Inspector Morse: Season 4, Episode 2

The Sins of the Fathers (10 Jan. 1990)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 192 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

The managing director and heir apparent to a venerable family-owned brewery in dire financial straits is found drowned in a vat of his own ale.



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Title: The Sins of the Fathers (10 Jan 1990)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Andy Bradford ...
Trevor Radford
Trevor Martin ...
Alan Sowden
Paul Mooney ...
Norman Weeks
Kamilla Blanche ...
Jean Ainslie ...
Cleaning Lady
Helen Radford
Noel Johnson ...
Isabel Dean ...
Isobel Radford
Paul Shelley ...
Stephen Radford
Charles Radford
Betty Marsden ...
Cynthia Preece


Trevor Radford, Managing Director of the family's Radford Breweries, is found murdered in the brewery. He had been working late one evening mounting a defense against an unwelcome takeover attempt from a rival brewery. There appears to be some disagreement in the family as to whether they should sell out. His brother Stephen, an entrepreneur in his own right, thought the time had come to rid themselves of a losing proposition but their father would like to maintain the family tradition that now spans 150 years. Morse and Lewis learn that Trevor's wife was having an affair with Stephen, so there is always the possibility that there this is a crime of passion rather than greed. They also learn of a long ago claim against the business' assets. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

10 January 1990 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Isabel Radford says "Accidents will happen, even in the best regulated families." Morse attributes this to Mr. Micawber, while she thinks it was W.C. Fields. Actually, they are both right. W.C. Fields played Mr. Micawber in David Copperfield (1935) and said this line. See more »


The radio announcer twice mispronounces the Oxford region of St. Aldates as St. Algates. See more »


Wheatley: I'm the white knight, Morse.
Chief Inspector Morse: But who's the dragon, George?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The episode credits erroneously state that the series is, "Based on the characters created by ALAN Dexter." The original books were written by COLIN Dexter. See more »


References David Copperfield (1935) See more »


La Traviata
Composed by Giuseppe Verdi (1853)
Record played at Radford pool, while Morse is changing a tire, and again at his home.
See more »

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User Reviews

While this is my least favourite from the 4th series, it is definitely well worth watching!
4 July 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I have said a lot of times, that Inspector Morse is just a gem of a drama series, with superb performances, not only from the leads John Thaw and Kevin Whately but also from the supporting actors, wonderful music and excellent scripting. As I have already said, I really like Sins of the Fathers, but it is my least favourite out of the episodes from the 4th series. While not as haunting as Driven To Distraction, as exciting as Masonic Mysteries or as outstanding as the Infernal Serpent, there is so much that redeems it. The performances are wonderful, particularly Thaw and Whately who never disappoint, and some standout performances from the likes of Lionel Jeffries, Alex Jennings, Isabel Dean and of course Lisa Harrow. The music is excellent as always, and the plot while sometimes unexciting is still very clever and well explained. The dialogue is also inspired, especially the line "Don't worry sir, by the time he's out you'll be long gone." The camera-work as usual is beautiful, so overall, a very good episode, not the best, but well worth the watch. 9/10 Bethany Cox.

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