An Oxford professor, also an amateur astronomer and recently renewed churchgoer, is found dead in the school observatory under suspicious circumstances.



(inspired by the Inspector Morse novels of), (screenplay)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dr Ella Ransome
Isobel Crompton
Sir Arnold Raeburn
Ruby Thomas ...
Kate Cameron
Gwen Raeburn
Malcolm Finniston
Jonathan Cullen ...
Father Francis
Babs Temple
Jez Haydock (as Andrew Hawyley)
Ted Temple


Professor Andrew Crompton, an amateur astronomer, is found dead in the university observatory after visiting a priest for confession. A note-book belonging to student Jez Haydock is found by the body and Jez's tutor, Gwen Raeburn, is quick to go through the dead man's belongings. The widow believed her husband was having an affair and obsequious porter Roger Temple names Ella Ransome, a G.P., as the other woman - and then she too is killed. Roger proves to be a manipulator though not a murderer but his father knows the identity of the killer. He's a retired porter, now in a home where he is regarded as senile and deluded but Lewis needs his help to get to the truth. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

12 September 2010 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


DI Robert Lewis: [to Jez] All right, that's all for now. The next time we ask a question, which we will, take a tip and don't lie.
DS James Hathaway: [to Jez as he walks away] Nice t-shirt.
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Inspector Lewis Main Theme
Written by Barrington Pheloung
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User Reviews

"Excess of Joy" Becomes Moderate Sadness with Revenge
12 September 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Oxford University prepares for two events this coming Friday, June 05: an astronomical occurrence believed to transpire once every 122 years, plus an outdoor performance of "The Planets" composition by the University Music Department.

Professor Andrew Crompton (Christopher Bowen), who searches for the path of a comet, anticipates Friday's 3:15 PM event of the Planet Venus to cross before the Sun, as do Lady Gwen Raeburn (Diana Quick), of the Oxford University Astrophysics Department, and student Jeremy Michael "Jez" Haydock (Andrew Hawley), who shares their interest in Astronomy.

Sir Arnold Raeburn (Robert Hardy), husband of Gwen and Oxford University Maestro, composes the arrangement and rehearses with his guest conductor, Malcolm Finniston (Anthony Calf). Instrumentalists include Gwen, on cello; student Kate Cameron (Ruby Thomas), on clarinet; and Oxford Police Department's very own Doctor Laura Hobson (Clare Holman), also on clarinet.

But, three days earlier, on the evening of Tuesday, June 02, an Oxford citizen enters Saint Anne's Church Confessional to confide with Father Francis (Jonathan Cullen), who obtains information which may be able to explain events to transpire that night and during the following days, particularly a double homicide, but Father Francis may not reveal any confidence unto the Police Department because of the sacred Seal of the Confessional.

So, when a body is discovered at the Observatory, the victim of a fall descending its staircase, Detective Inspector Robert Lewis (Kevin Whately) and Detective Sergeant James Hathaway (Laurence Fox) arrive to investigate, as does Doctor Laura Hobson, who all report to Chief Superintendent Innocent (Rebecca Front) as revelations of potential motives begin to unfold, including adultery, fornication, abortion, and jealousy.

Doctor Ella Ransome (Deborah Cornelius), Oxford College Physician, and friend of Isobel Crompton (Sophie Ward), Andrew's wife, has been treating the elderly Ted Temple (Bernard Lloyd), a former Porter at Oxford, for ailments, which include Dementia. Ted, however, remembers certain facts, but yet he doesn't recognize to whom he reveals these.

Ted's son, Roger Temple (Warren Clarke) serves as Oxford's Porter on Duty, working under the direction of Professor Andrew Crompton, as Roger's wife, Babs Temple (Annabelle Apsion), tends to Isobel Crompton's domestic needs, as well as performing housekeeping responsibilities on campus, as for Kate Cameron, for example, when she discovers Kate and Jez in a compromising situation one morning. Jez is also the son of Babs' sister, making him Babs and Roger's nephew.

Well, as Detective Inspector Robert Lewis and Detective Sergeant James Hathaway label the first death a murder and begin to uncover other clues except those which Robert maintains that Father Francis ought to provide, but shall not, "Robbie" asks Doctor Laura Hobson to keep her eyes and ears open during concert rehearsals, before Laura discovers a second victim, who perishes in her arms, as Laura attempts to treat the patient, whose injuries result from the bullets of a double-barrel rifle shooting.

Then, after Chief Superintendent Innocent questions Father Francis, he tells Inspector Robert Lewis and Sergeant James Hathaway something that he may reveal, an event transpiring outside of the Confessional on Tuesday evening, while Doctor Laura Hobson reports on a hasty exit from concert rehearsal plus an altercation in the aftermath.

So, Inspector Lewis and Sergeant Hathaway arrive at the outdoor concert to face another altercation, as their primary suspect of the hour escapes toward the "gun shoppe," to which they head to attempt to ward off yet another suspect who points a rifle toward all four in the room during a climactic showdown scene. Will there be another murder, or a suicide, perhaps? Lewis and Hathaway must act with utmost precaution to attempt to prevent another occurrence.

The cast is rounded out by Liz Crowther as Mrs. Leeming, Ted Temple's Caregiver; Ben Addis as Junior Porter, who works with Roger Temple; Nicholas Howe as Undergraduate, who does the readings; Robin Kermode as Television Interviewer, of Arnold and Gwen Raeburn before concert; and Chris Wilson as Police Firearms Tech.

Comment: Clare Holman delivers a refreshing performance as her regular role as autopsy physician expands to clarinetist for charity. Sophie Ward and Deborah Cornelius also add a nice touch, while Annabelle Apsion and Warren Clarke convincingly demonstrate discontented domestics attempting to raise their station in life. Diana Quick and Robert Hardy as restless academics succeed nicely at communicating a married couple's shopworn chemistry. Jonathan Cullen, Anthony Calf, Andrew Hawley and Christopher Bowen certainly add to the production quite naturally and quite naturally creating interest in every regard with little or no "Dark Matter" about it.

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