Inspector Lewis (2006–2015)
7 user 1 critic

The Ramblin' Boy: Part 1 

When a body discovered in a wooded area is found already embalmed, the logical conclusion is that a murder victim must have been cremated in his place.


Dan Reed (as Daniel Reed)


Colin Dexter (inspired by the Inspector Morse novels of), Lucy Gannon (screenplay)


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Simon Wilson ... Dr. Matt Whitby
Lia Williams ... Emma Barnes
Mark Powley ... Jack Cornish
Tom Brooke ... Brian Miller
Peter Davison ... Peter Faulkner
Camilla Power ... Tara Faulkner
Harriet Ballard ... Ruth Wilson
Taron Egerton ... Liam Jay
Nicholas McGaughey Nicholas McGaughey ... Johnny Jay
Jessica Harris Jessica Harris ... Beverley Miller
Kevin Whately ... DI Robert Lewis
Lucy Speed ... Louise Cornish
Clare Holman ... Dr. Laura Hobson
Anthony Edridge Anthony Edridge ... Tim
Victoria Ball Victoria Ball ... Amy




With Hathaway on leave Lewis has eager D.C. Gray to assist as he investigates the discovery of the corpse of an elderly man in a field. The body was stolen from Millers' undertakers and another cremated in its place. At the same time Lewis is concerned that a colleague, Jack Cornish, has left his family for an affair with Tara Faulkner, whose husband Peter owns Millers. Tara's brother, Dr Whitby, who confirmed the death of the elderly man as caused by cancer, is found dead, made to look like suicide. He and his partner, lecturer Emma Barnes, had been dinner guests at the Faulkners, along with Jack Cornish and Brian Miller and his wife where Jay, Emma's student who sometimes worked at the funeral parlour, had been a waiter. Jay was also the last person to see Dr Whitby alive. Cornish disappears but he has not run away with Tara, who is shocked by her brother's death. Jay is anxious to tell Lewis something but is discovered at the undertakers close to death, having been attacked. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The title of this episode, "The Ramblin' Boy," refers to the 1964 Tom Paxton song. The father and son are singing the song in the opening scene. And--near the end of the episode--the son, sitting on a bench, is listening to it over his headphones as Lewis approaches him See more »


Dr. Laura Hobson: You just can't get enough of me, can you?
[teasing voice]
DI Robert Lewis: I'll take out a restraining order if you don't pack it in.
See more »


References Another Fine Mess (1930) See more »


Ramblin' Boy
See more »

User Reviews

The Ramblin' Boy: The first half
22 June 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Hearing about 'Lewis' for the first time when it first started, there was a big touch of excitement seeing as 'Inspector Morse' was and still is one of my favourites but also a little intrepidation, wondering whether the series would be as good. The good news is, like the prequel series 'Endeavour', 'Lewis' is every bit as good as 'Inspector Morse' and stands very well on its own two feet as a detective mystery and show in general.

'Lewis' was a show that started off promisingly with the pilot and the first season, while getting even better with a more settled Season 2 where the show hit its stride. Season 3 was more of a mixed bag (not a bad season at all, but started a little disappointingly, though better than reputed, with one of the show's generally lesser episodes "Allegory of Love"). Season 4 generally was one of the better seasons of 'Lewis', with all the episodes very good to great, and Season 5 was solid with the only disappointment being "The Mind Has Mountains".

Season 6 started off very well with "The Soul of Genius", while "Generation of Vipers" was even better. Unfortunately, "Fearful Symmetry" was very disappointing and has always been one of my least favourite 'Lewis' episodes. Luckily, "The Indelible Stain" saw the sixth season back on track.

The seventh season is certainly not terrible with enough strengths to compensate for misgivings, but has suffered from the bizarre decision to split (or chop, which is more appropriate) the episodes into two halves with a week's hiatus, which didn't work in "Down Among the Fearful" and works even less in this "The Ramblin' Boy".

Certainly there are good elements. The acting is fine, Kevin Whately is very good as pretty much always while Rebecca Front and Clare Holman are just as good (really like the chemistry between Lewis and Hobson, very warm and sweet and should be developed even more). Babou Ceesay does a good job as Gray, Hathaway's temporary replacement, bringing an appealing quiet determination that suited the character very well. The supporting cast are without complaint too.

Production values are of very high quality. It's beautifully shot as always, and Oxford not only looks exquisite but is like a supporting character in itself. Barrington Pheloung returns as composer, and does a first-rate job. The theme tune, while not as iconic or quite as clever as Morse's, is very pleasant to listen to, the episode is charmingly and hauntingly scored and the use of pre-existing music is very well-incorporated (such as the lovely "Salut D'Amour").

Some thoughtful moments in the script, with a nice nod it seems to the classic 'Inspector Morse' episode "Deceived By Flight".

However, although Ceesay as said does well his character doesn't have the same spark as Hathaway, a character who the show just isn't the same without. He and Lewis don't have the same chemistry, which is pretty bland here.

Biggest problem is the story, even in the first half and it gets even more problematic in the second half, it suffers from trying to do too much with so many characters and subplots so the episode feels rushed and bloated. With a constant who is who feel and some subplots still a little vague and not as interesting as ought, the case just feels over-complicated.

Overall, not bad but very patchy, not 'Lewis' at its best. 6/10 Bethany Cox

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Release Date:

23 June 2013 (USA) See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
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