Last night I carved some time out of my evening to re-watch Old, Unhappy, Far-Off Things on DVD, the first episode of Inspector Lewis's fourth series (which I originally reviewed here). A couple of questions were raised in the comments section of my review post which I thought I'd try to address here, now that I've seen the full ninety-minute episode on DVD (since my PBS station still seems to cut anywhere from 6-10 minutes during their Masterpiece broadcasts).
The most prevailing question that was raised regarded the unexplained murder of the freshman student who discovered the first victim's body in the dormitory stairwell. I won't say the uncut version of this episode explains that in a satisfactory manner, but it helps, if marginally so. Hathaway spends a few minutes talking with the girl's distraught boyfriend, who mentions how she thought she heard the killer in the dorm stairwell. I can only think that viewers are supposed to make the jump that the crazy perp heard this rumor and decided to take pre-emptive action. I really think the script could've done a better job handling this "plot twist," but I won't quibble too much since the scene casts Hathaway in the role of comforter, which is nice. *wink*
The second scene I noticed that seemed rather expanded was when Chloe Brooks is under hypnosis, recalling the events leading up to the attack that left her comatose for ten years. The scene was rife with atmosphere and suspense, and its expansion left her storyline feeling a bit less rushed in my view.
The final thing I want to address is the whole Lewis/Hobson relationship -- or lack thereof, a jarring omission given some of the events long-time fans of this show saw in Series 3. At the tail end of this episode, there's a whole scene between Lewis and Hobson that is TOO PRECIOUS FOR WORDS (but I'll try anyway -- HA!!). While wrapping up the case, she suggests they go out for a pint -- he responds "make it dinner & I'll pay." There's this delightful little moment where Lewis is PRACTICALLY FLIRTING, but not really, because Lewis doesn't DO such things -- but his apology and Hobson's rejoinder leaves me convinced that all is not lost between these two. The 180-degree turn from last season still doesn't make perfect sense continuity-wise, but if the showrunners were going for a reset, that closing scene accomplishes that purpose, anyways.
That about covers the main "discrepancies," if you will, that I noticed between the broadcast and DVD versions of this episode.