Detective Inspector Robert Lewis, known as Robbie, is a fictional character created by Colin Dexter in the Inspector Morse series of books and TV series of the same name. Many years later, Lewis gained a spin-off series of his own following the death of the leading character. The character is played by Kevin Whately. In Inspector Morse, Lewis is sidekick to the main character, Detective Chief Inspector Endeavour Morse and together they work for the Thames Valley Police in Oxford, England where he is shown to be an honest, hardworking, and earnest policeman and is still only a Detective Sergeant. He has appeared in all but one episode of Inspector Morse, The Wench is Dead, although the character exists in the novel. Lewis is also a Geordie - that is, from Newcastle and also a working class, and married to Valerie Susan Lewis with kids. His wife appears only once in the TV series, in an episode called Greeks Bearing Gifts, where they are seen together in a restauraunt. She is later killed in a hit-and-run accident, five years after the death of Morse himself. Lewis reveals in the first ever episode, that his birthday is around the 13th-20th June. Towards the end of Inspector Morse, Lewis takes a promotion and makes one final appearance in the last episode, The Remorseful Day, when Morse has a heart attack and later dies in hospital. Morse says, "Thank Lewis for me."

Inspector Morse (TV and novels)Edit

Lewis is a sergeant on the staff of the Thames Valley Police in Oxford, England, and in Inspector Morse is assistant to the titular Detective Chief Inspector Morse. Morse's given name (Endeavour) was kept secret until the end of the series and thus he is almost universally referred to only by his family name. Similarly, although Lewis's given name of Robert (Robbie) was not kept secret, he was rarely referred to as anything but "Sergeant Lewis" or "Lewis."

The background and personality of Lewis - a working class, easygoing family man with a Geordie accent - is frequently contrasted with that of Morse - Oxford educated, RP-accented, lifetime bachelor. Morse frequently uses these differences to insult or demean Lewis, perhaps from Morse's point of view in a playful manner, but Lewis is often not amused by the jabs. In his frustration, Lewis is often more in step with their joint superior Chief Superintendent Jim Strange, himself an evident supporter of Lewis; however, despite a great respect towards Strange, Lewis is always unflinchingly loyal to Morse and follows his lead.

One notable difference between the Lewis from the novels and Whately's portrayal is that Lewis in the novels is an older man in his early sixties. When Whately auditioned for the role and then learned this fact, he considered it unlikely that he would get the part. However, Colin Dexter has consistently stated that the younger Lewis is an improvement on the character he originally created, and that if he could start the novels afresh he would begin with Lewis as he is seen in the television adaptation.

In Inspector Morse, Lewis is often shown following a hunch that Morse criticises, and in the end Lewis is usually proved correct, or at least more correct than Morse. Near the end of the television series, Lewis moves on in his career and takes a promotion. With the end of Inspector Morse and the death of its star, John Thaw, Lewis's adventures had seemed to come to an end.

In the episode "The Dead of Jericho", Lewis tells Morse "It's also my birthday". The first victim is killed on June 11, and this utterance occurs a few days to a week later. This puts Lewis' birthday in mid-June.

Lewis does not make an appearance in the episode "The Wench is Dead", as he is out of town on an inspector's course.


In this episode, Lewis returns to Oxford from a two-year stint training police in the British Virgin Islands, following the death of his wife Valerie in a car accident. Lewis still must work partly in the shadow of the now-five-years-dead Inspector Morse, who some time prior to his death had worked a case involving one of the murder suspects as a juvenile. In the new series, Lewis gains his own junior, Detective Sergeant James Hathaway, a Cambridge-educated man who joined the police after giving up training for the priesthood. His relationship with Dr Laura Hobson (from the original Morse series) is also explored.

Personality and appearanceEdit

Lewis was originally a fresh-faced, happy-go-lucky detective sergeant who was Morse's sidekick. He was often the cheerful one while Morse was the grumpy and sometimes patronizing one. In the books he is originally an older man in his early sixties and Welsh instead of a northern Geordie. This was changed to suit the TV adaptation and even Colin Dexter, the author has said that Kevin Whately's portrayal of Lewis is better than the one he created. Lewis was happily married to his wife Valerie with two young children but this changed after the end of Inspector Morse and in his own spin-off series, Lewis, he looks destined to go the same way as his former boss and go through a series of relationships that were almost certainly not going to work out. Lewis is also older and wiser with a face that looks like its been lived in and appears to be more quieter and vulnerable and a lot sadder. However, he does appear to be more cheerful when long-time pathologist Doctor Laura Hobson is around yet none of them appear to want to admit that they are more than just friends and collegues. Robbie is completely severed.  


DCI Endeavour MorseEdit

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Lewis with Inspector Morse as a Sergeant

Lewis' relationship with Inspector Morse is what any relationship with a DCI should be. Lewis totally respects Morse, although Morse does get angry quickly if Lewis talks about anything but investigation matters. Lewis proves to be a hardworking, honest and respectful DS and does anything Morse orders him to. Lewis worked with Morse up until 2000, when Morse eventually died after having heart attack in hospital. Lewis eventually moved on in his career and took a promotion, before moving to the Virgin Islands after the death of his wife. It seemed that for some time, Lewis would end up just like his former boss - clearly lonely and having a string of failed romances.

DS James HathawayEdit

Lewis first met Hathaway, in the pilot episode, Reputation, in 2006, after he returned from the Virgin Islands. Hathaway was originally working with another inspector that Lewis knew - DI Charles Knox - before being re-assigned to Lewis. In series two, Lewis and Hathaway had a massive falling out when an old friend of Hathaway's commited suicide, and Lewis asked if he was also gay. Lewis also had to save Hathaway's life in the same episode, Life Born of Fire. In series three,

Lewis with Hathaway

Hathaway discovered who it was that had killed Lewis' wife in a hit-and-run. Lewis and Hathaway found themselves questioning Dr Hobson's past in Falling Darkness, during which she ended up being buried alive by the real killers. Hathaway jumped into the grave the grave while Lewis confronted the murderers. Hathaway suggested that Lewis try and make his move on Hobson before DI Peterson did. The pair worked together until series seven, when Lewis considered retirement. He also suggested that Hathaway take on the job that would be left vacant by Lewis. Hathaway didn't seem very happy about the whole idea and also left the force after questioning his role as a policeman when a suspect committed suicide. Hathaway was also on holiday while Lewis was working with DC Gray, which also left him to spend more time with Dr Hobson. He is surprised but clearly happy that Lewis and Hobson appeared to have got together. Yet he clearly wasn't happy that Lewis had taken the chance to rejoin the police force after he himself was on to his second sergeant already.

DI Alan Peterson

Lewis first met DI Alan Peterson in series six, working with him briefly. Lewis didn't seem like the type to hang out with someone like him; he clearly disliked everything that was about Peterson. He was also everything that Lewis wasn't who obviously didn't want Alan around when Laura was with him. Peterson appeared to also have his eye on Hobson and Hathaway advised Lewis to get in there before the other whisked her away.

Dr Grayling RussellEdit

Dr Laura HobsonEdit

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Lewis with his new romance, Dr Laura Hobson

Lewis first met Dr Laura Hobson in the 1995 episode, The Way Through the Woods, in which she arrives to take Dr Russell's place as pathologist. Both of them are much younger and there's a chance that both of them would have been suited to one another had Lewis not still been married at the time. They maintained a close, professional working relationship from the start although no doubt none of them had idea that they would one end up getting together. After the death of Morse, Lewis' wife Val dies and his children fly the nest, leaving the detective pretty much on his own. He spends two years in the British Virgin Islands training police and he arrives back to find that the Oxfordshire Police has changed considerably since his departure. His new boss, Jean Innocent is quite happy enough to send him on a police training course and for him to pass on his knowledge to younger police cadets and seemed to think that Lewis wasn't much good anymore. Hobson is still there and hasn't appeared to have done much in terms of career move and she appears to provide some comfort to Lewis who is still grieving for his wife, Val, killed in a hit-and-run accident. The case remains unsolved until series three. It is Hathaway who finds out who actually killed Val in the accident. It is mainly until series four that they are forced to admit that there may be some added attraction between them and this continues right up until the very end, when in series seven, they get together in the episode, The Ramblin' Boy, originally split into two parts. Before that in series six, Lewis had to tend with DI Alan Peterson, who is considerably younger than him. Hathaway points out that Peterson will be Chief Constable one day and Lewis comments that he'll be retired by then. Alan asked Laura out to dinner in the last episode of series six, only for her to reveal to Lewis that Peterson is not her type of man. This implies that the pair still have feelings for one another. In the final episode of series seven and potential final episode, Lewis and Hobson are shown to be in a romantic relationship and are seen having dinner together in the second of the two parter, Intelligent Design. In the first episode of that two parter, Lewis reveals to Laura that he is considering retirement and she thinks that it is about time. The pair nearly kiss and are interrupted. Lewis is adjusting to being in a relationship with Laura after all these years of will-they-won't they? but admits it is a good strange. In series eight, Laura appears to be ill at ease at the idea of Lewis returning to the force but she soon comes to terms with the idea and fully supports his decision to rejoin.

Chief Superintendent Jim StrangeEdit

Chief Superintendent Jean InnocentEdit