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When the case against the Abingdon gang comes under scrutiny, Morse and Lewis must travel to Australia to locate their prime informant who was resettled there with his entire family in exchange for the information he provided the police. When they get there, they find the informant, Kenny Stone (now known as Mike Harding), is somewhat difficult to pin down. When they learn that someone in Mike's family subscribes to a newspaper from home, they fear that members of his old gang may also be looking for him. When Harding's daughter is kidnapped, they have two people to find, but not surprisingly Morse and the local constabulary knock heads from the outset. What Morse learns about the original convictions, however, turns the entire case on its head. Written by
Australian Sergeant Scott Humphries orders another cop to check where someone was between the hours of "half two and half three". This is a British way of saying the time, and there's nowhere in Australia, especially in country New South Wales, where anybody would say it that way. The correct Australian way would be to say "half past two and half past three". See more »
I love Inspector Morse and have waited a long time to see this episode. Being Australian it was wonderful to see the familiar setting, even though most of it was filmed out in the sticks. I was fascinated by Morse's opinion of Australia ("It's too empty"), and his struggle with the heat and the flies, while good old Lewis, known mostly as Robbie in this episode, loved it all ("This is like the Garden of Eden") and made the most of it, cooking his steak on the BBQ, drinking beer with the locals, etc.
The only thing that spoiled it for me was that about one third into the program, one of the local police said something like "between half-two and half-four", evidence that the script, even for the Australian characters, was really written by a Brit, not an Aussie. We don't say "half-two", "half-four", but "half past two" "half past four" etc. So when Aussie slang really was spoken later on, I couldn't help thinking it was all a bit contrived and not genuine.
It was wonderful seeing a very young Noah Taylor, he was by far the best of the Aussie actors on there.
The plot was confusing and not typical of Morse plots. I don't know if my brain was half asleep but it took me about half the episode before I could understand what was going on and figure out why Morse and Lewis had taken the trip down under.
Goosebumps moment: seeing Morse climb up the steps of the Sydney Opera House.
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