DI Lewis is less than pleased when he and DS Hathaway are assigned to protect Nicky Turnbull, a former criminal turned successful author. Turnbull had actually cheated two Oxford colleges in his computer scam and had received death threats. Turnbull is everything Lewis dislikes but he grits his teeth does the job. Turnbull is in Oxford to make a speech at the request of the Students Union but things take a serious turn when Jo Gilchrist, a student and a member of Turnbull's reception committee, is found strangled. Gilchrist wrote for a student newspaper and was about to expose a professor's exam scam. When Turnbull is shot in the courtyard of his hotel, Lewis realizes that the man's wife was his first girlfriend. He also learns that they were on the verge of getting a divorce. Written by
Hathaway admits to Lewis that he plays guitar in a band that makes music that is a mix of "world music, jazz and medieval madrigals." We are allowed to hear it through earphones in the final scene. In 2016, Laurence Fox did actually give up the role of Hathaway, to concentrate on his career as a guitarist-singer-songwriter. See more »
[dying words, after he has been shot]
I'll make the front pages tomorrow, bonny lad.
See more »
Not one of the best 'Lewis' episodes, doesn't indicate a decline in quality
Hearing about 'Lewis' for the first time when it first started, there was a big touch of excitement seeing as 'Inspector Morse' was and still is one of my favourites but also a little intrepidation, wondering whether the series would be as good. The good news is, like the prequel series 'Endeavour', 'Lewis' is every bit as good as 'Inspector Morse' and stands very well on its own two feet as a detective mystery and show in general.
"Old School Ties" is admittedly not as good as "Whom the Gods Would Destroy". It is a long way from a bad episode, from personal opinion, and isn't an indication of a decline in quality or the show going downhill. Innocent is still not doing much for me and isn't a well written or interesting character, not a good use of Rebecca Front's talents. Kind of agree that the story plods in places and lacks tightness.
However, the acting is fine, anchored by Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox. Whately is again very good and carries the episode with aplomb, even if Lewis becomes better developed later. Fox is a breath of fresh air in a great contrasting role that reminds one of a more intelligent Lewis in his younger days and his sparkling sparring chemistry with Whately is a big part of the episode's, and show's, appeal. Have to strongly disagree about criticisms of his diction, voice and acting. Clare Holman is reliably strong as well.
As to be expected, the production values in "Old School Ties" are of very high quality. It's beautifully shot, and Oxford not only looks exquisite but is like a supporting character in itself. Barrington Pheloung returns as composer, and does a first-rate job. The theme tune, while not as iconic or quite as clever as Morse's, is very pleasant to listen to, the episode is charmingly and hauntingly scored and the use of pre-existing music is very well-incorporated.
Much of the writing is smart and thoughtful, some lovely droll exchanges with Lewis and Hathaway, some emotional impact and a real effort to tie up everything. The story starts off promisingly, and apart from some pacing issues it mostly compels.
In conclusion, solid episode if not one of the best Lewis episodes. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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