Inspector Lewis: The Dead of Winter on Masterpiece Mystery PBS – A Recap & Review

Image from Inspector Lewis: Dead of Winter © 2010 MASTERPIECE

Inspector Lewis continues tonight on Masterpiece Mystery with another new episode of the popular detective series based in Oxford where the death toll since its predecessor Inspector Morse hit the airwaves in 1987 must place this small college town as the epicenter of “malice aforethought” in England. The Dead of Winter involves sad connections to the past, lost treasure and sordid family secrets — all prime motives for murder. This new (to the US) episode guest stars an array of former Austen movie adaptation actors that many Janeites will recognize and reveals some personal insight into the past of Inspector Lewis’ (Kevin Whatley) dishy young Sergeant James Hathaway (Laurence Fox). It is a complete turn-around in comedic tone to last week’s Counter Culture Blues take on Lewis in a psychedelic rock and roll haze. Here is the PBS synopsis:

An Oxford academic is dead on a tour bus and none of the other passengers even took notice. The curious case leads back to Crevecoeur Hall, a vast, history-rich Oxford estate, and as it happens, the setting for much of Detective Sergeant Hathaway’s (Laurence Fox) youth. Hathaway reconnects with his past — and Scarlett Mortmaigne, the daughter of the estate’s owner. But is he also consorting with a main suspect? It’s a case that threatens to expose the shortcomings and secrets of a wealthy family, cloud Hathaway’s judgment and ultimately put his relationship with Detective Inspector Lewis (Kevin Whately) in jeopardy. Nathaniel Parker (The Inspector Lynley Mysteries) guest stars.

This episode was centered around enigmatic Sergeant James Hathaway, Lewis’ smart, stoic and sarcastic young partner. Over the past three seasons we have seen his instincts sharpen, his skills honed and his confidence build from his professional relationship with his governor. In The Dead of Winter he takes the forefront in the investigation and I am pleased to see he is finally being given more than walking one step behind Lewis or looking over his shoulder while he interviews suspects. His character is by far the most interesting of the regulars in the series. We know very little about him other than he attended Cambridge, once trained as a priest and does not date. Occasionally a script will throw a female in his path, but if a hardened career crow and a transsexual psychopath are the kind of relationships he has encountered, no wonder he is celibate.

This time round Hathaway is given another opportunity to hang up his virtual clerical collar when he reconnects with Scarlett Mortmain (Camilla Arfwedson – Miss Marple: Murder is Easy), a beautiful aristocrat who he grew up with at Crevecoeur Hall (crëvecoeur is French for heartbreak), a grand country estate near Oxford that his father managed for the Mortmaigne family twenty years ago. When he arrives on the scene to investigate the possible murder of Professor Black, you can see his apprehension and project where this story will go. There is a painful history here, and if you pay attention, much will be revealed beneath the dialogue and his reactions.

There appears to be additional personal secrets being harbored by others too. The Marquise of Tygon, the elderly patriarch Augustus Mortmaigne’s (Richard Johnson – Mr. Wickham, Pride and Prejudice 1952) bank has just gone belly up and his daughter Scarlett is being used as quid pro quo to refill the family coffers by marrying a Lebanese millionaire Tarek Shimali (Richard Saade). The Marquise’s much younger wife Selina (Juliet Aubrey – Middlemarch) who he married when she was seventeen is having an affair with his nephew Philip Coleman (Nathaniel Parker – Vanity Fair) and his young son and heir Titus (Jonathan Bailey) is dallying with a servant Briony Grahame (Georgia Groome). Orchestrating this upstairs downstairs tango is the vacant stuttering butler Paul Hopkiss (Pip Carter) who also was a playmate of Scarlett and Hathaway in what he terms “happy days”.

When a bloody candlestick discovered by Hathaway in the Crevecoeur Hall family chapel is matched to Dr. Black, Lewis and Hathaway suspect the priest Father Jasper Hugh O’Conor (James Morland – Northanger Abbey 2007) when they unearth his tragic connection to the victim. Shortly after another death is linked to the case when the present estate manager Ralph Grahame (Jonty Stephens) is found dead by gunshot and a murder-suicide is suspected. After Lewis reveals his belief that the real motive to murder was a fifteenth century royal treasure on the estate, Hathaway thinks his boss has lost it.  He can’t understand why Lewis won’t accept that Grahame killed Dr. Black for running off with his wife. Lewis can’t accept why Hathaway seems to be protecting the Mortmaignes.

Even though I dearly love to laugh, when it comes to murder mysteries a serious tone with an occasional laugh is so much more satisfying. This new episode written by Russell Lewis supplied a finely crafted whodunit to fire up the gray matter, keep track of the body count and soak in that glorious Oxford backdrop. The guest cast was really outstanding. Nathaniel Parker is always a joy to watch and Guy Henry, who was an unforgettable Mr. Collins in Lost in Austen, added interest to a minor role as Professor Pelham. While Hathaway was getting smashed and lip worked by that chit Scarlett, Lewis had his own flirtation with Dr. Black’s fellow professor Frances Woodville (Stella Gonet – Mrs Musgrove in Persuasion 2007). She sparkled and he blushed. Too cute! We also got a glimpse of Lewis’ compassionate side when he befriended the murder victim’s cat and named it Monty. Ahh. I also thought it humorous that the writer  played with us in his choice of names and murder weapons. Was it Lady Scarlett in the chapel with a candlestick? I won’t tell.

Watch The Dead of Winter online at the Masterpiece PBS website until October 5th, 2010. Next week’s new episode Dark Matter, guest stars Colonel Fitzwilliam — Anthony Calf, and Sir John Middleton — Robert Hardy!

Scarlett: “I thought for a moment you’d chased after me to declare your undying love.”

Hathaway: “I’m not sure men do that nowadays, do they?”

Scarlett: “Perhaps they should.”

Oh Hathaway. Brush up on your Shakespeare will ya? He makes up for it later on when he recites some lines of poetry to Scarlett by A. E. Housman (1859–1936) from A Shropshire Lad (1896).

INTO my heart on air that kills

From yon far country blows:

What are those blue remembered hills,

What spires, what farms are those?

That is the land of lost content,

I see it shining plain,

The happy highways where I went

And cannot come again.

Image courtesy © 2010 MASTERPIECE

91 thoughts on “Inspector Lewis: The Dead of Winter on Masterpiece Mystery PBS – A Recap & Review

Add yours

  1. Thank you for your lovely site!

    Can you tell me the poem quoted towards the ending of
    Inspector Lewis / Dead of Winter…
    something about
    “spires ….roads…..can not return again.” ?

    Thank you so much.
    I am creating a painting, which I think may have been inspired by this poem.

    Many thanks,

    K Mecsalin


  2. A Shropshire Lad, by A E Housman.

    If you are an Out of Africa movie fan, you will recognize another stanza recited at the grave of Denys Finch-Hatton by Baroness Blixen.

    With rue my heart is laden
    For golden friends I had,
    For many a rose-lipt maiden
    And many a lightfoot lad.

    By brooks too broad for leaping
    The lightfoot boys are laid;
    The rose-lipt girls are sleeping
    In fields where roses fade.

    Beautiful poem whose sentiments fit well into this episode.


  3. I was terribly afraid I would be disappointed in this new episode. Fortunately, my fears proved groundless! And it is always a treat to hear Sergeant Hathaway reciting poetry.


  4. I missed hearing the reason though why Linda Graham was killed and started googling when I found your site and recap of this episode. Thank you for excellent recap and review on this and am amazed at all the content on your site!



  5. Wonderful review, and thank you for posting that poem. Loved the moment when Hathaway recited poetry. :) And thank you for identifying Guy Henry, I thought he looked familiar but totally didn’t place him as Collins in Lost in Austen!


    1. I second your recommendation of ‘Slings and Arrows’. Even as a (long-ago) theatre major, I learned a lot about Hamlet (Season 1) in between gasps of scandalized laughter. The duel with swords was utterly hilarious.


  6. Yes. lovely site. Thank you…

    A small thing that went by very quickly: Lewis and Hathaway come upon a sheaf of crosswords among the dead man’s effects, and Lewis remarks upon it with distaste. This series is of course a sequel to the Inspector Morse mysteries, and in the Colin Dexter novels Morse (Lewis’ old boss) is depicted as a crossword fanatic. So that’s the sly reference here…

    I think one reason the Inspector Lewis series is so much more watchable than American cop shows is that the episodes are effectively twice as long. Roughly 85 minutes, with no commercials. So there’s time for character development and to show the characters moving about within the landscape. By contrast, American television is addicted to the suffocating close-up and, although many shows are notionally set in visually interesting surroundings, almost no advantage is taken of it. Even if the directorial sensibility is there, there’s no time for long and middle-distance shots when you’re rushing headlong toward the next toilet paper advert…


    1. Hi Edward – yes I did catch the crossword mention by Lewis. They seem to always throw in a reference to him in each episode of Lewis which is a nice homage.

      I agree that Masterpiece Mystery series being 85 mins is a bonus. I just wish they were 120 mins and that they slowed down the pace a bit. Sometimes they are just too packed full of detail with no time to rest. I often watch them 2-3 times to understand all the clues and nuances.

      Thanks for visiting. Laurel Ann


  7. In the closing credit certain letters were in color spelling out “John Thurloe”. Am i just catching on to this? Is it like the murderer’s tame being tapped out in Morse code?


    1. Hi Frank, I just watched the closing credits again to clue into what you mentioned about letters being in color. My version does not show it. John Thurloe is mentioned by Dr. Woodville when she identified him as Oliver Cromwell’s spymaster and his contention to Crevecoeur Hall. He lived from 1616-1668. I’m sure he murdered more than a few Cavaliers, but is not the murderer in this modern day story.

      I am curious which version you are viewing? The PBS one that aired last night or a DVD from the UK broadcast?


  8. I dvd’ed from PBS (Washington, DC) last night. I checked the characters and cast when I wrote down the letters and realized it was a name. Before i came to the computer to Wikipedia Thurloe I had deleted the show. I thought he had been mentioned, but couldn’t go back and look.

    I think the letters were in red.

    I guess I’ll have to wait until next weeks to see if this is random or a pattern.


    1. Hi Frank – you win the junior detective 101 prize if PBS is giving one. The ITV ending credits are all white letters. I was viewing a DVD. The PBS edition does have red letters mixed in with white that spell out John Thurloe! Ha! Those clever folks at PBS have thrown in a scavenger hunt for us.

      I checked last week’s episode Counter Culture Blues and the red letters in the credits are there too. I will leave it to others to deduce what they spell. Don’t want to spoil the fun.



      1. The red-lettered-coded words also showed up on the recent Miss Marple episodes. I only thought to look at one Poirot episode’s credits, but they weren’t there.


  9. Did Grahame kill himself or was he murdered? It wasn’t clear to me. I think he was murdered because I don’t see him abandoning his daughter.


    1. I was uncertain about this also Laine. They did not make it clear, but my best guess is that Lewis was right. Grahame would not commit suicide and leave his daughter.

      Also another clue. Watch the scene again when Brionie walks from the Larch farm house and is calling her dad. (right before she finding him dead) As she walks toward the barn, there is a yellow hose laid out on the ground like her dad had been hosing down the ground and been called away. Would a man about to commit suicide be washing down the yard and leave the hose just lying there?

      SPOILERS – I think Paul killed him to cover his tracks and make Lewis & Hathaway believe that Grahame murdered Dr. Black and then killed himself in a fit of remorse.


  10. Greetings;

    Just finished viewing The Dead of Winter. Excellent.

    I note no credit for this script having a similarity with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story The Musgrave Ritual.

    Charles I, Oliver Cromwell, Lost buried Royal treasure, Cryptic code as to location, the Butler did it. Yipes.

    Sounds like a rip off to me.

    Sherlock Lives!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I recognized the similarities too, but there were large differences. I think this was a sly wink at Doyle and the board game Clue. The story had some of the same elements, but many of the character names were used or parodied straight from the board game.

      The Musgrave Ritual is one of my favorite Holmes stories. I was not offended that Russell Lewis paid homage to it.

      Have you seen the new series Sherlock that aired in the UK last month? It is a modern take on Sherlock set in London. It will air on PBS in October or November. I loved it. I hope you do too.


  11. I love the new season of Inspector Lewis – I have re-watched the show a couple of times and I can’t make out what Scarlett said to Hathaway at the end. Could anyone let me know what she said to him before she was put into the police car?

    Looking forward to next weeks episode. It was wonderful seeing so many actors that I recognized from other roles.


  12. Searching for ID on Hathaway’s poetry, found this lovely site; thanks. My 15-year-old daughter and I agreed that we would run off with Hathaway on the eve of our wedding if he recited those lines to us in a doorway while looking…Hathawayish.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Brenda from Flatbush, this seems to be a recurrent theme – having Hathaway recite a few mines of poetry. Check out the episode of The Point of Vanishing. He recites from Sir Thomas Wyatt’s poem They Flee From Me That Sometime Did Me Seek. That is even more swoon worthy.

      Thanks for visiting. Laurel Ann


  13. I’m still in the dark about whether Graham committed suicide or was murdered. I must be missing something. This production of “The Dead of winter” was great and can be watched again easily.


  14. Thanks for a wonderful recap and forum to discuss another favorite subject — Masterpiece Mystery!

    I was left with a question. Did we understand that DS Hathaway may have experienced child molestation, too, before leaving the estate at age 12? I don’t believe anything was said, but I think it was implied.

    Or, from a different perspective, do we understand that he was not molested and this was the reason why Lady Scarlett said to him, “You’re not one of us.”




      Hi Betty, ooo, I have been waiting for someone else to pick up on which of the kids on the estate were molested.

      I did not want to give away too much of the plot twists in my recap & review, but now that you have asked…it was never flatly stated that Hathaway was molested as a child but is subtly implied. I do believe he was. Mostly because at the end when Lewis and Hathaway have the conversation about his wanting to hand in his papers and resign, Lewis says to him nothing that happened at the estate was his fault, now or earlier. What did he mean otherwise but Hathaway was not to blame for being molested or not being able to stop Lord Tygon molesting others when he was a child.

      There are other clues to prove this throughout the episode. Watch it again, and you might pick up on them. Just my humble opinion of course. ;-)


      1. You have a good point. Maybe I can see it again online before the opportunity passes. I think it adds another layer of depth and complexity to Hathaway’s character development. Also, it adds to his trust relationship with Robbie as it continues to develop.


        1. Not sure about Lord Mortmaigne mentioning “James the Just” since Hathaway does not remember the nick name, or chooses not to, and since her remembers the smallest facts, he may be hiding something and not wanting to acknowledge it. James the Just was a Catholic Saint who was pious and fair. This is a clue to Hathaway’s past that the writer felt important enough to through in to keep us guessing.


  15. It seems to me the same estate sets were used in “Whom The Gods Would Destroy”. IMDB says the locations for Platt’s house and exteriors were

    West Wycombe Park, West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England, UK
    (This is where the temple by the lake was)


    Allanbay Park, Howe Lane, Binfield, Berkshire, England, UK


  16. Thanks for this summary. Usually I can follow the Lewis mysteries quite well, but this time I was distracted by all the questions arising about Hathaway’s childhood. I didn’t so much care who killed the Professor as worried about Hathaway in the clutches of the fair Scarlett. I’d run away with him from the church door, too.


    1. The last few episodes have been very confusing to me. Granted, I watch them on Sunday night and am always dozing off and having to rewind.


  17. I thought the the plot and character development in this episode was amazing. However I do have a few questions that about the ending that I either missed, or weren’t well answered.

    (a) Why was Mr. Grahame killed? It doesn’t really make sense for the killer to kill him. It seems random.

    (b) Why was there an attempt to kill Hathaway at the end? The only thing I could think is that the killer believed that Hathaway was getting too close to Scarlett, and if she didn’t marry, the estate would be endangered.

    (c) How did they get the professor’s body onto the bus? Putting a dead body on a bus without being seen seems difficult?


    1. Hi David, I think some of your questions will be answered by reading the comments regarding why Grahame was killed. Hathaway’s life was in danger? Are you referring to the final scene outside by the statue when Paul was wielding the gun and shot him? I think he was trying to stop Paul from killing Lewis and he fired and hit Col Coleman and Hathaway. The body on the bus is a puzzle. We know Paul used the estate truck because we were shown the blood stains in the back. But how no one saw him transfer a dead body into a public tour bus is questionable.


      1. Thanks for the reply. In terms of the final scene, Paul was trying to kill Lewis, but only because Lewis came upon Paul first. I think Hathaway was originally the target because he received a message to meet ‘S’ (Scarlett?), which was actually from Paul.


  18. It was not made clear why Mr. Grahame was killed or why Lewis was a target. Clearly Paul was the one who attempted to kill Lewis. Paul presumably also killed Grahame. Part of the story line seemed to be that Paul became somewhat paranoid. But its also the case that several story lines were left unclear. One was who killed Linda Grahame. Paul said he did it while Scarlett said her father did it. Scarlett also said her father killed Black and he seemed to know about it in the opening scene. Then of course there is the question of Scarlett’s feelings for Hathaway. They seemed genuine in the portrayl. Whether realistic or not, the question of the disposal of Black’s body was dealt with. The loaded muskets were intended to distract attention. The body was transported to the bus in some vehicle that was later identified by the presence of Black’s blood. In any case, realism about the crimes is not particularly the strong point of the Lewis mysteries. One point that intrigued me is the relationship to Brideshead Revisted. There seems to be some similarity to the themes. Is the similarity between the names Mortmaigne and Marchmain an accident?


    1. Hi David – thanks for your thoughtful comments.


      My thoughts are that Paul killed everyone. He told Scarlett that her father killed Dr. Black to manipulate her into writing the letters to place the blame on Grahame. He also killed Grahame and staged the suicide to make Lewis think Grahame killed himself out of remorse because he had killed Dr. Black out of revenge for having an affair with his wife. Paul killed Mrs. Grahame because she was going to reveal that Augustus Mortmaigne was a child molester. Scarlett’s intention’s toward Hathaway appear genuine. But we know from the last scene that her motivation was to manipulate in favor of the Mortmaigne family, which it did. We know from her last comment “you’re not one us” that she never had any intension of a relationship with him. I had not thought of the Brideshead Revisited parallel. But the families were both Catholic and messed up. Another commenter mentioned the similarity to the Sherlock Holmes story The Musgrave Ritual. I had thought of that too. It was a gentle wink at Doyle I think. Did you catch the character and place name connections to the board game Clue? Dr. Black, Scarlett father Jasper, Col Coleman and others all connect. Thanks for visiting. Laurel Ann


    2. David made a very good point about the similarities to “Brideshead Revisited” like the names of the families, the Catholocism, etc. This was no accident by the screenwriters. There are other links as well:
      If you watch the beginning of the Jeremy Irons’ version of “BR,” his colleague/underling — also named Hooper– talks about the huge estate as “something you’ve never seen before” (or words to that effect). The Irons character then goes up to the house itself and begins the reminiscences that are the storyline of “BR.” This “BR” dialogue is used almost line for line when Hathaway first arrives at the estate to investigate the professor’s death.

      Thought it was a wonderfully rich and emotionally complex episode – even though the murder mystery part of it was little unbelievable. But I can’t get enough of either Lewis or Hathaway.


  19. Great site!

    I enjoyed this episode very much … not least because of all the tantalizing gaps in the story and the masterful use of subtext by the screenwriter. Another bit of veil torn off the Hathaway ‘gay/not gay’ question.

    Grahame bothers me a bit. His death was merely a ruse, as we discover at the end … but his behavior was markedly suspicious in the opening scenes and also in his exchange with Hathaway. He was a ‘doting’ parent who couldn’t possibly have committed suicide and leave his daughter alone … but on the other hand, this beloved daughter had been subjected to sexual abuse for years by her boyfriend’s father and was cutting herself. Hathaway, in a harrowing scene, recognizes the psychological significance of the marks on her wrists. I kept waiting for it to be explained that Grahame, like Paul, had turned a blind eye … but it was left a loose end.

    Hathaway may or may not have been abused; it’s not clear … but he probably knew that Paul was. In the scene where Paul refers to their shared childhood as ‘happy days’, Hathaway is stone-faced, obviously not thinking ‘happy’ at all. If Hathaway escaped what Paul did not, the guilt would be terrible … and it would explain why Hathaway had not returned to the estate in 20 years. Selina, undoubtedly, was preyed upon in her turn; and it’s implied that she knew what Augustus was up to when he took Briony to the folly to play the piano.

    The reason I don’t think Hathaway was abused was because in an early scene, Augustus reminds Hathaway that they called him ‘James the Just’ when he was a child …’James the Just’ was the brother of Jesus and is described in scripture as ‘holy from his mother’s womb’. Hathaway doesn’t remember this … but it might explain why Augustus considered him ‘untouchable’.


    1. Interesting theory about Hathaway not being abused. Somehow, I do not think child abusers have many ethics or constraints. Would they think anyone was beyond their reach morally and honor that? Not an expert in this area at all, but I appreciate your idea.


      1. Well, I’m not an expert either; I’m just a writer. The unresolved mysteries — and ensuing discussions — are what makes this series so great!

        Only the screenwriter knows James’ whole backstory … but, based on what we seen, my conclusion of ‘not abused’ is based partly on the question of logistics: how could Augustus be secretly abusing two of his employees’ children at the same time? We know Paul was abused … we also know the abuse stopped, likely because Paul grew up and was no longer desirable that way. But he committed 3 murders in a mental state that suggests he was still under the power of Augustus’ so-called ‘love’.

        You’re right; pedophiles don’t exhibit ethical and moral constraint … but I do think they rationalize. Augustus did not, in fact, think of himself as evil but as having a private predilection for the ‘unspoiled’ nature of children.

        Obviously Augustus didn’t use violence, threats or abduction — as in the child murder case James had just solved — but rather the slow and creepy process of ‘enrolling’ the child as a sexual partner through acts of special kindness and generosity. Augustus chose his partner(s) carefully … not only for their beauty and innocence, but for their pliability. James was older than the other children. The whole exchange about James the Just was a dig at James Hathaway’s upright and non-pliable nature.


        1. I agree that a story is really great when people are thinking and talk about it long after its conclusion. The writer did a great job in that respect, and many others. I like your assessment of why James was not abused and you have swayed me the other direction. The “James the Just” reference just didn’t add up. Hathaway has an incredible memory. He would not have forgotten that nick name. I do see him resisting and speaking up to elders. This maybe why he and his family left the estate.


  20. Very interesting, I picked up on the possibility of Hathaway being abused by his reaction to every mention of Augustus “kindness to his staff”. Also why did Hathaway’s father leave as estate manager when he was twelve? And what was the implication of Hathaway’s reaction to Augustus comment “A policeman, you’re parents must be very proud!”
    Another thought, given Scarlett’s cat that ate the cream expression the next day when she saw Hataway after their date; did they or didn’t they? Particularly as at the engagement party she said”We can still..” Not could but can.
    Any comments.


  21. Oh, I should mention the policeman comment is only on the British DVD. And it’s entirely possible Graham wouldn’t have known about the abuse, child molesters are very good at covering their tracks, particularly given Augustus’s position. And finally I do think Scarlett had genuine feelings toward Hathaway, but more in a Lady Chatterley way”Darling don’t be difficult”


    1. I agree about the Lady Chatterley’s Lover analogy, but I think he was never more than a diversion. Her comment at the end that her was “not one of us” seemed to solidify this.


  22. Hi — Great site! After watching ‘The Dead of Winter’ I had so many questions and went looking on the Net and found this site. Fantastic–found all the answers to my questions and then some. Thank you.


  23. Why was Briony “not like herself” as Titus said? She’d been abused for 9 years, what had happened lately? Did the father just found out about Augustus and his daughter?


    1. Remember when her dad found the BC pills? Maybe Briony and Titus were just starting a sexual relationship and it was very hard for her. Sexual abuse victims often have problems with intimacy. Remember the scene when he is bringing her home late at night and he kisses her and she is stiff and he tells her he does love her. Not sure that her dad knew about the history behind her and Augustus unless I missed it.


      1. Laurel Ann,

        Thank you for raising the Briony’s father finding the BC pills. Now I see what that hint was for. My question: at the end did Lewis just let Briony and Titus ride off into the sunset? I assumed they were eloping.



  24. Was Col. Coleman killed at the end of the episode or just shot? He says he’s ok, then he either passes out or dies. Which, please?


  25. Nice site! Thanks for the reveiw of The Dead of Winter, and especially the reference to the Houseman poem.

    I don’t know if anyone picked up on the allegorical(?) reference to Brideshead Revisited?
    1. When Hathaway goes the mock battlefield, he is met by a detective called ‘Hooper’ (in Brideshead, Charles Ryder is met by his sergeant, also called Hooper)
    2. Hooper, in both Lewis and Brideshead Revisited, calls out to Hathaway/Ryder, something like ‘It’s a great boat(?) of a place. You’ve never seen anything like it’. Hathway does not reply; Ryder does.
    3. In Lewis, the Lord of the manor is called ‘Lord Mortmain’. In Brideshead, he is called ‘Lord Marchmain’

    What a great series!


  26. Great discussion on this site! Helped me understand a lot of plot points I didn’t catch during viewing.

    Can anyone explain who created the clues to the wild goose chase that brought Lewis to the statue of Juno where Linda Graheme’s body was buried? If the places mentioned in the clues didn’t exist at the time of the supposed buried treasure (the horseman and the sting on the folly, for example) then who wrote the clues and why?


  27. Note to whoever wrote the plot synopsis: a marquise is the wife of a (French) marquis. I don’t think Lord Mortmaigne (a Marquess) is anyone’s wife, despite the dubious quality of his sexual relationships on the estate.


  28. I’m not going to make long comments, but to compliment your site. How wonderful that I can find my passion here. Thanks for sharing it. Inspector Lewis & Sergeant Hathaway are always be my favorite.


  29. All great comments … very inciteful. Can i just say that poetry and plot synopsis aside, sometimes i just enjoy Lewis because Laurence is a Fox : )


  30. I’m told that when PBS broadcasts the shows, about 5-10 minutes of program is cut from the British version, so that it will fit into the 90 minute Masterpiece time slot (time is required for the Cummings introduction, the Masterpiece credits and credits to program sponsors) So sometimes things that are made clear or explained in the original program can go missing or not be made as clear.

    Scarlett says Hathaway is “not one of us” because he’s made it clear his first loyalty is to justice, the victims and the police, not to the family and the estate.


  31. I like this site, since I’m a serious addict of this show, and I came back to see if there are new comments as the new season brings back some good old shows.

    One comment: it’s time for someone to note that the ‘Marquise’ of Tygon would be a French lady (which, for all his nastiness, Augustus is not) — in England, it’s Marquess (and his lady is a Marchioness)..

    Has anyone seen the new season episodes yet? (We get them on DVD from in June, before they run here.) It seems to me that the plotting is VERY thin, compared to some of the old ones (both “CCBlues” and “DoW” come to mind). Could it be that the idea pool for murders in Oxford is drying up? Too bad — I love the scenery, if nothing else!


  32. About the cutting of the American version: I’ve seen the American ones on the tube, and have the British DVD’s: the cutting is done in tiny snips here and there, doesn’t really affect the story line but is still undesirable. (I don’t mind PBS leaving time for their intro, but making time for commercials to promote their own shows is offensive. I’m already tired of the Ken Burns Prohibition film and I haven’t even seen it!) I’ve heard that the DVD’s available in the States are now uncut (at least the current series and future). But if you have a DVD player that will do European discs, has great deals on all sorts of interesting programs.


  33. I think she said “You don’t think I …..” in response to Hathaway’s question about what their encounter the previous night meant. Interesting ambiguity — would she have finished the line “could ever be dishonest with you”, or “would ever be seriously interested in someone like you”? I prefer the second possibility, so she’s another one of those many Bad Women in Oxford and environs — have you noticed how often the villains are female in the Morse and Lewis stories — even in Midsomer Murders? I’m happy to see women have achieved a kind of equality — but reallly! Wouldn’t mind seeing cutesie Dr Hobson have a dark streak, though.


  34. Thanks, with your help it became clear – she said “You don’t really think…” The “really” causes me to lean in favor of the second possibility, but she didn’t lie to him at any time, thus the first possibility is plausible.
    Her shudder after Hathaway’s “no”, was that because of the cold or his response?


  35. Thanks, with your help it became clear – she said “You don’t really think…” The “really” causes me to lean in favor of the second possibility, but she didn’t lie to him at any time, thus the first possibility is plausible.
    Her shudder after Hathaway’s “no”, was that because of the cold or his response?


  36. I rewatched Dead of Winter tonight, and I think Scarlett was genuinely interested in Hathaway. On their date, she seemed sad that Hathaway had been away from the estate for so many years. Although Hathaway was reluctant to have a relationship with an engaged woman, Scarlett implied that she no problems with both dating Hathaway and marrying Shimali. This isn’t a surprise considering that she had little interest in Shimali, and extramarital affairs were the norm for her family.

    Based on this, I prefer the first possibility that Scarlett’s ‘you don’t think I’ means that Scarlett was not just using Hathaway. As for her ‘you’re not one of us’ remark, I think it means that he doesn’t have the same values as the Mortmain family. Scarlett and the Mortmains value loyalty to family above all else, whereas Hathaway believes in the law. I really believe that in that last scene between Hathaway and Scarlett, she is saddened by his actions, that Hathaway would betray the family.


  37. After rewatching Dead of Winter, the other point that becomes clearer to me is that Hathaway was probably sexually abused as a child by Augustus Mortmaigne. The following scenes stand out.

    (1) In the beginning, after testifying at a case, Hathaway tells Lewis that lots of people had bad childhoods (his own?), but it doesn’t make them into criminals.
    (2) When Paul mentions the ‘happy days’ of past, Hathaway is dead silent.
    (3) Much like Paul and Briony, who were sexually abused, Augustus had a nickname for Hathaway (James the Just), and took a keen interest in him.
    (4) When Lewis and Hathaway see that Briony is cutting her arms, Hathaway runs out and seems extremely distributed, as though he knows not just that sexual abuse is going on, but who is doing it.
    (5) At the end, Lewis tell Hathway that he isn’t responsible for anything that occured at the estate, now or in the past.

    What does everyone else think?


  38. That’s my reading, too. His saying he left the estate at 12 can also be read into this line of reasoning: old enough then to blow the whistle if he was “James the Just,” and so sent away, or did his parents also go away? [Did he HAVE parents? A little hard to picture!] I read on-line that Fox says he and the producers want to keep Hathaway’s private life secret, and they’re doing a good job of that. Hints along the way, but my guess is that they’re made up as we go along, season to season, and all this wasn’t planned out. From the first, when JH was described as having studied to be a “priest,” I though it could be high-church Anglican (therefore not requiring celibacy) rather than Catholic [note to British listers: do I have it right that Anglicans might refer to a clergyman as a priest?]. But now we see that the Mortmaigne estate has a Catholic chapel and priest, so maybe JH is/was RC. We’ve been told along the way about at least one affair he’s had (with that woman detective who gets promoted to Scotland Yard), but he’s obviously not as much a player as Aurelio Zen!


  39. When Hathaway is brought by Paul to speak to Mortmaigne, Mortmaigne is quite cordial and seemingly happy to see Hathaway again after so many years and Hathaway is cool to the point of being uncivil. He says he doesn’t recall being called James the Just and he doesn’t respond at all when Mortmaigne says that Hathaway’s parents must be proud of Hathaway’s becoming a policeman. He clearly does not have any respect for Montmaigne. He also doesn’t share Paul’s happy recollections, but he does have happy memories of Scarlett. He never explains why his parents left the estate when he was twelve, but if Mortmaigne called him James the Just, it could well be that he wasn’t willing to stay quiet about the abuse that was occurring on the estate. His parents would have been forced to leave if they tried to confront Morgmaigne about it, or they may have chosen to leave rather than stay in that environment. His being the victim of abuse would certainly explain his detached behaviour towards many of the people from his past and also explain why he never returned. I wonder though, if Hathaway was brave enough to blow the whistle at the age of twelve, why does he not share his suspicions about what might be going on at the estate with Inspector Lewis? Surely he would feel an obligation to the law?

    Liked by 1 person

  40. I like Tania’s reasoning. Do you think that Hathaway’s insistence that the murder of the Professor is just a case of revenge for stealing Briony’s mother(it’s unusual for him to be so committed to an ‘easy’ answer to a case) is a way to deflect attention from the other things going on at the estate that he knows or suspects and finds painful to revisit? I wouldn’t accuse him of trying to hide anything from Lewis or the law, but if we are all reading his past correctly, it wouldn’t be unexpected for him to need to hide that from himself. (And yet his obvious attraction to Scarlett goes against this grain — SHE was at the estate during the ‘bad old days,’ so what’s her role in the drama of child abuse?)

    Some of these episodes seem so much richer in subtleties than others — has anyone tracked a pattern of who the writers and/or directors are of the ones we like best? I often wonder if the scriptwriters are putting as much complexity into these things as we think we are seeing! As I said earlier, I think this year’s new episodes are comparatively ‘flat’ — I’ll look forward to seeing how others on this list react to them, and I’d like to be reassured that the series isn’t running out of gas (or should I say ‘petrol’?).


    1. I’m late to the conversation, which I can only blame on Netflix only recently adding the show to Watch Instantly. Additionally, as the writers seems to have left it intentionally ambiguous, I’m not going to heartily attempt to persuade anyone either way.

      I did want to point out, though, that Briony was attracted to/in a relationship with Titus; so I don’t think James being attracted to Scarlett precludes the possibility of abuse.


  41. Wonderful site – I’ve visited before since I and my wife and daughters are all Jane Austen devotees, and now I find as well, to my great delight, a fellowship interested in television with literary affections and allusions…

    Regarding “Dead of Winter” (by the way, do you have special contacts at ITV to glean some details such as locations, etc?) which we just watched on DVD:

    1) Even in the old “Morse” series, and the novels, there were occasional details left unaddressed or unexplained, perhaps, in the case of the adaptations, due to the vagaries of film editing, or because Colin Dexter was not Doyle or Christie, wonderful, erudite and literature-saturated as Dexter was.

    2) Regarding Hathaway’s relationship with his Lordship, I must agree with the view that Hathaway was not abused, but was, rather, “cruised” by Mortmaigne, who did not pursue the seduction because of Hathaway’s temperament, which would have made him less receptive to advances – a reticent – to the point of being almost aloof – bright, scrupulous and punctilious child, whose then developing traits are reflected in the character of the man we see today. Pedophiles seek to exploit any type of vulnerability, including children who are readily friendly and tolerant (Briony?), a terribly cruel way to take advantage of a disposition that we would generally think of as admirable and desirable (one of many reasons why child abuse is so harmful and vile).

    3) Graham, like many parents of abused children, may have suspected something was not right, but not allowed himself to think the worst, because the consequences would have affected his work, or for any number of emotional and other reasons that people turn away from unpleasant truths. I mention this because Mortmaigne’s wife was clearly aware and tolerant of her husband’s behavior (perhaps explaining why the writer “punished” her by having her lover killed at the end), and so then Scarlett herself must have been at least suspicious, adding to the complexity of her sexuality and her relationships (she married impulsively at 17, the age of her stepmother when she married Scarlett’s father).

    4) Scarlett’s character is, to my mind, a clear allusion to the character of Julia in “Brideshead Revisited”. Scarlett is not so well developed (understandable, given the format) but I think Russell Lewis is intentionally addressing Waugh’s unsatisfying psychology and accompanying restraint in “Brideshead Revisited” by creating a rather Elizabethan/Jacobean gloss (cf. “The Spanish Tragedy” and “Hamlet”) on the themes of religion (note Selina’s unctuous, “consoling” statements to Briony), sexuality, family (“you’re not one of us”) and the distorting requirements associated with patrimony.
    Russell Lewis even offers a delightful twist to that latter theme by having Augustus (Roman Emperor?) marry in order to have a son (Titus – surely an allusion to “Titus Andronicus,” a play about emperors, and rape, and revenge and grandiose bloodletting), to secure the succession of the estate and title, only to have to hand his legacy, and his daughter, to a Lebanese businessman to secure its survival.
    Scarlett’s decision to marry for the sake of family, and her “not one of us” comment, echo aspect’s of Julia’s behavior in “Brideshead Revisited” as well. In keeping with the tone of satire and blackly comedic references in the sript, I might think her behavior with Hathaway was meant, by the writer, to be more venal and opportunistic and that the the implication of genuine feeling would be more attributable to Camilla Arfwedson’s winsome interpretation of the script – though I think Russell Lewis is fond of complexity, even if it is unexplored.
    The fact that Scarlett (also a reference to the daughter of the O”Hara family who famously fought for the survival of her family’s estate, Tara) started to say something that, given the actress’ demeanor, seemed to be defensive (“you don’t think I…”), implying she would not so have deceived him, and that she was crying, suggests she was genuinely fond of Hathaway. Why then say, “you’re not one of us”? Because she could read Hathaway’s state of mind, and knew that he could not ever be close to her (given his scrupulosity), and so, either because it is easier on one’s pride to jilt than be jilted, or because she wanted to make it easier on Hathaway, or because she was also angry at his opprobrium, she played to his class vulnerability in a way that also allowed the writer to tie up that plot line and leave Hathaway the lonesome detective (so popular in the genre, and the more desirable, eh?).

    5) Though I think Scarlett’s character could have been played with a bit more depth and less charm (more Brett Ashley from “Sun Also Rises” or Nicole Diver from “Tender is the Night”), there is other evidence that she is looked upon fondly by the writer: the message to Hathaway to meet Scarlett in the summer house was sent by Hopkiss, who would thus have intended to frame Scarlett for Hathaway’s murder – a fate that places her, sentimentally, more amongst the victims than the perpetrators!
    I think Hathaway’s judgmental “question” to her at the end (not really a question given his tone and demeanor, which did not promise any reconciliation), which brought on her hurt and hurtful remark, reflects his characterological mistrust of intimacy, his assumption of the ineluctable unhappiness and loss that is the fruit of love. This is, we may note, a further meditation on the character of Morse, as well as his foil, Lewis, who is now a wounded and hesitant widower, seemingly oblivious to the rather broad flirtations of his exceedingly attractive pathologist – as if he carried more of Morse than just his intuitive style of deduction and inference chaining.

    6) “Mortmaigne” is a pun on “Marchmain” because of the meaning, in French, of “mort,” of course.

    7) Hathaway’s awareness of Lord Mortmaigne’s pederasty is moot, in that he was 12 and of an age when children do not think to interpret or judge the behavior of adults in the same way adults do. I suspect Hathaway’s reflections on the unhappiness of his childhood are as much related to the class prejudice he experienced, and to which he is obviously still sensitive – as was Charles Ryder in “Brideshead Revisited.”

    8) Lewis’ rueful glance at Titus and Briony leaving on a motorbike underscores the bizarreness and likely unhappiness attendant to their relationship – she is “eloping” with the son of her abuser, a very Tennessee Williams-like touch – which is perhaps alluded to by their names (see above re: “Titus”), especially “Briony” which means “poison.”

    Thanks for a wonderful website, and discussion. Iook forward to more!

    Tim Baker-Sullivan, New York, NY


  42. just wondering.. at some point Hathaway remarks ‘the heart chooses’ or some such; is that a Housman quotation as well?


  43. Just watched this on DVD. I think Scarlett was abused by her father, so when she says “you’re not one of us,” I think she’s saying that James was not abused. Victims of abuse often have a sick loyalty to the abuser, like Paul. They sometimes feel that they are special, in a sick way.


  44. Hi,

    Having watched “the dead of winter” last night I can positively say that this was the best episode so far. Whether it’s because Hathaway is in the centre of the plot and therefore reveals so much more of his character or the fact that it’s, for once, not set in the academic world I really can’t say. It’s just so “real”!
    I am planning a holiday to England this year and we’ll be staying in Oxfordshire for about a week. What’s so good about this series is the fact that I will go there, see so many familiar sites from the various episodes and will be surprised (and possibly disappointed) about the fact that Lewis and Hathaway do not pop up from time to time……. The quality of the acting and the stories is such that it all feels so natural and lifelike.
    We bought all five seasons on DVD and we watch one per week. I can’t wait till it’s Friday again…. So tempting to just watch the next and the next…..
    As I assume we all want to know more about Hathaway (who, by the way, got married earlier this year), I wonder what your readers, as well as yourself, would like to see for a character development.



  45. Hathaway got married?!!! That might add or detract from the fun of the new season (which may be running in the UK but not in the US yet). Or do you mean that Laurence Fox got married? He married Billie Piper some years ago — is this another wife (and did he divest himself legally of the earlier one first?)


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