I love Lewis...everything about this series is quality--from the writing to the acting to the City of Oxford itself. Whately is masterful as the moral, kind Everyman, Lewis, and Laurence Fox is his perfect foil as the enigmatic, slightly overly intellectual Hathaway. These two actors are effortless and completely believable filling their characters' shoes. Angela Griffin is a nice addition, too, and is carefully written so that she adds depth, but doesn't interfere with the Lewis/Hathaway long-term bromance. And I'm glad they finally got Lewis and Hobson together--although that relationship, while "old shoe" comfortable, seems unnaturally and unnecessarily superficial. Maybe that's just the famous British reserve.
A great part of what makes this series work is relationship--Lewis with Hathaway, Lewis with Hobson, Lewis and Hathaway with Innocent (I was very sorry to hear they have ditched Rebecca Front in the upcoming new season) and Maddox--and the main characters' unflagging moral compass. Yet the series writers seem reluctant to lay bare much of what makes their main characters tick--their back stories and their feelings. They give all the depth to the characters and chaos du jour, rather than to those who drive the series.
The Lewis plots are convoluted and byzantine, the backdrops, music and cinematography are always gorgeous and DI Lewis, DI Hathaway, Doctor Hobson, CS Innocent and DS Maddox are easy folks to like. Series 7 is more of the same good "who-dunit" genre in the style of "Morse" and its prequel, "Endeavour." Unlike many of the shoot-em up, car chase, blood-drenched American cop shows, "Inspector Lewis" is intelligent, engaging and a pleasant way to spend some down time. I'm always pleased to return to Oxford and visit again with my favorite peace-keepers--although given what must be an outrageous murder rate for a city Oxford's size, I'm not sure I'd live in that beautiful old university town.