Inspector Lewis (2006–2015)
14 user

Life Born of Fire 

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The suicide of Hathaway's old friend tests his relationship with Lewis as he must come to terms with ambivalence about his own sexual past.


Richard Spence


Colin Dexter (inspired by the Inspector Morse novels of), Tom MacRae (screenplay)



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Philip Battley ... Will McEwan
Matthew Marsh ... Henry McEwan
Ian McNeice ... Rev King
Rachael Stirling ... Zoë Kenneth
Chiké Okonkwo ... Jonjo Read
Kate Miles ... Nova Rose
Bruce Mackinnon ... Conan Jones (as Bruce MacKinnon)
Kevin Whately ... DI Robert Lewis
Clare Holman ... Dr. Laura Hobson
Laurence Fox ... DS James Hathaway
Michael Pennington ... Dr. Melville
Deborah Findlay ... Lady Hugh
Gillian Bevan Gillian Bevan ... Sadie McEwan
David Ryall ... Mr. Cooper
Oliver Milburn ... Charlie Newton


Lady Hugh, the intolerant Bible-fanatic president of Oxford's Mayfield college, turns against anything gay. Shortly after the popular and decent student Will McEwan shoots himself in the head in St. Mark's church after waving a revolver at Reverend Francis King, who is himself found tortuously murdered by a hot poker in the head the next day. The link between both victims is the Garden, a pious society offering Christian answers to youngsters' contemporary question--its emblem being a Phoenix, which both Will's suicide note that says, "I lost my way between Gethsemane and Calvary," and a message on King's door hat says, "Life born of fire," refer to. Lewis's partner, Detective Sergeant James Hathaway, was a friend of Will's in school and again at university, but his brutally gay-bashing father Henry McEwan apparently repudiates Will posthumously finding out, and his mother believed he was going steady with a nice girl. Lewis keeps digging in all those circles, discovering more secrets... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

9 March 2008 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

ITV Productions, WGBH See more »
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Technical Specs


| (DVD) | (11 episodes)



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Feardorcha Phelan. Feardorcha is an Irish name: from the Gaelic words fear (meaning dark or dark-haired) and dorcha (meaning man). Phelan is an Irish surname: from the Gaelic for "wolf." See more »


Dr. Laura Hobson: [Hobson greets Lewis, who's approaching the crime scene] Good morning. Where's your better half?
DI Robert Lewis: If by that you mean Sergeant Hathaway...
Dr. Laura Hobson: I was gonna say your "Mini-Me", but I didn't think you would get the pop culture reference.
DI Robert Lewis: Don't be daft, woman. Even I've seen "The Italian Job".
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Crazy Credits

End-credits statement: "The verified carbon footprint of Lewis is 830 tonnes" See more »


References Will & Grace (1998) See more »


The Firebird Suite
Written by Igor Stravinsky
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

This series is quite good!
20 July 2010 | by Billyjhobbs-1See all my reviews

Not Inspector Morse. But nearly. The "Inspector Lewis" series continues at a strong pace. The duo of Kevin Whateley and Laurence Fox as the two detectives of the Thames Valley Police in Oxford is a winning combination. Like the Morse series, the producers/directors of the films go for the cerebral, the literary, the intellectual communities (no poor folks here!), but all this adds a certain class to the art (or science) of murder. In this episode, the writers drew heavily from both religious and mythological sources. Set in/around/about Oxford University doesn't hurt either (although one begins to wonder if there is any one to be left alive in the city after this series finishes!).

In this episode, too, the "Is Hathaway Gay" question comes to the front and the issue is handled well (you have to see the episode to know the answer!). The relationship between the two policemen and within their police ensemble makes the series move along with continuity, excitement, and curiosity. We've only seen the first couple of seasons, but apparently there are plenty yet to be aired. It's a good series and it seems no one does a police procedural with the air and the class that the Brits do! Rule Britannia!

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