Character actor Michael Shannon has been nominated for his second Oscar for his role in the 2016 thriller Nocturnal Animals. "No Small Parts" takes a look at some of the other characters he's played in the past.
Set in the 1960s, the show follows Endeavour Morse in his early years as a police constable. Working alongside his senior partner DI Fred Thursday, Morse engages in a number of investigations around Oxford.
With the help of DS John Bacchus, Inspector George Gently spends his days bringing to justice members of the criminal underworld who are unfortunate enough to have the intrepid investigator assigned to their cases.
With her caustic wit and singular charm, DCI Vera Stanhope and her trusted right-hand man DS Joe Ashworth face a series of captivating murder mysteries set against the breathtaking Northumberland landscape.
As WW2 rages around the world, DCS Foyle fights his own war on the home-front as he investigates crimes on the south coast of England. Later series sees the retired detective working as an MI5 agent operating in the aftermath of the war.
First broadcast in 1987, the Inspector Morse series is a crime drama based on the Colin Dexter novels of the same name. The show is based around the exciting exploits of Morse - a senior officer within the Criminal Investigation Department of the Oxford Police - as he investigates heavy crimes in and around Oxford with his sidekick, Sergeant Lewis. Morse is a grumpy classical music aficionado who loves beer, and who frequently loses patience with the earnest but somewhat slow Lewis. Written by
In Colin Dexter's original novels, Morse drove a Lancia. However John Thaw, who had played Jack Regan in the 1970s series The Sweeney (1975) which featured a lot of Jaguars as villains' getaway cars, insisted that Inspector Morse would have driven an iconic British car, and never an Italian sports car. Dexter was so impressed with this reasoning that he asked his publishers to change "Lancia" to "Jaguar" in all subsequent reprints of his novels. 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 »
Thaw brought greatness to a pretty good cop character
This is one of the truly great British mystery series. Colin Dexter's novels for me are a bit like Shakespeare's plays - better to see them played out in a dramatic fashion than try to wade through all the details on the pages. Dexter obviously likes words, so naturally his famous detective will be a lover of crosswords and puzzles. A cultured, educated man who none the less loves fast cars (his trademark red Jaguar is as well-known an icon as Magnum's red Ferrari), whisky, women (although he doesn't seem very lucky with them), and of course, a good pint of REAL beer.
While a bit too old to do something along the lines of Regan in "The Sweeney", Thaw still brought enormous energy and presence to the Morse role.
His "sidekick", Sgt Lewis, is the perfect counterpart to Morse's sometimes-overly-intellectual approach to policing. In the books, Lewis comes off as rather thick, and at times a bit servile, and Morse seems to treat him accordingly; Kevin Whatley transformed Lewis into more of a sort of "everyman's genius", someone with whom Morse could actually collaborate. "Promised Land", in which the pair travel to Australia, is one of the better ones for seeing how the two relate to each other. The series sometimes amused the real-life police of the Thames Valley, for it raised Oxford's murder rate to ridiculously high levels. Some of the earlier shows moved at the pace of the books... a little sluggish, which when combined with odd camera angles - e.g. through distorting glass objects - sometimes made the viewer feel drowsy. Always a mistake to nod off, though. Morse is usually so overconfident in his suspicions that the real killer goes uncaught, and where Morse goes, murder almost certainly follows.
My favorite episode? "Masonic Mysteries", a real spine-tingler where a man Morse put away years ago comes back to haunt him, and lands the detective in jail for murder. Ian McDiarmid (Star Wars' Emperor) is simply... spooky.
A fantastic series. If you have doubts, watch that episode.
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