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.
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 »
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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