Inspector Morse (1987–2000)
6 user 2 critic

Last Bus to Woodstock 

A young blonde hitches a late lift from a bus stop and ends up dead in a pub car park.



(novel), (screenplay)

On Disc

at Amazon



Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Bernard Crowther
Clive Palmer
Mrs. Jarman
Jennifer Coleby
Angie Hartman
Paul Geoffrey ...
Peter Newlove
Ingrid Lacey ...
Mary Widdowson
Shirley Dixon ...
Margaret Crowther
Ian Sears ...
John Sanders
Perry Fenwick ...
Shirley Stelfox ...
Mrs. Kane
Jenny Jay ...
Sylvia Kane


Morse and Lewis investigate the murder of a young woman, Sylvia Kane, found dead in a pub car park. She was last seen at a bus stop asking for the times of the bus to Woodstock and was to meet as friend at the same pub where she was found. She had accepted a lift from someone in a red car and the police find an envelope on the dead girl addressed to Jennifer Coleby, a co-worker. This leads Morse to uncover a complex set of social inter-relationships and eventually, the girl's killer. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

22 March 1988 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(dvd release)


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Did You Know?


This is the last episode featuring Peter Woodthorpe as pathologist Max. See more »


Vass Anderson is billed as "Mrs. Bentley" instead of Mr. Bentley in the credits. See more »


Chief Inspector Morse: It's murder, Lewis.
Detective Sergeant Lewis: Why do you say that?
Chief Inspector Morse: Scratches on the face, coded messages. It's right up my street.
See more »

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User Reviews

"I've always loved detectives!"
28 April 2015 | by (Middle Earth) – See all my reviews

Last Bus to Woodstock is one of the best Morse episodes,, certainly my favorite episode of season two. It gets the balance just right. Morse is at his most courteous - there's plenty of Lewis and Max (unfortunately, this is Max's last episode) - there's talk about religion, literature, sex, love, all the stuff we love about the show. It also manages to be reasonably coherent; I could keep up with the characters; the conclusion only had one out-of-place coincidence.

There are a few men, but the focus is really on the splendid female characters, from Fabia Drake, above, as the lovely, lovely Mrs. Jarman (this terrific sequence is exactly what would happen if Marple met Morse - and come to think of it, that's a series crossover that really should happen) to Holly Aird as Angie Hartmann, a young woman who shares Morse's love of literature.

Morse has lots of good conversations with interesting women, but doesn't date any of them, interestingly. (I understand this was not the case in the book.) Relationships (as noted in this review) tend to be shown in a very poor light - and Morse is about the only positive male character. The theme is most blatant in a scene in which Morse lectures Lewis for adopting a proprietorial tone towards Valerie: "I don't want to own anyone." Could a relationship based not on possession but on love be the answer? Is that even possible? The question is left hanging.

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