Crime

The victim, an Oxford mathematics student, meets a tragic end during a sleep study. Shot within the confines of the sleep lab, the circumstances are perplexing. The key-code granting access to the lab belongs to Daniel Griffin, a fellow maths student. However, Daniel’s math tutor provides him with an alibi. The plot thickens as we delve into the life of this maladjusted young man, who is set to inherit his father’s automotive empire. Daniel’s disruptive behaviour and lack of respect for his uncle, now at the helm of the company, add layers of complexity.

Family Unity and Japanese Investors

The automotive company’s future hinges on a critical deal with Japanese investors. These investors emphasize the importance of family unity during this pivotal time. As Lewis investigates further, he uncovers cryptic clues left behind by his former boss, Chief Inspector Morse. The past intertwines with the present, and the stakes escalate. The tension between tradition, ambition, and hidden motives drives the narrative forward.

Character Dynamics

Charlie Cox shines as Danny Griffin, portraying the troubled heir with a mix of vulnerability and rebellion. The chemistry between Lewis and Hathaway crackles, hinting at a partnership that will evolve over the series.


“Reputation” successfully captures the essence of classic murder mysteries while infusing it with a contemporary sensibility. The Oxford backdrop, with its ancient spires and cloistered corridors, becomes a character in itself. The writing, adapted from Colin Dexter’s novels by Russell Lewis, maintains the cerebral intrigue that fans of the Morse universe crave. Director Bill Anderson’s pacing keeps viewers engaged, and the haunting strains of Muse’s “Hysteria” underscore the tension.


For fans of murder mysteries, “Lewis” offers a worthy successor to “Inspector Morse.” Kevin Whately’s return as DI Lewis is a nostalgic nod to the past, while Laurence Fox’s DS Hathaway injects fresh energy. “Reputation” sets the stage for a series that promises intellectual stimulation, unexpected twists, and a dash of Oxford charm.