Inspector Morse: Season 1, Episode 3

Service of All the Dead (20 Jan. 1987)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 272 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 1 critic

The members of a church who attended a particular service start to die one by one.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Morant ...
Ruth Rawlinson
John Normington ...
Lionel Pawlen
Maurice O'Connell ...
Harry Josephs
Judy Campbell ...
Mrs. Rawlinson
Doctor Starkie
Peter Woodthorpe ...
Norman Jones ...
James Griffiths ...
Paul Morris
Chrissy Iddon ...
Brenda Josephs
Karl Francis ...
Michael Goldie ...
Jimmy (as Michale Goldie)
Michael Fenner ...
Detective Constable Mitchell


Morse and Lewis investigate the murder of Harry Josephs, a warden at St. Oswald's church who is found dead immediately after a church service. The initial focus is on a tramp who attended the service but the autopsy reveals that Josephs died of an overdose of morphine. When others who attended the same service are killed - including the vicar Lionel Pawlin, the church organist Paul Morris, his 12 year old son and Harry Josephs' wife Brenda - Morse suspect that everyone who attended that particular service is in danger. However, the solution to the case revolves around deceit and mistaken identity. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

20 January 1987 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Gina McKee has a tiny role here as the betting shop clerk but she went on to have a big role in the Lewis episode "Old School Ties" playing Lewis' old flame Diane Turnbull. See more »


The word "defence" is spelt the American way with an 's' (defense) during the closing credits. See more »


[quoting the motto of St Augustine of Hippo]
Archdeacon: [chuckles] "Give me chastity and continence, O Lord - but not yet". That was his unregenerate motto.
See more »

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User Reviews

A weak end to the first series
1 March 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When a church warden is found dead under suspicious circumstances, Morse has a race against time to catch a serial killer....There are a total of six murders to solve, although Morse's prime suspect is one of the victims who meets a rather sticky end....The only connection between the victims was that they all attended the same church service....Could a seemingly innocent woman Morse takes a liking to be involved? Service of all the Dead is a rather ridiculous story that doesn't seem to have the thrill of most of the Morse franchise, even if the conclusion to the case is rather good.

As usual, John Thaw and Kevin Whately put in cherished performances, but it isn't enough to take away from the fact that Service of all the Dead is a slightly weak and over the top edition of this legendary police drama.

This was a rather subdued final episode for the first series. 6/10

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