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In this police series, situated in the stately area around Oxford, the mild mannered but nevertheless very thorough Chief Inspector Morse and his trusted colleague Detective Sergeant Lewis solve many murder mysteries. Every episode (of about 100 minutes) shows a complete story. Written by
Peter Zweers <email@example.com>
Colin Dexter named his two main characters after his favourite crossword compilers, Sir Jeremy Morse and Mrs. B. Lewis. Some of the other characters and places are named after local streets in Summertown (north Oxford) where Colin Dexter lives: Rawlinson Road (Ruth Rawlinson in Inspector Morse: Service of All the Dead (1987)), Aldrich Road (Phil Aldrich in Inspector Morse: The Wolvercote Tongue (1987)), Hobson Road (Laura Hobson, the pathologist in Series 8-12) and Lonsdale Road (Lonsdale College which features in several episodes). See more »
The flute in the theme music spells Morse's name in Morse code. Also, it sometimes spells the name of the murderer(!) and sometimes the name of an innocent character, to throw knowledgeable listeners off the trail. See more »
I think most people would agree, whether British or not, that Inspector Morse represents everything that is good about British television. In January 1987, the first television episode of Colin Dexter's intelligent series of novels was broadcast. Inspector Morse was perfect - the beautiful scenery of Oxford, the classic red Jaguar, the classical music and a superb, and at times moving, central performance by the man his co-star Kevin Whately would later describe, after his untimely death in 2002, as Britain's finest screen actor.
Until it finished in 2000, Inspector Morse captivated large audiences, intrigued by its complex plots, the towering performance of John Thaw and its amazing roll call of quality guest actors. The series oozed class from every pore, and will always be the greatest jewel in the magnificent career of the late John Thaw. I really cannot find enough words to explain just how good I think Thaw was in so many of his television and film roles, but Morse was the character in which he proved to television viewers that he was not only versatile but had a rare depth.
The early episodes are certainly my favourites, as they were adapting the existing stories. Later, as they ran out of Dexter's stories, they began writing stories to keep the popular series going. But throughout, we learn more and more about the mysterious, emotionally repressed and rather sad Inspector. Without doubt, this is the greatest modern murder mystery franchise, and the series so many have tried, and failed, to emulate since.
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