The popular series centred around Detective Inspector Robbie Lewis, played by Kevin Whately, returns to ITV1 this Sunday, and writer Stephen Churchett was heavily involved in turning Lewis into a leading man after writing the final episode of Inspector Morse, when Lewis was Morse's sidekick.
"The big thing when we started Lewis was he had to be his own man," Churchett told the Radio Times.
"We were determined to take him away from the shadow of Morse. So on the pilot we discovered that he'd been away and that he'd had this big tragedy, which was his wife being run over - and that's addressed and put to bed in this series."
Whately told the magazine: "I thought the story about his wife was getting a little soapy. So I asked if it could be rounded off. But they did some market research and it turned out people were fascinated by it, so I had to eat my words!"
Churchett said he saw Lewis's grief as part of the ongoing appeal.
"Your leading copper has to be unhappy, really," he said.
"The only show where he's happily married that I can think of is Midsomer Murders.
"So Lewis won't find any happiness if I have anything to do with it. I can't imagine a wedding scene with Lewis."