At a reunion at all female college Lady Matilda's,Poppy Toynton,bossy housemate of principal Diana Ellerby,is murdered.Years earlier Lewis had visited the same college when fifteen-year old Chloe Brooks,visiting her student sister Ruth,had been attacked,supposably by Ruth's American boyfriend Jud Havelock,who disappeared. Chloe went into a coma from which she has only recently recovered but has little recall of that night's events. Lewis visits Ali McLennan,a retired colleague who worked on the Havelock case but she has no leads for him. Then she too is murdered and Lewis discovers that she was blackmailing Poppy for killing Jud. Poppy was also responsible for a hate campaign against several of her former student contemporaries,whose lives suffered as a result. Most of them were present on the night of Jud's disappearance,which Hathaway,tracking down the costumes for the party for that night and using Poppy's video evidence,reconstructs,nailing the killer and their motives. Written by
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In some versions (eg the one on Amazon video) but not in the original ITV broadcast in the UK, Laura Linney introduces the episode. See more »
In a night-time crane shot of the college just after the opening titles, a dark patch can be seen against the slightly lighter sky, where one of the crane-mounted filming lights has been airbrushed out. See more »
DI Robert Lewis (Kevin Whately), DS James Hathaway (Laurence Fox), Doctor Laura Hobson (Clare Holman) and Chief Superintendent Innocent (Rebecca Front) return as series' regulars for this episode, which begins "Lewis: Series Five," or the fifth season of "Inspector Lewis," which begins at a tenth reunion for alumni at Oxford's all-female Lady Matilda's College.
Ten years earlier, a brutal attack at a masquerade party results in the disappearance of a young man, as well as a coma for then 15-year-old Chloe Brooks (Antonia Campbell-Hughes), who remains unconscious in an Oxford hospital, under the care of Physician Doctor Copeland (Hassani Shapi) and Psychiatrist Doctor Beckham (Orlando Seale).
Ruth Brooks (Hattie Morahan), a student at Lady Matilda's at the time, remains on hand to visit her sister, Chloe, on a regular vigil basis, as she prepares to attend her class reunion, at which murder retains a likely chance to strike again, in this community of everyday customary serial killings. At the time, she had been going with Edward Florey (James Rochfort), who returns to become one of the few male suspects, as some suspect a female perpetrator to the slayings.
Alumni Freya Carlisle (Zoe Telford), now a noted newspaper columnist, and Lakshmi Eyre (Stephanie Street), return to the festivities along with Lady Matilda faculty and staff members Diana Ellerby (Juliet Stevenson), a Professor, and her roommate, Poppy Toynton (Kathryn O'Reilly), who, together with campus porter Pauline Turrill (Melanie Kilburn), help to plan the reunion.
So, as additional new bodies begin to pop up around Oxford, "Old, Unhappy, Far Off Things" affords a few sub-plots to develop elements of the unfolding series, such as one of the guest female's attempting to help Lewis to forget about his late wife, Valerie, who purportedly attended Lady Matilda's College, as he has proved unable to do during the past four seasons, plus Hathaway's determination to toss aside nicotine, through exercise and self-help procedures although he seems more relaxed and healthy this season than before, but little is given Doctor Hobson to do this time around, after Clare Holman has certainly proved her ability to develop her character's direction last season.
But this episode seems a bit more contrived than most from previous seasons, as the law enforcement agency and hospital staff alike await Chloe's potentially awaking from her ten-year coma in order to answer questions relating to the murders. Will she come to in time for the showdown? And what about the wintry weather? Do other Oxford campuses traditionally hold outdoor reunion activities while snow lies across the land in some scenes, but participants wear no jackets in others? And what about the new technical advances to portray the flashback sequences, while the department attempts to piece together a series of photographs from the costume party ten years prior?
Well, if "Old, Unhappy, Far Off Things'" resolve seems somewhat weak and implausible, then at least the acting seems rather strong here from regulars and guest stars alike, in order to hold viewer interest, as we hope for something encouraging to happen this time around.
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