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Inspector Morse (1987–2000)

TV Series  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Reviews: 31 user | 18 critic

Inspector Morse has an ear for music, a taste for beer and a nose for crime. He sets out with Sergeant Lewis to solve each intriguing case.

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9 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete series cast summary:
 Chief Inspector Morse (33 episodes, 1987-2000)
 Detective Sergeant Lewis (32 episodes, 1987-2000)
James Grout ...
 Chief Superintendent Strange (22 episodes, 1987-2000)


First broadcast in 1987, the Inspector Morse series is a cops and 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 Bai

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Crime | Drama | Mystery


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Official Sites:




Release Date:

4 February 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Inspecteur Morse  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(33 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


John Thaw was 44 when he began playing Morse. See more »


Morse: Ideals come to torment us all at some stage, or at least they should do.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »


Featured in Crime Connections: Episode #1.2 (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Thaw brought greatness to a pretty good cop character
11 July 2004 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

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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The show hasn't aged well. bookme120
First-time viewer with questions podracer96
Is the music different in British and US versions? nanonta
What is the incidental music played flightcontroller
Beer Drinking rarebreedpictures
Why was Morse depicted so much older than Thaw was? atukana
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