Lewis

Lewis

Monday, 7 January 2013, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

Down Among the Fearful (1/2):

LEWIS (Kevin Whately) and HATHAWAY (Laurence Fox) investigate the death of REUBEN BEATTY (Edwin Thomas), a research fellow from the University of Oxford’s Department of Psychology. He is found dead – injected by etorphine, a powerful paralysing agent – in the offices of psychic ‘Randolph James’. It becomes obvious that this is Reuben’s nom de guerre. He was moonlighting as a clairvoyant.

Reuben’s mentor ANDREW CRANE (Neil Stuke) is surprised to learn about his double life, but colleague VICKI WALMSLEY (Tuppence Middleton) admits she was involved in organising it – an elaborate investigation into the psychology of faith, conducted in the ‘real world’ outside the laboratories. Vicki has suspicions about Crane and his military paymasters, for whom he is devising a series of experiments. Perhaps they killed Reuben to shut him up?

The DNA of psychic JUSTINE SKINNER (Beatie Edney) is recovered from the crime scene, but, when interviewed, she claims to be in contact with the late Reuben Beatty, and says fellow psychic FRANK MCLEAN (Dominic Mafham) is the murderer. However, Frank denies the charge.

Prompted by HOBSON (Clare Holman), who compares the murder to euthanasia, Lewis and Hathaway consult KANAN DUTTA (Sanjeev Bhaskar), a local advocate for assisted dying who is mourning his late daughter.

Lewis

Wednesday, 6 June 2012, 8:00PM – 10:00PM

The Indelible Stain:

When controversial American academic, PAUL YELLAND (David Soul), is invited to speak at Oxford’s Department of Criminology about his theory of “dangerousness”, it stirs up a lot of deep-seated emotions.

Many are worried that such ideas could be used to target ethnic minorities; and local anti-racism activist, MYRA (Sian Webber), is the leader of the pack in voicing her disgust at Yelland’s beliefs.

However, the professor faces just as much opposition within the lecture theatre, with the department’s Director, ANNE RAND (Nancy Carroll), clearly very pleased at the publicity the event is raising for the college.

Next morning, the visiting professor is found strangled in his room – is it suicide or an anti-hate lynching? Hobson quickly discounts the suicide theory – someone definitely helped Yelland into that noose – and the suspects are many. Myra, or one of her vociferous accolytes? Black student NINA CLEMENS (Pippa Bennett-Warner), who was deeply disturbed by the ideas Yelland was spouting? The O’BRIEN’s (Rita Davies and Josephine Tewson), who had bombarded Yelland with threatening emails after he ripped them off? Or even one of the local academics – clearly disgusted by Yelland’s views – but more than happy with all the media attention the department was receiving as a result?

Lewis and Hathaway have a number of avenues to explore, and are all too aware of how delicately they need to tread – with Innocent on their case to ensure that the death doesn’t spark any race wars within the city.

But when Nina then turns up dead, her body dumped in the woods it seems they might be too late. However, Nina was not quite what she seemed either, having conducted an affair with one of the married Criminology professors ROBERT FRASER (Patrick Baladi), until his wife, Anne Rand recently put a stop to it. Shortly before her death Nina began receiving hate texts and silent phone calls. Could her killer have been a vengeful Rand, or a spurned Fraser? Her housemate, WILL PASCOE (Richard Southgate), who had long held an unrequited candle for Nina, is convinced that Fraser is to blame.

Pascoe ends up in a cell, with Fraser and Rand in separate interview rooms, both receiving a grilling. Fraser professes that he could never have hurt Nina because he loved her; whilst Rand coolly dismisses any suggestion that she would have involved herself in anything so sordid. But perhaps the killer was actually a jealous Will, unable to bear the idea that Nina preferred Fraser over him; or their other housemate LARA, who always secretly resented Nina for her hold over Will. After following various lines of inquiry, Hathaway is unexpectedly led to the isolated country cottage of Professor Andrew Lipton who also shares a connection to Paul Yelland. Could he also have a reason to want both Yelland and Nina dead?

Lewis

Wednesday, 23 May 2012, 8:00PM – 10:00PM

Generation of Vipers: 

Super intelligent, but incredibly lonely professor MIRANDA THORNTON (Julie Cox), is devastated when she discovers that her Heart&Soul internet dating video has somehow found its way onto the subversive media blog, TheBarker.biz. With half her students giggling at the footage on their iphones, and slimy former date, FRANCIS MITCHELL (Alex Hanson), seeing her distress as a “romantic” opportunity, Miranda returns home – and is found dead the next morning. In her hand she is clutching a newspaper article about millionaire businessman, DAVID CONNELLY (Toby Stephens), who has been her nemesis for the last couple of years, proposing to buy up much of her college’s land for housing development. 

The death appears to be a straightforward suicide, but after discovering that the married Mitchell visited Miranda shortly before her death, he becomes prime suspect. However, Mitchell seems to be in the clear when Hobson reports that she is 99% certain that the death was indeed a suicide. But Lewis seems unable to let the case drop. He has a major bee in his bonnet about TheBarker.biz’s founder, KIT RENTON (Daniel La Paine), who clearly has no qualms about his site hosting the video, which drove a poor woman to kill herself. He is sure there is more to Miranda’s death than meets the eye. However, both Renton, and Heart&Soul’s owner, SUSANNA LELAND (Kate Maravan), prove somewhat obstructive; with Leland politely refusing to reveal personal details about her users to the police. 

But with the help of the Force’s IT whizz GURDIP (Alton Letto), Lewis and Hathaway are able to ascertain that the dating site was hacked into by one SEBASTIAN DROMGOOLE (Freddie Fox), a cocky former student of Miranda’s, and one who seems to bear a grudge… Then when BRIONY KEAGAN (Roxanne McKee), Seb’s girlfriend, and a Barker.biz employee, is also found murdered, it seems that Lewis was definitely right in his suspicions. However, suddenly Lewis and Hathaway find that they themselves have become the story – their personal and professional lives dredged up for all to see on the pages of TheBarker, with the insinuation being that Hathaway pressurised Briony into carrying out dangerous undercover work for them. The police investigation is stepped up, with a new addition to their team – DI ALAN PETERSON (Jason Durr). 

It appears Briony must have been killed because she’d discovered something about Miranda’s death. And the case takes a new turn when Lewis learns Miranda, Connelly, Renton and Leland were all at Oxford together twenty years ago. Could Miranda’s murder be linked to her past? 

Lewis

Wednesday, 16 May 2012, 8:00PM – 10:00PM

Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox reprise their roles as Inspector Robbie Lewis and his partner DS James Hathaway investigating very modern murders amidst the exquisite architecture of the ancient University of Oxford in the sixth series of one of ITV1’s best loved dramas, Lewis. 

EPISODE ONE: THE SOUL OF GENIUS 

When botanist LIV NASH (Nadine Lewington) accidentally digs up the body of recently buried English Professor, MURRAY HAWES, Lewis and Hathaway are set upon a seemingly impossible quest. Murray was a man possessed – fixated upon “solving” the riddle of Lewis Carroll’s “The Hunting of the Snark”. But could his obsession have been dangerous enough to get him killed? 

Lewis and Hathaway discover that Murray had a longstanding rivalry with his brother, the REVEREND DR CONOR HAWES (Alex Jennings) – a lecturer in Theology and Moral Philosophy – a rivalry built upon Conor’s jealousy of his brother’s genius, which has driven him to attempt to thwart Murray at every turn. However, our cops also have to deal with interference from MICHELLE MARBER (Celia Imrie) – a Miss Marple-style amateur detective, who seems convinced that the killer is local medical researcher and “gentleman scientist”, Dr ALEX FALCONER (James Fleet). They also come up against the postmodern mind-games of students VINCENT (Oliver Johnstone) and MIA (Daisy May), who seem intent on messing with the investigation in their quest to gain admittance into the exclusive, and mysterious, Wednesday Club. Meanwhile, Hathaway gets a little light relief in the form of a flirtation with the lovely botanist Liv Nash – until she herself worries if perhaps she knows too much… 

Could her boss at the Botanic Gardens, PROFESSOR HELENA WRIGHT (Matilda Ziegler), be involved in Murray’s death..? Helena is clearly unstable, and when Liv finds a notebook of Murray’s tucked away in the Gardens, she is left in a quandary as to whether to share her discovery with Hathaway – and potentially land her fragile boss in it… 

ITV’s Drama commissioning team today confirmed a new series of the hit drama Lewis starring Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox.

Following the success of series four of the detective drama this spring, four new episodes will go into production in July. Over nine million viewers watched the most recent series.  The new series will once again feature Kevin Whately as Inspector Robbie Lewis with Laurence Fox as his partner DS Hathaway investigating murders against the glorious backdrop of Oxford.

The series, an ITV Studios production, is produced by Chris Burt who has been at the helm of all 16 films since the launch of Lewis in 2006. The executive producers are Mammoth Screen’s Michele Buck and Damien Timmer.

Says Sally Haynes, ITV’s Controller of Drama commissioning: “Lewis is one of our best loved dramas on ITV and viewers have seen the partnership between Lewis and Hathaway grow over the series. I’m thrilled that the duo is returning with some more great plots.”

The last series featured a stellar line up of stars including Sophie Ward, Alan Davies, Rupert Graves, Diana Quick, Robert Hardy, Timothy West, John Sessions and Niamh Cusack joining the regular cast of Rebecca Front and Clare Holman.

Damien Timmer and Michele Buck say: “Lewis attracts the very best writing and acting talent and we’re delighted that the team are back for another series. We’ll be presenting Lewis and Hathaway with even more baffling challenges in and around Oxford.”

Colin Dexter who created ITV’s Bafta award winning Inspector Morse is once again consultant on Lewis.

 

Sunday, 16 May 2010, 8:00PM – 10:00PM on ITV1

Your Sudden Death Question

Lewis and Hathaway are called to Chaucer College during the August bank holiday weekend when the body of Ethan Croft is found floating in the college fountain. Hobson reveals that the victim had been attending a quiz weekend on the college grounds hosted by quiz aficionado Marcus Richards. Richards explains that there are twelve competitors taking part in the weekend, all of whom are hoping to take home the grand prize of £5,000.

Croft, a primary school teacher, had taken the lead on the first night of the quiz and had then spent the rest of the evening flirting boisterously in the college bar with two young female competitors ��” Eve Rigby and Robyn Strong. After questioning both women, Lewis learns that Robyn Strong had attended school with Croft but he had failed to remember her, and that both women had been invited on a midnight tour of the college by the rather predatory Croft. Both women deny accepting his invitation for a nightcap in his room.

As the college is empty of students and all quizzers had planned to spend the weekend on the college grounds, Lewis tells the college porter Lester Garvey to keep the main gates locked. Lewis and Hathaway then learn that amongst the other quizzers are numerous people with Oxford connections ��”Professors Terry and Milner are both tutors at the university, Sebastian Anderson and Jessica Neill are lawyers who graduated from Oxford in 1989, and Sophie Barton and Alfie Wilkinson are current students. The final members of the quiz group are Lieutenant Diane Baxter and Colour Sergeant Brian Kaye, both on leave from the army.

While searching Croft’s room Lewis and Hathaway are interrupted by Professor Milner, who reveals that Croft had work briefly as a junior lecturer in Modern Languages at Oxford. However, his career was cut short by a sexual harassment case involving a female student. Lewis is surprised by Milner’s willingness to divulge these details, and even more so by Hobson’s revelation that it appears Croft had sex on the night of his murder.
Questioning Eve and Robyn again, Lewis and Hathaway aren’t surprised that both women deny sleeping with Croft. Later that day, Eve is found strangled in her room and Hathaway begins to suspect Robyn may have murdered both Eve and Ethan in a jealous rage. But Lewis in not convinced and calls in a translator to go through Croft’s personal files, all of which are written in Russian.

When Hathaway questions Robyn about Eve’s death she reveals that she had heard Croft and Eve arguing on the first night outside her room. But when Hathaway asks Anderson, whose room is opposite, to corroborate the story he says he heard nothing. Lewis then discovers that, while a junior lecturer, Croft had worked as a translator on high profile business deals but that this had also ended as a result of the sexual harassment case. Croft had worked on a large international business deal for which Professor Milner was the chief engineer.

Things take an unexpected twist when Hobson discovers Eve had not had sex before her murder and Diane Baxter, under pressure from Colour Sergeant Kaye, comes clean and admits that she slept with Croft after his fight with Eve. The college porter then reveals that the young woman involved in the sexual harassment case is now married to Milner.

Visiting Milner’s wife Gwen, Lewis and Hathaway are intrigued to discover that she had willingly entered into the affair with Croft as a student, and that she had always had the feeling that their relationship had been used as an excuse to end Croft’s career. This leads Lewis to demand a full list of everyone involved in Milner’s engineering project… which reveals Anderson as the lawyer in charge of the deal. Lewis finally learns that the engineering project had been financed by a group of Russians involved in drugs and prostitution. Having discovered this, Croft had attempted to blow the whistle on the crooked deal and had been silenced using the sexual harassment case. It appears someone has waited a long time to silence a man whose career was destroyed when he translated for a corrupt deal, corruption being a widespread theme of this particular weekend.

Sunday, 9 May 2010, 8:00PM – 10:00PM on ITV1

Episode two: Dark Matter

Lewis and Hathaway are called to the Oxford University Observatory where the body of Andrew Crompton, amateur stargazer and Master of Gresham College, has been found at the foot of the stairs. Dr Hobson reveals that she had attended Gresham College the previous evening for an orchestra rehearsal. When a notebook is found near the body, Lewis and Hathaway visit Crompton’s wife Isobel who points them in the direction of Gwen Raeburn, senior lecturer in Astrophysics, and wife of the head of Hobson’s orchestra ��” Sir Arnold Raeburn.
Gwen takes a surprising interest in the contents of the notebook, revealing it belongs to her student Jez Haydock. After checking the security records at the observatory, Hathaway discovers that Jez had accessed the building around the time of Crompton’s death… a fact he initially denies when questioned.
Lewis and Hathaway visit a local priest who has reported hearing Crompton’s confession on the day of his murder. However, Father Francis refuses to disclose the details of the confession, only revealing that Crompton had become a regular at the church, and had cryptically claimed he would have “an excess of joy” on Friday at 15:15.
When Isobel hears of Andrew’s visits to church she is surprised but relieved – as she had begun to think her husband was having an affair. When Hathaway interviews the Crompton’s close friends, Gwen and Arnold Raeburn, Gwen’s overt display of emotion causes him to wonder if her tears are for more than a friend. Lewis asks Hobson if she can keep an eye on the Raeburns at the next orchestra rehearsal.
Visiting Gresham College the next morning, Lewis and Hathaway are surprised to hear that the head porter, Roger Temple, has been mugged. Yet despite being quite the busybody, Temple has not reported this to the police… Lewis suspects there is more to this story than the porter is letting on.
During her rehearsal Hobson notices there is tension between Gwen and the orchestra’s celebrity conductor, Malcolm Finniston. Jez Haydock’s girlfriend, Kate Cameron, is also in a very dark mood. As Hobson leaves rehearsal she passes Dr Ella Ransome, a close friend of Isobel Crompton and the doctor at the home for the elderly where Roger Temple’s father is in care. A few moments later a gunshot is heard, and Hobson is first on the scene to discover Dr Ransome collapsing to the floor.
Lewis and Hathaway learn that there is a gun club in the college basement and both Kate Cameron and Isobel Crompton are club officers. Roger Temple then reveals that he believes Crompton and Dr Ransome had been having an affair ��” he’d even seen them together on the day of Crompton’s murder. This conversation is interrupted by Roger’s wife Babs, a college Scout who mentions in passing that Jez Haydock is actually their nephew.
Isobel alerts Lewis to the fact that someone has been on the Crompton’s narrow boat rifling through their books. Hathaway notices an astronomical text which describes the author watching ‘The Transit of Venus’ with a young astronomer named Jeremiah Horrocks as an “excess of joy”. Hathaway begins to wonder if the similarities between the names Jez Haydock and Jeremiah Horrocks are more than a coincidence.
Rushing to the observatory at 15:15, Lewis and Hathaway find Gwen and Jez huddled over a telescope, and learn that Crompton had believed Jez was a reincarnation of astronomer Jeremiah Horrocks… an eccentricity which makes Lewis realise Crompton wasn’t having an affair with Dr Ransome but was in fact losing his mind. Lewis then discovers that Dr Ransome had recently diagnosed Crompton with a brain tumour, the severity of which had led him to end his long term affair with a woman, the identity of whom shocks Lewis and Hathaway and finally provides the answer to the riddle of his death.

ITV’s Drama commissioning team today confirmed a new series of the hit drama LEWIS starring Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox.

Four new episodes will go into production in July featuring Inspector Robbie Lewis and his partner DS Hathaway investigating murder mysteries against the glorious backdrop of Oxford. The new commission of this quality drama comes hot on the heels of series three which was broadcast this spring to 7 million viewers.

The series, an ITV Studios production, is produced by Chris Burt who has been at the helm of all 12 films since its launch in 2006. The executive producers are Michele Buck and Damien Timmer.

Says Sally Haynes, ITV’s Controller of Drama commissioning: “Lewis is always one of the highlights of the year on ITV1 and features not only a great partnership between Lewis and Hathaway but some great plot lines and twists that keep the audience gripped. I’m thrilled it’s returning and I know our viewers will be too.”

The last series featured a stellar line up of stars including Simon Callow, Joanna Lumley, David Hayman, James Fox and Jenny Seagrove joining the regular cast of Rebecca Front and Clare Holman.

Damien Timmer says: ‘Lewis has always attracted the best talent, and this year we’re welcoming back Stephen Churchett, Russell Lewis and Alan Plater as writers, with Bille Eltringham as our first director. With Oxford as our backdrop, our aim is to baffle Lewis and Hathaway with their most challenging investigations yet!’

Colin Dexter who created ITV’s Bafta award winning Inspector Morse is once again consultant on Lewis.

Episode 4

Sunday, 12 April 2009, 8:00PM on ITV1

From Wagner to Wham – that was the musical range of actress Joanna Lumley when she appeared two years ago choosing her Desert Island Discs.

But now she reveals that her choice of Wham’s Last Christmas was a last-minute decision forced on her at the BBC recording.

“One of the records I wanted was pulled in the studio. They said ‘We haven’t got a recording of this’, so I had to pick on something ridiculous.

“And as I love that Wham record, because it’s so kind of cheesy, I chose that on the spot.”

Now, in the final film of the current Lewis series, Joanna appears as rock chick Esmé Ford, seemingly back from the dead to the delight of Kevin Whately’s Lewis.

Married for 23 years to classical conductor Stephen Barlow, Joanna admits that music is a big part of her life, though not the sort espoused by Esmé in this Lewis drama.

“I’ve always loved classical music, so, apart from the fact that Stephen is 17 light planets ahead of me in everything to do with it, there is no problem.

“I’m not secretly trying to play my rap records.”

In the recording studio, scenes for the fictitious group Midnight Addiction, Joanna’s singing voice is dubbed by Glasgow-born singer Maggie Bell – who sings No Mean City, theme music to ITV1’s Taggart – with rock tracks written by Morse and Lewis composer Barrington Pheloung who also plays lead guitar.

So Joanna made a conscious decision to give Esmé a slight Scottish burr.

“I remembered the fabulous Annie Lennox, Lulu, Barbara Dickson – some of the great Scottish singers who were stand-alones.

“And there was something about Esmé Ford that wasn’t just part of a band, something in her life made such an impact on Lewis

“You have to develop a character from what’s written – there’s no point in deviating from that. If something is referred to, you grab that.

“It’s like building a statue with three bits of Lego and a bit of plasticine, you have to invent a lot of it.

“I just thought she might be one of these itinerant rock chick people who happened to have come from Scotland, where she might have met David Hayman’s character Ritchie.”

And Esmé’s look was just as important to Joanna.

“I thought she would be slightly grungy. Rather than being a kind of folk singer, once we realised what kind of music the group Midnight Addiction played – practically Black Sabbath, I don’t know what it was, because I’m not up to speed on that kind of music – I guessed she was a slightly stoned, fairly wrecked Janis Joplin-type figure.

“I thought Janice looked shocking – stringy, old unwashed hair and sodden clothes – because she only cared about the music

“But I thought these lot would have had a pretty fabulous look about them; they’d have all worn black leather with eye make-up

“It was important that was the impact which Esmé, doing a comeback, would want to remember; she wouldn’t have kept up to date with today’s clothes

“A lot of people who have been very famous in the rock world tend to have a look when they were at their most famous or when they did best, and they hung on to it.

“Actors change all the time, we don’t count. You can have well-known actors but they never really have a look because they’re always having to change.”

Lewis is smitten by his first encounter with Esmé, recalling that his bedroom wall was adorned with her poster.

So did Joanna have a similar schoolgirl crush?

“I was at boarding school so we weren’t allowed to have pictures up on our walls. But our heroes were certain people like Marlon Brando and James Mason, people who were fabulous in films.”

Until she came to film Lewis last autumn, Joanna had never met Kevin.

“He’s as sweet as a box of chocolates, just so kind and nice.”

As for his co-star, she recalls: “I must have met Laurence when he was about one – I know his father and mother, and his uncle and others in his family.

“But I hadn’t met the boy grown-up – he leaves a kind of vapour trail. But remember, he was a father for the first time. It’s terribly exciting.”

Joanna’s most recent TV appearance was another musical tour-de-force, in the French and Saunders Comic Relief send-up of Mamma Mia.

“I do Bafta judging so you get all the films sent to you over Christmas time. I had seen Mamma Mia then, and as soon as I knew Dawn and Jennifer were doing it, my heart soared because they always take on really immense subjects like Titanic or The Silence of the Lambs.

“One of the people we had in the crowd scene, an actress called Mia Soteriou was in the film, and she said it was uncanny being on the set and how beautifully the art department had made the copies of the little bedroom and the café.”

So how many times did Joanna watch the film to model her performance on that of Christine Baranski?

“I couldn’t because I was away, but I’m sure that French and Saunders latched themselves on to it and discovered every nostril movement.”

In recent months, Joanna has been the face of the campaign fighting for the right of Gurkha veterans to stay in this country.

Speaking before the recent High Court order enforcing a ruling against the Government, which gives the former soldiers from Nepal the right to stay in this country, Joanna said:

“The Government is simply behaving in a despicable manner. We had this immense result from our petition for people to sign – a quarter of a million people signed up in a short time, we took it to Downing Street; all the sympathetic MPs have signed up and written pledges of support, and the Government has just absolutely stuck.

“We on the Gurkha Justice Campaign are not going to stop until the Gurkhas are looked after. We are not going to accept a watered-down resolution. The fight goes on, as far as we are concerned.”

Since completing her work on Lewis, Joanna has embarked on Joanna Lumley: Cat Woman, a two-part documentary series for ITV1 to be shown later this year.

“It’s really the history of cats, of all sizes and shapes from around the world, everything from Egyptian tomb paintings and mummified cats to cheetahs in Namibia. We been to California where we saw rescue cats, we’ve met witches and Zen monks with their cats. We’ve done cats like mad.

“I am an animal lover – I love stoats and badgers and parakeets and everything. I adore cats, I adore everything.”

But with a busy life for Joanna and her conductor husband Stephen Barlow, there are no cats in the Lumley household. “We have been adopted by neighbours’ cats. But with our lives, we can’t have animals.”

At the start of Counter Culture Blues, an unholy row has disturbed the Sabbath for a vicar and his congregation.

Gunfire is drowning out their worship, and on their day of rest, the police are called to the church bordering a country estate outside Oxford.

Following up the complaint, Lewis and Hathaway drive to the mansion of rock legend Richie Maguire (David Hayman) to tackle the offenders. But Lewis is transported back to a world of his own, as he comes face to face with the icons of his youth.

The members of Midnight Addiction are already in a state of shock. “Not every day Esmé Ford comes back from the dead,” Richie explains to his visitors.

And there, before Lewis, is Esmé, (Joanna Lumley) the lead singer whose poster adorned his bedroom wall and who was thought to have drowned in Grenada after the group disbanded in turmoil more than 30 years ago.

Less glamorous is the police’s next rendezvous, where by a disused railway track, Laura Hobson (Clare Holman) kneels over the corpse of a teenage boy killed by a vehicle repeatedly driving over his body.

He was Lucas Emerton, part of a dysfunctional family, whose only living relative, his grandma, didn’t even know he existed.

Recalling that anti-rust paint was found on Lucas’s body, and that Richie’s mansion gates were slightly buckled, Lewis is adamant that the youth was murdered there. But what links him to a posse of old rockers?

A check on the band’s gleaming gallery of vehicles finds nothing incriminating, but, during their search, Esmé tells Lewis and Hathaway that Richie’s daughter Kitten (Perdita Weeks) resents her intrusion into the house.

“Last year he did a whole album of songs dedicated to her,” Esme reveals, to Lewis’s surprise. “Recorded, not released,” she clarifies. “Somebody who won’t own up wiped the tapes. Richie issued a rather intemperate press release saying he was going to find the culprit and kill him.”

Then the police find a stash of money hidden beneath the passenger seat of the car belonging to the band’s music supervisor Bone (Zig Byfield).

Meanwhile, in Oxford itself, the band’s former manager Vernon Oxe (Simon Callow) is settled into his hotel, and seeks out Kitten’s music tutor Samantha Wheeler (Isobel Middleton), who wrote the sleeve notes for their albums and knows every detail of their turbulent lives.

Then, in a dingy bar’s toilets, Bone is found dead, a tourniquet tied round his arm.

But Lewis doesn’t believe the injection was self-inflicted – it’s a case of murder. And the death toll rises to three when Hathaway, intent on questioning Wheeler, finds her at her computer – strangled with a lute string.

With the imminent arrival home of Richie’s wife Caroline (Helen Baxendale), and their boss Innocent (Rebecca Front) pressing for a swift result, can Lewis and Hathaway find a harmonious resolution to the murderous mayhem among the musicians?

The series is produced by Chris Burt, and Counter Culture Blues, written by Guy Andrews from a story by Nick Dear, is directed by Bill Anderson.

Executive producers are Michele Buck, Damien Timmer, and, for WGBH, Rebecca Easton.

 

Episode 3

Sunday, 5 April 2009, 8:00PM on ITV1

On the morning after a police dinner, at which Hathaway (Laurence Fox) hears news of a surprise promotion, he and Lewis (Kevin Whately) arrive at an Oxford terraced house where a man has been found beaten and drowned in his bath.

By the body they discover a postcard of the city’s Ashmolean Museum painting of Uccello’s Renaissance painting The Hunt in the Forest, bearing the anonymous, hand-written message “It was no dream”.

Lewis recognises the name of the murdered man, Steven Mullan (Dougal Irvine), who, his colleague confirms, was recently released from prison, where he was sent for a drink-driving offence. But the inspector tells Hathaway that there was more to it than that : Mullan, who turned to the Bible after a criminal career as a youngster, attempted to kill Oxford physics don turned celebrity atheist Tom Rattenbury (Julian Wadham).

The corpse is identified by Mullan’s flatmate, Alex Hadley (Danny Midwinter), a council street cleaner, who knows little of the dead man’s past.

At Rattenbury’s home, the police officers meet his glamorous wife Cecile, (Jenny Seagrove) children Daniel (Ben Aldridge) and Jessica (Ophelia Lovibond), and Daniel’s East coast American student girlfriend Hope Ransome (Zoe Boyle). The family are shocked by the news of Mullan’s death. Cecile explains that he was enraged by a particularly blasphemous advert for her husband’s latest book, and drove a truck into Rattenbury’s car, only to discover that Jessica was in fact behind the wheel, suffering injuries which left her in a wheelchair.

“What that man did to us was evil and wicked but, at the risk of sounding trite, it brought us closer together as a family,” Cecile explains as Lewis and Hathaway take their leave.

As they ponder Mullan’s death by drowning and his past, the police officers suddenly notice a crowd of paparazzi swarming around Hope; Lewis gallantly rescues her from the scrum, only to learn to his surprise that the visiting Rhodes scholar is the daughter of U.S. Secretary of State, Carl Ransome.

That evening, Lewis attends an Oxford Union debate between Rattenbury and his longstanding intellectual rival, and Hope’s art history tutor, Manfred Canter (Michael Simkins). At the post-debate reception, Daniel abruptly throws his wine at Canter, leading Lewis to wonder if something inappropriate is occurring between Hope and her tutor.

But such thoughts are forgotten when pathologist Laura Hobson (Clare Holman) drops her bombshell.

The man in the morgue is, in fact, Alex Hadley, whose corpse was identified by his flatmate, the very much living and breathing Steven Mullan, who has since failed to turn up for work.

The wanted man eventually appears at Lewis’s home, brandishing a hammer, and explaining that Alex had taken on his name so that he could continue an affair with his boss’s wife.

But why had Mullan agreed to the identity swap? “Somebody says ‘Start over. New name. New life.’ I’m not gonna think twice, am I?” he tells Lewis, and, stressing that he didn’t murder his flat-mate, asks for one more day at liberty.

The two detectives take the Uccello postcard to Canter, quizzing him about Daniel’s sudden vinous outburst.

That evening, Lewis and Hathaway join the guests as the Rattenburys celebrate Jessica’s 21st birthday at Blenheim Palace, where, alongside the champagne and canapés, murder is on the menu and where the famous maze lures in a wheelchair-bound Jessica,

The Point of Vanishing is directed by Maurice Phillips and produced by Chris Burt.


 

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