Inspector Morse (1987–2000)
4 user 1 critic

The Last Enemy 

A headless, armless, footless body of a murdered academic is found in Oxford Canal and his investigation leads to petty hatred and jealousy among the local academia.



(story), (screenplay)

On Disc

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Amanda Hillwood ...
Arthur Drysdale
Tenniel Evans ...
Dr. David Kerridge
Deborah Burns
Carol Sharp
Miss Tree
Bert Parnaby ...
Mr. Collins
Pauline Munro ...
Chris Stoneley
Kevin McMonagle ...


When a decapitated body is found in the canal, the police must first identify the victim. The Master of an Oxford college, Sir Alexander Reece, contacts his old friend Morse to obtain assistance in locating the Deputy Master, David Kerridge, who is now four days overdue from his planned return to college. Kerridge is found battered to death in his London flat but oddly, it's also determined that the body in the canal was wearing one of Kerridge's suits. Morse and Lewis conclude that the headless body is that of Nicholas Balarat, a member of Reece's college and a senior civil servant who may have denied Reece an important appointment. However, another murder at the college sends the detectives in an altogether different direction. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

11 January 1989 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


Part of the storyline for this episode was loosely based on Colin Dexter's novel "The Riddle of the Third Mile". See more »


Dr. Grayling Russell - Pathologist: [From her car as Morse heads toward a pub] Need any help?
Chief Inspector Morse: My mother always insisted I should have a proper breakfast.
Dr. Grayling Russell - Pathologist: Medical opinion would agree with her.
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User Reviews

Best By An Oxford Mile
30 June 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

By an Oxfordshire country mile this is my favourite Morse: the subject matter, revolving around a headless corpse washed up in The Thames is grim enough; but the sub plots make the story even grimmer: collegiate machinations; sexual jealousy and rivalry and intellectual rivalry and jealousy. There are moments of levity, but most are tinged with sadness: Morse developing a very understandable (and obvious) crush on Reece's PA; Morse morally berating the happily married Lewis for offering assistance above and beyond the call of duty to an attractive young female boat skipper; Morse pressing an attractive young female witness to a further alcoholic beverage; the interrogation of Riverman Geoff where he claims that "even the fish jump about laughing" and, best of all, Morse offering one of his witnesses' juvenile sister an ice cream whereby she buries her face in her older sister's stomach as though being propositioned by a paedophile. Star turns abound in this episode as with all Morse's: Here we have Michael Aldridge, Tenniel Evans and Mary Morris - none of whom could turn in a bad performance to save their life; but it's Morse's main adversary and historical bete noir Barry Foster who really and nearly gives Morse a run for his money: who is the taller when they face off? You decide. 10/10 Mark James Burden

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