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.
Ailish Hurley was the bar manager of Chapter's Bar (now the Morse Bar), Randolph Hotel, Oxford. She was a good friend of Colin Dexter and was a continual source of inspiration to him, persuading him to carry on writing the Inspector Morse novels on which the TV series is based. As a mark of respect, he asked for her to be given a cameo role in the final Inspector Morse film, Inspector Morse: The Remorseful Day (2000), where she is briefly seen serving coffee to Morse and Sandra Harrison. Sadly, she died of cancer on 25 September 2005.
The main change between the original novels and the Inspector Morse (1987) TV series is that Morse's prurient and earthy interest in pornography and seedy striptease clubs is absent from the TV version.
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.
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).
In Endeavour: Pilot (2012), which is the spin-off of Inspector Morse (1987) series about Morse's early days when first joining the police force, Morse's creator Colin Dexter's love for crossword puzzles plays a major factor in the solving of the murders.
Music for the show was recorded at CTS Studios, Wembley, Middlesex (for the theme and score). Source and/or classical pieces were recorded at Rosslyn Hill Chapel, Hampstead. CTS Studios recordings were by Dave Hunt and Rosslyn Chapel recordings by John Taylor.
According to Kevin Whateley, John Thaw claimed that he had witnessed the vintage Jaguar that his title character used being written off several times in The Sweeney. Apparently it was in real life a 'polished up wreck' and the reason Thaw was frequently seen in close up driving the vehicle was that it was being towed because it had broken down.