I picked up the television guide last night and was delighted. There was a new detective drama – Lewis.
I didn’t need to read further – I knew who Lewis was. The Geordie policeman, constantly running to try to keep up with his irascible and arrogant superior, had been a familiar face for years.
I shed a tear when his old boss died, irascible and arrogant he may have been, but Inspector Morse was a hero to me. Perhaps Morse had to die, the wonderful John Thaw was terminally ill and no-one else could possibly have been Morse, but I still miss the familiar theme tune and the red Jaguar and the sublime musical interludes.
Now Lewis is back. An inspector, grieving the loss of his wife in a hit and run accident and still missing his old boss, back from a two year detachment. He is a different Lewis, more confident, but also more introspective, with a Hathaway, an Oxbridge graduate who comes with all the learning of Morse.
Hathaway is a failed seminarian. Lewis makes a scathing reference to what he refer to as religious mumbo-jumbo and Hathaway immediately retorts, “It’s not my fault your wife died, sir”.
It seemed a sharp reply, almost cutting, but perhaps Hathaway is speaking the truth as bluntly as dear Morse would have done. Perhaps Christians accept blame on behalf of God for things in which God has no hand or part.
If we didn’t pretend that we had an understanding we don’t possess, we wouldn’t be criticised for not explaining the inexplicable.