Upper Fisher Row got a bite of the cake yesterday when scenes from the 8th series of the popular cop drama Lewis was filmed, taking up all of our parking but providing entertainment for the many “home-bound” inhabitants who live here courtesy of the Council and subsidized by the rest of the populace.
I enquired of the Director if he was an extra and he graciously put me in my place. We didn’t get to see Kevin Whateley (Lewis) or his sidekick Laurence Fox (son of the actor James and now promoted to Inspector Hathaway). In fact this morning, the young man who came to pin back the climbers in my garden- following the damage done by a certain property-developer, who perhaps ought to remain nameless, looked remarkably like Fox, but no one had told him that before. Lewis is the long-suffering sergeant who operated under Inspector Morse in the 13 classic Oxford whodunits written by Colin Dexter. After John Thaw died while filming Morse, Lewis was the first spin-off and the second spin-off was Endeavour, Morse’s eccentric Christian name.
Morse was the kind of character beloved of viewers: he drives a vintage red Jaguar, likes real ales and revels in opera, poetry and arty things. John Thaw perfectly fitted the role and famously bullied Lewis, who often looked aghast at the thought of having to sit through an LP performance of Aida or Il Trovatore, while his boss closed his eyes in rapture.
With a Christian name like Endeavour (what were his parents thinking?) it was beyond temptation to begin another series based on the young police officer who started his career in the 1960s. That was replete with interesting 60s retro clothes, cars and furniture. Morse is not particularly posh (and Lewis is most definitely not) but Inspector Hathaway is. He reads Latin, which shows he’s public school, and I think he was at Cambridge. All the series have titbits of romantic aspiration and girls and women come and go. One of the females working under Lewis was learning her lines when I nipped upstairs at no. 10 to take a photo. The pic doesn’t do the gorgeous Angela Griffin justice, but you get an idea of what props/continuity have been up to. Is it a post-grad’s digs? Or an impoverished don’s hideaway?
Maybe she’s going to accompany her Inspector at a murder scene, maybe he/she was in the middle of packing/unpacking.
The real inhabitant of the flat was probably paid good money to stay away for the day. He will doubtless book himself a fortnight in Torremelinos or the equivalent and get away from the endless rain. But what a dreary business is filming! Hours of hanging around in the drizzle, endless “takes”. The boredom of it. The crew certainly looked jaded. And then everything was over and the removal trucks carrying the props were gone.