Inspector Lewis: Season 3, Episode 2

The Quality of Mercy (29 Mar. 2009)
"Lewis" The Quality of Mercy (original title)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 254 users  
Reviews: 3 user

Lewis investigates the murder of student Richard Scott. He was killed just before premiering The Merchant of Venice. During the investigation Lewis gets personally involved.



(inspired by the Inspector Morse novels of), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jo Herbert ...
Phil Beaumont
Simon Monkford
Shaughan Seymour ...
Graham Wilkinson
Aled Pedrick ...
Emma Golding
Richard Scott
Abby Ford ...
Isabel Dawson
Tariq Jordan ...
Barham Rezvani
Maureen Beattie ...
Professor Denise Gregson
Geoff Breton ...
Joe Myers
Christine Harper
Nicholas Pritchard ...
Professor James Alderson


Richard Scott, a talented but drug-taking, light-fingered actor, is stabbed during an alfresco student production of 'The Merchant of Venice'. The following night a cocky media graduate, known for her unkind reviews of student plays, is strangled. The play's ambitious director's "brilliant" thesis was actually written by her drop-out ex-boyfriend, and Scott knew this as he stole their computer. Plainly, so does the murderer. James Hathaway pursues a petty con man, and discovers that this is the man who killed Val Lewis in a hit-and-run. Should he tell Robbie and give him closure at last? Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery






Release Date:

29 March 2009 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (dvd) | (11 episodes)


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Nicholas Pritchard has also appeared in Inspector Morse as well as this spin off. See more »


When Hathaway investigates Monkford's past, and calls the police in Toronto, he later recalls the conversation to Lewis referring to the Toronto police as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The RCMP does not have jurisdiction in Toronto regarding criminal matters - only on matters related to personal security for Heads of State. Hathaway should have referred to the Toronto Police Service which serves Toronto and the surrounding communities. See more »


DI Robert Lewis: I need a drink.
DS James Hathaway: You just had a cup of tea.
DI Robert Lewis: It was herbal.
DS James Hathaway: Oh, you *do* need a drink.
See more »


References Casablanca (1942) See more »


Inspector Lewis Main Theme
Written by Barrington Pheloung
See more »

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User Reviews

"They Are as Sick that Surfeit with Too Much, as They that Starve with Nothing."
15 August 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This chapter cleverly studies effects of corruption on idealistic students by misguided campus authorities and also develops in pensive fashion the association between its leading characters, Detective Inspector Robert Lewis (Kevin Whately) and Detective Sergeant James Hathaway (Laurence Fox), who discovers during the course of a double homicide investigation the identity of the perpetrator in the five-year-old cold case murder of Valerie Susan Lewis, late wife of his partner, Robert....

As Oxford University Thespians prepare for their opening night performance of a William Shakespeare Play, "The Merchant of Venice," Doctor Emma Golding (Daisy Lewis) directs them to aspire to great heights, as this adaptation could create stars of the lot of them.

This student cast includes Sally (Jo Herbert), Alison (Sonya Cassidy), Isabel Dawson (Abby Ford), Barham Rezvani (Tariq Jordan), (Antonio?) Webster (William Petrie), and Richard Scott (Daniel Sharman) in the role of Shylock the Money-lender.

For rehearsals on the eve of opening night, the troupe prepares its outdoor stage to perform for a roster of 20 guests, including Professor Denise Gregson (Maureen Beattie) a singer and Theatre Department Head; Professor James Alderson (Nicholas Pritchard) an Archaeologist and ex-husband of Denise; Simon Monkford (Ronan Vibert), a former embezzler, staying at Randall Hotel; Phil Beaumont (Bryan Dick), an Oxford dropout and playwright, returning from Edinboro, and working as a gardener and waiter; and Joe Myers (Geoff Breton) a current student and Understudy for the role of Shylock the Moneylender.

But, backstage, Sally screams when she stumbles across a body, the victim of a stabbing, with a note beside the body, reading "Neither a borrower nor a lender be," from Shakespeare's "Hamlet."

The team of Detective Inspector Robert Lewis, Detective Sergeant James Hathaway, Doctor Laura Hobson (Clare Holman) and Chief Superintendent Innocent (Rebecca Front) is called to investigate the homicide, they strangely discovering that only one of many suspects weeps for the loss of the victim.

Amanda Costello (Shereen Martineau), a journalist and theatre critic who has graduated from Oxford two years ago arrives on the afternoon of opening night to review the Play, she also remarking upon the absence of feelings from the higher-ups, but is invited to the opening night celebration, at Prospero's Bar, just the same, when a second body is discovered, the victim of strangulation by string, again with a note beside it, this reading, "I will lead them up and down," from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Lewis and Hathaway investigate, they questioning suspects together and separately, while obtaining additional information from Christine Harper (Annabelle Dowler), the sister of Simon Monkford; Mrs. Scott (Penny Bunton), the mother of Richard Scott; Graham Wilkinson (Shaughan Seymour), the former Second in Command at Oxford P.D.; Terry Bainbridge (Gwilym Lee), the Editor of Oxford student newspaper; and Duffy (Aled Pedrick), the Desk-clerk at Randall Hotel, all in search of a blonde wig.

But when James Hathaway learns which suspect is responsible for the vehicular homicide of Valerie Susan Lewis, he pensively confides with Chief Superintendent Innocent for the manner in which he should inform Robert Lewis, who also pensively confides similar thoughts to Chief Superintendent Innocent regarding James Hathaway. Neither over-acts over inspiring appreciation for his partner, but handles his emotions professionally and without excessive sentiment.

A break-in at the residence of Professor Denise Gregson, which she shares with several professors and students from time to time, leads to another Forensics investigation and, ultimately, to Lewis and Hathaway's showdown scene once they are able to figure their solutions for "The Quality of Mercy" which Lewis may see fit to bestow.

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