Inspector Lewis (2006–2015)
3 user 2 critic

The Indelible Stain 

A visiting lecturer at the college of criminology who holds controversial theories on genetic predisposition toward criminal behavior is found hanged.



(inspired by the Inspector Morse novels of), (screenplay)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Emily Robinson
Will Pascoe
Paul Yelland
Andrew Lipton
Nina Clemens (as Pippa Bennet-Warner)
DI Peterson
Adam Pettle
Anne Rand
Robert Fraser
Lilian Hunter
Sian Webber ...


American academic Paul Yelland faces accusations of racism when he presents his theory on Criminal Dangerousness to an Oxford college and is later found murdered. Married professors Anne and Robert Fraser claim they invited him to raise their department's profile and Robert,who is having an affair with student Nina, points Lewis towards Myra Bennett's anti-fascist group. Yelland also dealt in antiques and had angered two clients with a forgery and furthermore turned out to be the father of a staff member,whose mother he deserted when pregnant. Then Nina is killed after Anne has discovered the affair. Lewis must not only expose a killer whose motive goes back many years but battle with tooth-ache in the light of his fear of dentists. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery






Release Date:

29 July 2012 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


The portrait hanging on the wall of the landing as Lewis and Hathaway are descending the stairs from Dr. Yelland's room is the same painting used to represent the late Lord Engleton in the "Swords into Ploughshares" episode of the Rosemary & Thyme series. See more »


Nina receives racist abusive text messages, and says does not know who they are from as the number is 'withheld'. Unlike voice calls, it is not possible on UK networks to withhold the sender's number from text messages, unless you are using a commercial bulk text service.

In any event, the police have powers to easily trace anonymous senders, and this is never mentioned. See more »


Myra Barnet: [answering her front door] If you're double glazing, I don't want it; Jehovah's Witness, I don't need it; changing my gas supplier, you're all as crooked as each other so, all in all, it's a general "no thanks"
DI Robert Lewis: [displaying their badges] We're the police.
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Inspector Lewis Main Theme
Composed by Barrington Pheloung
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User Reviews

Generally the best episode of Season 6
20 June 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

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.

'Lewis' was a show that started off promisingly with the pilot and the first season, while getting even better with a more settled Season 2 where the show hit its stride. Season 3 was more of a mixed bag (not a bad season at all, but started a little disappointingly, though better than reputed, with one of the show's generally lesser episodes "Allegory of Love"). Season 4 generally was one of the better seasons of 'Lewis', with all the episodes very good to great, and Season 5 was solid with the only disappointment being "The Mind Has Mountains".

Season 6 started off very well with "The Soul of Genius", while "Generation of Vipers" was even better. Unfortunately, "Fearful Symmetry" was very disappointing and has always been one of my least favourite 'Lewis' episodes. On the other side of the coin, fortunately the season gets back on track with a great finale and its best episode "The Indelible Stain".

To me the identity of the murderer was not the biggest of surprises (not obvious as such but once things were narrowed down it became more guessable) and the "books are bad for your health" comment is an absolutely outrageous statement even for Lewis.

As always, the acting is fine, anchored by Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox. Whately is again very good and carries the episode with aplomb, advantaged by that Lewis is much more developed and as said he has more development. 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. Like too that he is becoming more of a dominating lead character, even if occasionally he shows some less likable traits like the odd bit of rudeness. Clare Holman adds a lot, and Innocent has been better written over time. The supporting cast are all strong and believable with engaging and pleasingly eccentric if not exactly likable characters, David Soul makes a good impression even with his screen time being quite short.

Production values are of very high quality. It's beautifully shot as always, 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.

Writing is smart and thought-provoking mostly and the story is gripping with enough twists and turns to keep one guessing until all is revealed. While the identity of the murderer wasn't so shocking, the motive and the climax weren't so easy to figure out, a good thing. Lewis' minor subplot with the fear of dentists is handled well and one who also hates the dentist (like me, though for different reasons other than toothache) can relate to him.

In conclusion, great episode and the best episode of the sixth season. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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