After a young woman aspiring to the priesthood dies while taking her exams, possibly from poison, Morse connects the death to a weight loss company.




On Disc

at Amazon



Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Maurice Denham ...
Lance Mandeville
Geoffrey Boyd
Julian Gartside ...
Desmond Kelly
Caroline Ryder ...
Dinah Newberry
Emma Pickford
Hilary Dobson
Sarah Carpenter ...
Victoria Hazlett
Una Brandon-Jones ...
Nadine Stacey
Arbel Jones ...
Jane Barnes
Nicholas Selby ...
Dr Corder
Eileen Dunwoodie ...
Mrs Gardam
Kenneth Haigh ...
Freddie Galt
Tilly Vosburgh ...
Irene Saunders


Victoria Hazlett is a brilliant student who aspired to the priesthood in the Anglican Church. When she collapses and dies during an exam, the post-mortem reveals that she was likely poisoned, but the pathologist can't quite identify one of the substances found in her system. Victoria was a member of a group that advocated women priests and ran a shelter for women who required assistance in their life. Several members of the group feel that an anti-womens' group led by the Reverend Geoffrey Boyd is responsible, but there is little evidence. There is a link to a nearby weight loss clinic. Morse is quite attracted to one of the women in the group but is taken aback when he learns she lied to him about her whereabouts the night before Victoria died. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

27 February 1991 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(dvd release)


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


HERE BE SPOILERS After Morse has spent the night (off-screen) with Emma Pickford (Zoë Wanamaker), he comes into work in an unusually cheerful mood and we hear the famous Morse theme tune, for once, in a major key. See more »


Arbel Jones's character is listed as John Barnes instead of Jane Barnes. See more »


Lance Mandeville: [as Morse is leaving the interrogation room] I stake my oath that Geoffrey is neither a murderer nor a thief, and may God forgive you, Chief Inspector.
Chief Inspector Morse: I doubt if your God would have much truck with the likes of me. At least I hope he wouldn't.
[He leaves]
See more »

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User Reviews

Not Morse's best, but still very well done!
6 July 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As much as I like Fat Chance, I do think it is one of the weaker Morse episodes. I will say that this is probably the only episode that had a final solution that left me rather baffled. The pace of the episode was also slightly uneven, however there is a lot to recommend it. The main attraction of the series has always been John Thaw's performance as the title character, which is nothing short of outstanding, and even that word doesn't do justice to his performance. The episode does have an intriguing plot, excellent performances and an intelligent script, not to mention the immortal soundtrack. But for me, the highlight of Fat Chance was Morse's relationship with Emma Pickford, marvellously played by Zoe Wannamaker, and the episode ends wondering will Morse find his true love? Certainly not my favourite episode, but intriguing and well acted. 8/10 Bethany Cox.

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