Sergeant Hathaway

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James Hathaway
James Hathaway (right), with Robbie Lewis (left)
First appearance Reputation, 2006 TV
Portrayed by Laurence Fox
Aliases Jim, Atta-way Hathaway, W.C.(Wolfgang Christ), Boy Bloody Wonder
Gender Male
Occupation Police Detective in Oxfordshire CID
Title Detective Inspector (DI) [1]
Spouse(s) None
Children None
Nationality British

James Hathaway is the CID Detective Inspector working with Inspector Lewis in the ITV detective series Lewis (known as Inspector Lewis in the United States). He is played by Laurence Fox.

Hathaway portrays a Detective Sergeant until the final series of Lewis, scheduled to be completed in 2014, in which he is promoted to the rank of Inspector following a brief break from the police.[2]


Hathaway is highly knowledgeable and theological and often shows it. Lewis once called him "A walking Wikipedia", Jean Innocent added "only more accurate". Hathaway joined the police after abandoning the seminary, and sometimes expresses skepticism about religion – when Lewis states thankfully "There is a God", Hathaway replies "If I was sure of that ... I wouldn't have joined the police force" (in the episode "And the Moonbeams Kiss the Sea"). As the series progresses, however, Hathaway returns to his deeply held religious beliefs. In the episode, "Wild Justice", Lewis admires a sunset and exclaims, "Who needs God when you have that?" Hathaway quickly replied, "God is in everything". In the same episode, Hathaway expressed interest in teaching theology at a Christian Permanent Private Hall in Oxford if Lewis were to retire.

When he first appears, Hathaway is sergeant to DI Charles Knox, whom Lewis knew when Knox was a sergeant. Knox is shown taking a breathalyzer test and Hathaway states to Lewis that Knox will be put on immediate suspension for it. Hathaway is later reassigned to Lewis.[3]

Hathaway likes and plays music — world music, specifically, alongside rock, jazz, and chamber music. He is first seen playing an acoustic guitar with a group in the Series 1 episode "Old School Ties." At the beginning of the episode "Your Sudden Death Question," he gets ready to head to a festival of world music, toting his guitar, a Gibson L-5, which he refers to as "she." Later on in the episode, it's revealed that the guitar is worth over three thousand pounds.


Hathaway, like Inspector Morse, Lewis' old boss from his days as a Detective Sergeant, is cerebral. Unlike Morse, Hathaway is a Cambridge graduate, trained in Theology, and a rather successful athlete, as his nickname 'Atta-way Hathaway' (revealed by a rival coach at Oxford) would attest, being a rowing star while at Cambridge.[4] He subsequently trained for the priesthood in Oxford and entered the seminary. In the episode "Old School Ties" we are told by an ex-schoolmate of Hathaway's that he had been Head Boy of his school and nicknamed 'W.C.' - short for 'Wolfgang Christ' - because he "didn't know whether he wanted to be Mozart or Jesus".

Personal Life[edit]

In the third episode of the second series ("Life Born of Fire"), unlike Lewis, Hathaway's guilt at sharing the homophobic attitudes of some of his fellow trainees is revealed when he discovers that a suicide he is investigating is a former friend, Will McEwan, who broke off his friendship with him when Hathaway urged him to reject his homosexuality and that he would be punished by God for it. Hathaway acknowledges that he was blinded by religion and did not realize how he hurt Will.

Also in "Life Born of Fire", Hathaway refuses to directly answer Lewis's direct question as to whether or not he is gay, berating Lewis for drawing a "neat dividing line" between heterosexuals who "read Loaded and eat Yorkie bars" and homosexuals who like shoes and musicals. At the end of the episode Hathaway is seen reading a copy of Loaded and holding a Yorkie bar, alluding to the fact that he is heterosexual.[5]

In "The Dead of Winter", Hathaway appears to become romantically involved with a woman from his early teenage years (by going out on a date and then leaving her flat the next morning) who may or may not be suspect in a murder investigation. Lewis suspends him from the investigation fearing Hathaway crossed an ethical line. At the end of the episode Hathaway turns in his badge and tries to resign from the Police. Lewis refuses his resignation, and instead tells him: "Between the two of us we make one good Detective. I of course, am the brains".

In "The Point of Vanishing", it is disclosed that Hathaway and a female DS, now an Inspector, were romantically involved for some period of time.

In the first episode of series 3 there is slight reference to Hathaway's childhood. When his father is mentioned he becomes rather irritable and changes the subject rather quickly. In the first episode of series 4 it is mentioned that Hathaway's father was the estate manager at the estate of a lord and that Hathaway used to play with the other children who lived at the estate.

In the same episode Lewis and Hathaway deal with a difficult case involving a complex family relationship. The eventual outcome is difficult for Hathaway to digest, leading to conjecture that he may himself have some experience in the subject matter. This links back to "Life born of Fire", where John Jo a former friend of Hathaway's asserts his friend is not happy with his life. Something in Hathaway is always questioning his desires with his duties.

In the last episode of series 5 Hathaway informs Lewis that he was talent spotted for MI5 in university; this is neither confirmed nor denied by the end.

In the first episode of series 6, it is hinted that Hathaway is well known in the Oxbridge theology department. Hawes shows interest in Hathaway after he makes a comment on the subject he is discussing with Lewis, asking with a curious look, "What did you say your name was?" To which Hathaway replies, "Detective Sergeant Hathaway" with some coldness in his tone. This same episode again highlights Hathaway's awkwardness with women, with him being so nervous while talking to one that he ends up bowing to her, to which she replies with an exaggerated curtsy.


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