What with all the fuss about the Olympics, we at The Murder Mystery Company almost forgot one other significant tournament was playing out this year (has it really been twelve years?!) It's the TV Detective World Series! Obviously we are going to be watching this one closely - we even designed an event that celebrates this most wonderful of genres.
We need YOU to vote on the outcome. The TV Detective World Series is a democracy, with the viewing public deciding the victor in each round.
Round One - Match One
Of course Lewis was hoping for an easier first round. In fact talk around the dressing rooms suggested he fancied cutting his teeth against a Bergerac, or maybe even whoever was in Taggart after Taggart died. Of course Fletcher is one of the favourites coming in, but he knows that he was always going to have to face her eventually if he wants to get anywhere in this competition.
Lewis is hoping that after 33 episodes under his old boss Morse, and 20 with his own show, he has enough procedural experience to win the day.
Opening Round - Not Having A First Name
Fletcher takes an early knock with this one - everyone knows the name Jessica Fletcher, whether it's in the way her friends talk to her while she investigates a mysterious death, or on the cover of her countless mystery novels.
Lewis fares better, having been called ‘Lewis’ since primary school. However this is not a whitewash for him, as closer examination does show that he occasionally mentions his first name, which is Robert.
Round Two - Interfering
Fletcher comes back from the break fighting - nobody sticks their oar in where it is (initially) not wanted more than her. True, she invariably goes on to solve the murder, but that’s not before rubbing local law enforcement up the wrong way with her constant meddling.
Lewis, who is employed by Oxford Police Force as a Detective Sergeant and later Inspector, only interferes in an official capacity, so it’s a poor show for him this round.
Round Three - Uniqueness
Fletcher has no trouble dominating this round. She is an elderly woman who writes mystery novels, while in real life people in her extended social circle are being murdered by the dozen, forcing this fiction writer to flex her problem solving mind and catch the culprit... more than 200 times.
Lewis starts this round strongly, claiming an interest in the classics, real ale and opera. Then he remembers that was actually Morse. Flustered, he makes an amateur's mistake and falls back on ‘being a policeman’. This is lost under the undeniable uniqueness of Fletcher.
Round Four - The Show Title Just Being Your Surname
Fletcher takes a significant knock in this round, as not a single one of her 244 episodes was called 'Fletcher' - in fact each were called 'Murder, She Wrote'. Although Fletcher is the 'she' referred to in the title, there is no getting away from a poor showing on the day.
Lewis on the other hand plays a blinder. Even his former boss had to share title card space with the word 'Inspector', but Lewis goes title free and goes straight to surname. Not since Peter Falk stepped up to defend his title in 1988 has a contestant entered this round with the same confidence. But is it a case of too little too late for the Oxford crime solver?
It's too close to call. What the pundits predicted would be a whitewash for the 'elderly stateswoman' of TV Detection turned into an all-out battle for sleuthing supremacy. It's gone to the judges table, so now it's time for you to decide. Add your cheer-leading cries to the comments below, and get voting!