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Reviews & Ratings for
"Inspector Morse" Dead on Time (1992)

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16 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Actually one of the more poignant Morse episodes!

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
7 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Dead On Time is beautiful, and very sad towards the end. One thing that stood out was the beautiful music by Schubert playing over the first five minutes or so. It perfectly matched what was on screen, and somehow made the scene very poignant. The plot is fairly complex, with the apparent suicide of an elderly don, and we learn that the victim's wife, played by a sympathetic Joanna David, and Morse some 30 years previously were engaged to be married. The plot then reveals a car crash, resulting in the death of the victim's daughter and grandson, but this unfolds after the son-in-law is implicated for the murder of his father-in-law. I thought the ending was extremely sad, with Susan killing herself, and Morse refuses to accept that he is wrong, as he thinks the family doctor did it, in a conspiracy between him and the victim to implicate the son-in-law, but Lewis learns that Susan did it to fulfil her husband's promise. The writers quite sensibly made Morse more sensitive here, but I did find him very scary in the interview room scene, that is all thanks to the outstanding performance of John Thaw. Kevin Whately matches him perfectly as his loyal sergeant Lewis, even more so when he can't bring himself to tell Morse the truth, and James Grout, Joanna David, Adrian Dunbar and Samantha Bond provide able support. All in all, an episode that is most likely to tug at your heart-strings. 10/10 Bethany Cox.

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Best episode in regard to insight into Morse's character (development)

Author: clemsamlang
10 May 2014

I watched this episode yesterday and was so deeply impressed I decided to register just for delivering a review.

I've watched a good half of all episodes and will recommend this one URGENTLY to you… … but ONLY if you have watched at least 5 others previously !

The episodes' s plot is Shakespearean fiendish (though not entirely selfish). It reeks of revenge, love, hatred, lost possibilities and much more. Including even a "Deus ex machina" ...

It is most revealing of Morse's character - who is drawn very personally into this murder case. So far indeed as to loose his grip on evidence, motives etc. Which gives Lewis a chance to rise above his usual role - indicating the attitude he will come to be loved for in his much later role as detective in his own right …

At first it seems soooo simple - but then "fate" starts to entangle all players into her fangs. Yet things eventually turn out quite differently! You'll only get an insight into what's occurred when Morse's finally "left" …

OH - and a goodie at the end: The title has a threefold meaning, an a) literal b) metaphorical and c) technical one … ;-)

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Morse meets an old flame

Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
28 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When a terminally ill man, Henry Fallon, is found slumped over his desk with the gun that killed him beside him it looks like a clear cut case of suicide. Morse takes a keen interest in the case though as it turns out he was once engaged to the man's widow, Susan. She has been beset with tragedy; not only is her husband dead; her only daughter was killed in a car crash along with her grandson several years before. When Henry's GP returns from his holiday he contacts the police to let them know that he believes it would have been impossible for him to have shot himself in the condition he was in... if that is true it must have been murder! The most likely suspect is the man who found him; Henry's son in law Peter Rhodes; an antiques dealer who had been promised a large loan by Henry but the latter had changed his mind. As the case progresses Morse spends more time with Susan; it is clear that he still has feelings for her; possibly enough to cloud his judgement. Lewis meanwhile discovers evidence that points to another suspect...

The series often has a sense of tragedy about it; this is particularly true in this episode... one just knows that things can't work out for Morse and Susan as that would change Morse's character too much; even so it is impossible not to hope it will at least end in a good way for them... of course it doesn't; at it would have ended even worse if Lewis had told Morse what he had learnt. John Thaw puts in another fine performance as Morse, showing the character's romantic side; in a subtle way of course. Kevin Whately was also good as Lewis; showing how much he cares about his boss. The regulars are ably supported by actors, including Adrian Dunbar, Samantha Bond, David Haig and Joanna David.

It made a nice change to have a murder mystery where there wasn't another killing every half hour; we only had to wonder who the killer was and why they did it rather than constantly thinking which character was going to be murdered next!

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Means more than what it lets through

Author: Halfang from London
6 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This review is specifically a reply to besah's one, since he did a good job, but certainly needs a second watching.

The characters in this episode are, to say the least, strange. All of them give a little to add to the great whole. Morse explores his past, and to do so he requires a "visit" from the almost-to-be Ms Morse, which certainly is a visit from the past.

However, Morse lives in the present, and his new life (hello there, Lewis) brings new perspectives to old matters. As you will see in this episode, there is a great deal of your favourite Morse, but underlying, and more subtly, is a greater deal of your (if not yet favourite, then soon-to-be) Lewis.

Looking at the plot, is sort of realistic-ish, but as Maigret said, "wheter you pulled the trigger is irrelevant". I wasn't so much concerned about who had done it, but the reasons for doing so, and how would that affect Morse. Thankfully, Lewis was there caring for him. Morse would never know, but we did, thanks to this brilliant episode.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Transfer Morse Off the Case; Fire Lewis!

Author: macpet49-1 from United States
18 January 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Morse can't keep from falling for women who do not love him! It's scary. He only wants either completely obvious psychopaths, sadists, liars or borderlines. He's drawn to them. If there's a female character in the drama with mental issues, he's in love. This one is from his past and he becomes ga-ga boy again. The fact that he didn't excuse himself from the case for being too close to one of the persons involved or that his boss didn't chuck him is inexcusable. To top it off Lewis who is normally the sane policeman with homespun common sense is cowardly throughout. He keeps the truth he suspects from Morse all along the way hampering the investigation. That he destroys evidence in the end just to save Morse's illusions reveals that he is at heart a bad cop. I loved this series up until this episode. I'm really finding it difficult to watch further episodes after this. I dislike Lewis anyway and in that he takes over eventually, I don't see any point. It's not believable that someone as inept as Lewis could make Inspector eventually. Shame on the series makers for not holding these characters accountable.

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3 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Never a rose without the thorn.

Author: Robert J. Maxwell ( from Deming, New Mexico, USA
26 February 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A disabled man is found dead in his wheelchair, his head blown apart by the shotgun in his own hands. Looks like a suicide, but nothing is ever that simple in this series. Morse discovers that the man was incapable of handling the gun, so the notion arises that someone either helped him along in putting an end to his distress or possibly did it without his consent.

There's another sticky problem. Morse was once "engaged to be married" to the man's wife, a rather nice-looking blond. She at least seems not to have been involved because she was in London delivering a lecture on the afternoon of the death.

Morse suspects an antique dealer who found the body and notified the police and he hounds the poor guy mercilessly. Well, in fact, the man is guilty of some abhorrent act but not the crime now under investigation.

A lot hinges on the time line. Who was where at the time of the death? And the reckoning of those locations is complicated by the fact that the telephone was out during the afternoon in question. The crime seems impossible as it now stands. It sounds like Agatha Christie.

In this episode the only person to figure it all out is Sergeant Lewis. Morse can't bring himself even to consider the possibility that his erstwhile fiancée had anything to do with the shooting. As Lewis, Whately gets to give a thoughtful and sensitive dramatic performance for a change. Usually he's just Morse's non-U punching bag.

The character of Inspector Morse devolves into melodrama in this episode. Interrogating his favorite suspect after suffering a traumatic experience, Morse goes berserk, leaps on the man, and begins to strangle him. He's dragged away by Lewis and reprimanded by his superior.

I am plowing through these episodes one after another, and I sincerely hope this one doesn't adumbrate the introduction of more dramatic features of Morse's personal life. Honestly, I don't want Morse to start falling in love, or weeping over the abuse he suffered in childhood, or discovering that there is a God after all. Not an ordinary Christian God anyway. It might be interesting if he had a Road to Damascus experience and converted to Theravada Buddhism.

But, please folks, no more anguish, no murderous rages. Morse is already an unlikable character -- dour and snobby -- but is somewhat redeemed by his few human qualities. The last thing I want is Morse giving up his beer and becoming a vegetarian and a docile husband and loving father. Let us never see him squinting at Oxford and talking with a sneer about all those fatuous, effete, whining, egghead, cry babies and trust fund children who go there, or the supercilious, pompous, inflated, poufs who run the place. And I don't want to know any more about his private life or his past than I already do. Let him carry on as he is.

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4 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Morse and the ex fiancée

Author: besah from Australia
30 July 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Morse is called in to investigate the apparent suicide of Henry Fallon who, suffering from a fatal disease, appears to have shot himself. Complicating matters is the reappearance of the victims wife who was, at one time, engaged to be married to Morse - Susan Fallon.

Suspician falls on Peter Rhodes,who was responsible for the deaths of Henry and Susan Fallon's daughter and grandchild. However, nothing about this murder is what it appears.

This episode fully explores the relationship between Morse and Lewis which has not, in my opinion, been given full credit. There are few partnerships that have the chemistry of these two characters.

After all the hype surrounding this episode it failed to live up to expectation. Perhaps I should watch it again and give it another chance.

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