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Masterpiece Mystery: Lewis Series I and II Ends Summer Line-up

abstract:As the longest-running primetime drama on American television, Masterpiece is committed to bringing viewers the best in literature-based drama, mysteries filled with eclectic characters, and groundbreaking contemporary works. Summer is mystery season at PBS Masterpiece. It started with the award winning Wallander detective series starring Kenneth Branah, followed by the ever popular Agatha Christie. This month is another detective series that is scheduled to take viewers through to fall when Masterpiece Classic takes over. It's based on the novels by Colin Dexter. Many of you will know


August 11, 2009
— Colin Dexter as the creator of Inspector Morse films (32 of them!) spanning 5 years of viewing as adapted from 14 novels. Inspector Lewis was Morse's side-kick played by Kevin Whately, (of "The English Patient" fame) who carries on the tradition playing the now titular role all these years later, as a slightly older, crankier version. His screen partner is young Detective Sergeant Hathaway played by Lawrence Fox, (A Room With a View). Their beat is Oxford, England where murder and mayhem entwine the lives of the exalted academic circles, the innocent appearing villagers, and some excellent detective work in action. The setting is not surprising as Dexter studied Classics at Cambridge and the sprinkling of clues using Latin and Greek draw on his experience as an A-level examiner in English, Latin and Greek for the Oxford Board. For all you crossword freaks, he was also a national crossword champion. There are five gripping episodes of Lewis (see Masterpiece Homepage: the first 2 episodes are re-airs of Lewis Series I (which first aired in June 2006) starting August 16th and 23rd. Lewis Series II continues with three brand spanking new episodes that start August 30th and go through to Sept 20th.

What I love about these British television series is the local setting and the utterly English way all those people behave. They say things like, “She couldn’t have hung herself because she’s just finished hoovering the stairs.” And of course people meet mid-day at the pub for a pint to sort out the day’s business, or access the hallowed halls of one of the greatest academic institutions housed in some of the most historic architectural structures in the Western world in order to access stuffy looking academics and gain information that will help solve their case. If one could take a sabbatical from work and drop into the Oxford shire for a period you would begin to realize how deliciously the series captures details of culture and class.

Music lovers also delight in the scores created for the Masterpiece series.

Colin Dexter was presented his OBE (Officer of the British Empire) by Prince Charles in 2000 for “services to literature.” He created 14 novels utilizing his character Morse that were made into 33 Morse films to which the author took the Hitchcockian prerogative of making a cameo appearance in each of his films. Dexter loves that his Inspector Lewis character is carrying on a tradition of fine detective work in Oxford. Without further adieu, here is what mayhem and murder is in store.


No scheduled airings
Whom the Gods Would Destroy
A Middle-aged Oxford graduate turns up dead, sending Lewis and Hathaway to discover a twisting trail rife with literary allusions and unexpected associations.

August 16, 2009
Old School Ties
Assigned to chaperone a celebrity criminal on his controversial visit to Oxford, Lewis thinks the assignment is a waste of time. Soon, though, two people are dead, and Lewis and Hathaway have their hands full.

August 23, 2009
When an Oxford "soccer mom" is found hanged in her home following a visit from a mysterious stranger, Lewis and Hathaway uncover a web of family and sexual intrigue.

Join The Book & Film Club

Here's how to join BookBuffet's own "Masterpiece Book To Film Group."
On the BookBuffet website home page, click: JOIN
Select: "Invited to join an existing group."
Type: Masterpiece Book To Film Group
Then type your own member details. That's it!
You will see the "current book" posted on the group calendar, as well as the dates the series airs on television. You'll be on the member list and receive email updates on new content such as podcasts and WGBH material. You'll also be able to chat on the online forum for this group. JOIN TODAY

Members in the group are entered into a draw for give-aways of book sets, and DVD's as part of our continuing BookBuffet-Masterpiece partnership.

For our in-depth interview with Masterpiece Executive Producer of 20 years, Rebecca Eaton, click on the following BookBuffet Podcast.



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