Inspector Morse: Season 4, Episode 4

Masonic Mysteries (24 Jan. 1990)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 270 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

Morse finds himself framed for murder by an unknown mastermind and suspended as Lewis is seconded to DCI Bottomley, who is in charge of the case.



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Title: Masonic Mysteries (24 Jan 1990)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Madelaine Newton ...
Beryl Newsome
Celestine Randall ...
Sandra Machin
Roland Oliver ...
John Arthur ...
Hall Porter
James Grout ...
Richard Kane ...
Chief Inspector Bottomley
Steven Elliot ...
Officious Constable (as Steven Elliott)
Richard Huw ...
Iain Cuthbertson ...
Desmond McNutt
PC Mike Butterworth
Diane Fletcher ...
Marion Brooke


Morse finds himself the subject of a murder investigation when his friend, Beryl Newsome, is murdered at a rehearsal of the Magic Flute and he foolishly touches the murder weapon. Morse is suspended and DCI Bottomley, with DS Lewis assisting him, is put in charge of the case. Morse feels that he was set-up and looks to his past to see who, among the many criminals he arrested, might now be setting about seeking revenge. When someone scratches masonic symbols all over his car and he is reported for erratic driving, Morse wonders if Masons may somehow be involved. When a large number of his personal items are found in Beryl's apartment, Morse is placed under arrest. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

24 January 1990 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(dvd release)


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Colin Dexter, Julian Mitchell:  during the opening scene of the Magic Flute rehearsal, as two members of the chorus (there is a single shot framing just the two of them). See more »


Roland Oliver is billed in the credits as "Roland Pliver". When the credits were re-made to suit ITV's new house style, he became "Poland Oliver". See more »


Chief Inspector Morse: Lewis, do you believe in evil?
Detective Sergeant Lewis: What?
Chief Inspector Morse: No, no. It's no use blaming things on the Devil or God, but some people seem to be wicked for the sake of it. There may not be a devil, but there's devilry all right.
See more »


Referenced in Endeavour: Trove (2014) See more »


The Magic Flute
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1791)
Sung my choir and heard on several recordings including one conducted by Arturo Toscanini
See more »

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User Reviews

My all time favourite episode! Just a classic!
4 July 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This episode is just brilliant, well constructed, complex and resolutely creepy. Here Morse is framed for murder, and has to find who is trying to get at him so badly. John Thaw once again is phenomenal as Morse, and Kevin Whately matches him perfectly. The main reason why this episode is so special to me, is because of the music featured, excerpts from Mozart's Magic Flute, an opera I took part in recently. The music was perfect, as Mozart himself was considered a mason, and it actually gave some weight to some tense scenes, like the fire in Morse's house with the Water and Fire duet (you also find out that Morse hates the Toscanini recording of the Magic Flute, causing him to say "I wouldn't allow it in the house"). The supporting actors were also fine, especially Diane Fletcher as Marian Brooke. My favourite though has to be Iain McDairmund as DeVries, a cool and calculating villain who does give you goosebumps. The scene when Beryl gets stabbed while on the telephone is quite terrifying, mainly because of the scream, it's enough to make your blood run cold. Anyway, DeVries is one of my favourite Morse villains, not quite as good as Keith Allen's John Peter Barrie, but convincing enough to remember him. The dialogue and the camera-work is as expected nothing short of excellent. All in all, wonderful! 10/10 Bethany Cox.

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