Inspector Morse (1987–2000)
5 user 1 critic

The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn 

The murder of a deaf university entrance examiner leads Morse and Lewis into a possible college cheating scandal.



(screenplay), (novel)

On Disc

at Amazon




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Frederick Treves ...
Dean of Lonsdale College
Anthony Smee ...
Donald Martin
Julie Neubert ...
Mrs Martin
Phil Nice ...
Nicholas Quinn
Mrs Bartlett
Gabrielle Blunt ...
Mrs Evans


Morse and Lewis investigate the death of Nicholas Quinn, a hard of hearing Oxford examiner who had recently complained to his superior that others in the examination syndicate were selling secrets. Quinn died of cyanide poisoning but Morse is convinced that this is a case of murder, not suicide. When a second prominent member of the syndicate is killed, Morse looks to the other members for the murderer. What he finds is a maze of deceit and office adultery. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

daedalus | See All (1) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

13 January 1987 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


Colin Dexter: A guest in the pre-credit opening scene at the social get-together. See more »


The pathologist Max states that Nicholas Quinn had been dead four or five days before being discovered, but the body is still pink, not drained of color as it would be when the blood settled near floor level. It would have been an easy matter to simulate this on the actor playing Quinn using make-up. See more »


Detective Sergeant Lewis: So he did kill Nicholas Quinn.
Chief Inspector Morse: Or did he, did he? Nah! How could he have done? He set the best crosswords in England.
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Edited into Inspector Morse: Rest in Peace (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

"No it isn't, Morse's law is that we have time for one more pint"
1 July 2009 | by See all my reviews

The Silent World Of Nicolas Quinn is a well crafted episode based on Colin Dexter's book. The episode concerns the death of a man working in a syndicate, the catch being that he is deaf. The episode is certainly intriguing, being fairly faithful to the book, while cutting some bits out, and has the advantage of a very good cast. The script is excellently written, I particularly loved Morse's "No it isn't, Morse's law is that we have time for one more pint" which is a mere contradiction to the principle we hear him utter at the beginning, "Morse's law is that whoever finds the body is the murderer", a principle that isn't strictly true, and perhaps an emphasis on the fact that Morse is a good inspector but a poor policeman. John Thaw is more than excellent as Morse, especially when he is being attacked by Roger Lloyd Pack, and when Lewis comes to the rescue, it feels ironic that Morse is less than gratifying towards the young sergeant. Kevin Whately is as charming as ever as Lewis, and the likes of Clive Swift, Barbara Flynn, Michael Gough and Anthony Smee offer their talents. All in all, a very intriguing episode. 10/10 Bethany Cox.

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