A sociopathic but clever murderer who believes in the occult escapes from prison and returns to Oxford, and it is up to Morse to stop him.




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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Peter Barrie
Dr. Esther Martin
Patrick O'Connell ...
Jack Vaizey
Anthony Hunt ...
Young Porter
Lloyd McGuire ...
John Bleasdale ...
Aran Bell ...
PC Pringle
Richard Graham ...
PC Cobbs
James Grout ...
Susan Ellen Flynn ...
Patrick Drury ...
Frank McTeer
Peter Attard ...
Mack Shaw
Larry Broomfield


When John Peter Barrie escapes from a maximum security mental institution, the police assign all available resources to finding him. Barrie is a dangerous sex offender known as the Devil's Disciple. Morse is assisted by Barrie's psychiatrist, Dr. Esther Martin. Barrie contacts Morse and they begin a deadly game of cat and mouse. When Morse refuses to play the game Barrie's way, the madman kidnaps a woman and demands that Dr. Martin be held for a future exchange. As the investigation proceeds, Morse believes Barrie has accomplices in the area but after a local cultist is killed, he realizes he has been looking in wrong direction all along. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

13 January 1993 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Near the beginning, when the female doctor is carrying her shopping, the location is Hyde Heath, Buckinghamshire See more »


Chief Inspector Morse: We're about to enter the Third Millennium, Canon.
Canon Humphrey Appleton: Yes, but the occult will always be with us, Chief Inspector. It reflects a part of our nature.
See more »


String Sextet No. 1 in B-flat major, op. 18, Andante
by Johannes Brahms
See more »

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User Reviews

good for a few laughs
15 August 2014 | by (New Orleans, USA) – See all my reviews

This episode concerns an escapee from a mental hospital who is violent criminal and also a "Satanic fundamentalist." Gee whillikers! The plot has some interesting twists and turns, to be sure, building toward a dramatic resolution which is satisfying on some level. But the content is pure Satanic-panic stuff, very characteristic of its time and highly suspect. (There's much talk here of Lammas Day, when "the devil is paid homage," but in fact Lammas is an old harvest festival. In medieval Britain this was the "Loaf Mass" when people would bring a loaf of bread to church. Not very Satanic, I'm afraid.) The climactic Black Mass ritual in the woods is simply laughable. In the end, it's enjoyable in the way that cheesy low-budget horror films can be enjoyed. Pursue this case at your own risk. For my money, the most interesting scene is a discussion between Morse and a female cop which gets into the value of feminism. A subtle moment but intriguing. Watch for it.

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