Fourth season of the sly, complex adventures of art connoisseur Lovejoy, artfully played with strength and a mellow voice by Ian McShane, opens with an Irish gambol about a retired, world-famous actress feigning illness, her ex-lover, and a long-missing holy book. McShane saves the day and the program for A&E, but it wouldn't last a sec on U.S. nets.

Fourth season of the sly, complex adventures of art connoisseur Lovejoy, artfully played with strength and a mellow voice by Ian McShane, opens with an Irish gambol about a retired, world-famous actress feigning illness, her ex-lover, and a long-missing holy book. McShane saves the day and the program for A&E, but it wouldn’t last a sec on U.S. nets.

McShane’s usual three associates are ready to help: Dudley Sutton as properly dressed Tinker, Chris Jury as his assistant Eric, and Phyllis Logan’s shining Lady Jane — regrettably, Logan’s taking a hike from the series soon.

T.R. Bowen’s tricky script centers around the unearthing of a page from the rare book — and eventually the book’s hiding place. Along the way McShane encounters the actress (Stella McCusker) and her con-man adviser (T.P. McKenna), and mad Hennessey (John Kavanagh).

Lovejoy Mysteries Irish Stew

(Mon. (6), 10-11 p.m., A&E)

Production

Filmed in Ireland by BBC and Witzend/McShane Prods. Exec producer for Witzend/McShane, Tony Chares; producer, Emma Hayter; director, John Crome; writer, T.R. Bowen; creator, Ian La Frenais; based on books by Jonathan Gash.

Crew

Camera, Colin Case, Paul Perryment; editor, Fran McLean; production designer, Francis Boyle; sound, Barrie Tharby, Gordon Lester; music, Denis King.

Cast

Cast: Ian McShane, Phyllis Logan, Dudley Sutton, Chris Jury, John Kavanagh, T.P. McKenna, Stella McCusker, Jim Norton, Garrett Keogh, Ronan Wilmot, Siobhan McCarthy, Andrew Connolly, Stephen Duning, Cathleen Delaney, Robert Doolin, Stewart Dunne, Siobhan Miley.
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