I would have thought Kevin Whatley has less options. No disrespect to the guy, but he is soon going to be too old for leading man material. So being in a series where your character, Lewis is actually in the title is no bad thing. I don't see Kevin Whatley being in anything as big again. It will be guest staring parts like he was in George Gently last year.
Whately has been wondering for a fews years whether he should carry on. Part of is thoughts about carrying on has been that there are people who get employed to the make the show and rely on him for some yearly work...how about that for a nice thing to think about in why you carry on - thinking about the effect on others.
But he has said he's been playing the role (not every year though) for 25years.
He was unsure of doing the Lewis series in the first place as he wasn;t sure he could step into Thaw's shoes as it were or whether the series would be good.
I think he has been great and the series have been as good as Morse.