"Inspector Lewis" The Ramblin' Boy: Part 1 (TV Episode 2013) Poster

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Inspector Lewis and the embalmed body
blanche-223 June 2013
I for one enjoy the Inspector Lewis series, and I will be sorry to see him go. I have to admit that a large part of that is due to the reminders of John Thaw's Inspector Morse and his calling out of "Lewis!" Kevin Whately at this point is like a comfortable old shoe that's been in the living room for years. And I like Laurence Fox as his partner, and the relationship he has with Lewis.

In this episode, The Ramblin' Boy (I believe I saw parts 1 and 2 combined), Hathaway goes on leave, and another officer, D.C. Gray, is brought in to help Lewis when a corpse - an embalmed one, no less, is found in a field.

The body turns out to have been taken from an undertaker's and another corpse cremated in its place. But whose? There are two immediate possibilities: Tara Faulkner, whose husband owns the funeral home and has supposedly run off; Jack Cornish, the colleague of Lewis' with whom she ran off. When Tara's brother, Dr. Whitby, is found dead, an apparent suicide, the plot thickens.

Some of this crowd had attended a party at the Faulkners -- Jack Cornish, Dr. Whitby, and Whitby's partner Emma; in addition, Emma's student Jay, who works at the undertaker's was there working as a waiter with his girlfriend. And later on, Jay has something urgent to tell Lewis, but almost doesn't get the chance.

So it's the usual complicated story, in a tradition going back to Inspector Morse, where one has to pay attention. But I found it good watching, and also amusing, as Lewis calls Hathaway on his holiday to ask him to check out the Faulkner's farm house for signs of life.

In the end, missing bodies, missing people, an unstable individual, and illegal activity all play a part in "The Ramblin' Boy," with a little romance thrown in as Lewis attempts to move on with his life.

I can't compare these to Inspector Morse; there was only one John Thaw. I try to go with, "let's not ask for the moon, we have the stars." I believe this is the last season of this series; I hope to see the actors in other things.
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emenslaw-124 June 2013
I loved Inspector Morse. Although the quality dropped a notch when it became Inspector Lewis, i still enjoyed watching. However, this episode has so many characters and subplots that it was painful just watching it to the end.My wife and I kept asking each other, Who is she? Is he the doctor or the undertaker?. Etc. etc.

Maybe the English are just smarter than we are. Don't know. The acting is fine; the Oxford locations are wonderful. (For some reason this episode did not have Hathaway. His presence was missed.) it is probably a good thing this is the last season. If they ever decide to continue it they need to fire the script writers and hire the writers from Foyle's War.
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Well I am still loving the Lewis series
Steven Duhig30 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
*Warning Spoiler included - Inspector Lewis is still my number 1. Also saw Parts 1 and 2 combined and found Babou Ceesay's performance as D.C. Grey particularly refreshing. Can we please have an explanation of how they met up when he was a kid? Was it supposed to be a flashback to a particular Morse episode? Certainly feel there is room for more exploration of a relationship there and will be very sad to see the series go if that is indeed the intention. This series must be about the more complex plots, and I for one find this series a lot more difficult to guess out than even Morse was! Nevertheless there is an enormous amount of competition out there. Bound to say that, although I do also like Midsomer Murders a little, the Midsomer Murder plots, body count, restricted locale and John Nettles (Bring back Bergerac) are nothing short of incredible in comparison to Inspector Lewis.
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time to bring down the curtain
stephen-best28 January 2013
Lewis never came close to the giddy heights of Morse. Nevertheless there were some reasonable episodes on occasion but the time has come to close down the franchise. Ramblin Man stands no comparison with any other episode as it is sub-standard on most counts only the photography and setting bear resemblance to the better days. The Lewis character cannot carry the episode alone. The plot line and writing are struggling, inevitable when a successful series outstays its welcome. It does lend itself to an annual Christmas Special assuming a good script can be drawn up. It just goes to show how good John Thaw was, in comparison.
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The Ramblin' Boy: The first half
TheLittleSongbird22 June 2017
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. Luckily, "The Indelible Stain" saw the sixth season back on track.

The seventh season is certainly not terrible with enough strengths to compensate for misgivings, but has suffered from the bizarre decision to split (or chop, which is more appropriate) the episodes into two halves with a week's hiatus, which didn't work in "Down Among the Fearful" and works even less in this "The Ramblin' Boy".

Certainly there are good elements. The acting is fine, Kevin Whately is very good as pretty much always while Rebecca Front and Clare Holman are just as good (really like the chemistry between Lewis and Hobson, very warm and sweet and should be developed even more). Babou Ceesay does a good job as Gray, Hathaway's temporary replacement, bringing an appealing quiet determination that suited the character very well. The supporting cast are without complaint too.

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 (such as the lovely "Salut D'Amour").

Some thoughtful moments in the script, with a nice nod it seems to the classic 'Inspector Morse' episode "Deceived By Flight".

However, although Ceesay as said does well his character doesn't have the same spark as Hathaway, a character who the show just isn't the same without. He and Lewis don't have the same chemistry, which is pretty bland here.

Biggest problem is the story, even in the first half and it gets even more problematic in the second half, it suffers from trying to do too much with so many characters and subplots so the episode feels rushed and bloated. With a constant who is who feel and some subplots still a little vague and not as interesting as ought, the case just feels over-complicated.

Overall, not bad but very patchy, not 'Lewis' at its best. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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