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Inspector Morse 

Chief Inspector Morse (John Thaw) has an ear for music, a taste for beer, and a nose for crime. He sets out with Detective Sergeant Lewis (Kevin Whately) to solve each intriguing case.
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2000   1998   1997   1996   1995   1993   … See all »
9 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
John Thaw ...  Chief Inspector Morse 33 episodes, 1987-2000
Kevin Whately ...  Detective Sergeant Lewis 32 episodes, 1987-2000
James Grout ...  Chief Superintendent Strange 22 episodes, 1987-2000
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Storyline

First broadcast in 1987, the Inspector Morse series is a crime drama based on the Colin Dexter novels of the same name. The show is based around the exciting exploits of Chief Inspector Morse (John Thaw), a senior officer within the Criminal Investigation Department of the Oxford Police, as he investigates heavy crimes in and around Oxford with his sidekick, Detective Sergeant Lewis (Kevin Whately). Morse is a grumpy classical music aficionado who loves beer, and who frequently loses patience with the earnest, but somewhat slow, Lewis. Written by Bai

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Carlton Television [UK]

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 February 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Inspector Morse See more »

Filming Locations:

Abersoch, Gwynedd, Wales, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(33 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Music for the show was recorded at Paradise Studios in Chiswick for the musical composition writing and electronic score parts, and at CTS Studios, Wembley, Middlesex for the orchestration. Source and/or classical pieces were recorded at Rosslyn Hill Chapel, Hampstead. The Paradise Studios recordings were by Producer Martyn Phillips, the CTS Studios recordings were by Dave Hunt, and the Rosslyn Chapel recordings were by John Taylor. See more »

Quotes

[as Lewis makes a chance remark which unwittingly provides Morse with a major clue]
Morse: You've done it *again*, Lewis!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening notes of the theme music are based on the word "Morse" in Morse code, altered for musical purposes. The same notes are also included at the end and in places within the theme music. In the 1995 documentary "The Mystery of Morse: The Making of Morse", the composer stated that the theme sometimes spells the name of the murderer, a cryptic version of the name, or, as a red herring, an innocent character. However, there is nothing documented on the Internet for any specific name or episode. Morse code experts say that, aside from the code for "Morse", any other Morse code-like notes in the theme are complete gibberish, probably because the code was modified greatly for musical purposes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in QI: Merriment (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Inspector Morse, a Synopsis
17 October 2001 | by uuilsonSee all my reviews

Inspector Morse is television at its finest. Based around the Oxford-based characters created by Colin Dexter (some films are based on the novels; some on plot ideas by Dexter; and others, original scripts), the ITV series starring John Thaw and Kevin Whately has endured 33 high-quality episodes, each of which is approximately 104 minutes in length, and made with the same high standards usually reserved for a film with a theatrical release, ultimately resulting in a very arduous-yet-rewarding filming process. The premise of the series, to paraphrase John Thaw, is observing how two disparate men - one of which is a cerebral, Jaguar-driving, beer-drinking, crossword-solving, music-loving, well-educated, pedantic, arrogant, bachelor (Chief Inspector "Endeavour" Morse); the other of which is a northern, subservient, down-to-earth, prudish, humble and publicly-educated, family man (Sergeant "Robbie" Lewis) - proceed through an intricate whodunit and come to the conclusion which they inevitably reach. There is a noticeable father-son relationship between Morse & Lewis; and perhaps more of a brother-brother relationship between Morse & Strange, the Chief Superintendent. Aptly described as "a good detective but a poor policeman," Morse's modus operandi is very unconventional and parallels the way in which he solves his daily crossword puzzle (sometimes resulting in him getting things "arse about face"). His partnership with Lewis, however much as Morse would probably deny it, is vital to the investigation, just as Watson's was to Holmes; a lot of times mere innocent remarks from Lewis will lead Morse to deduce essential pieces of a puzzle, thereby solving the crime. Although Morse's melancholy is a rarely changing factor, Thaw is able to convey the gambit of emotions without having to resort to overacting. Their Christian names are rarely broadcast throughout the series; Morse tends to refer to Sgt. Lewis as just "Lewis," whereas Sgt. Lewis is inclined to address Morse as "Sir." The team who commissioned the Inspector Morse series seem to have elected not to use the same filming/writing crew on more that one episode, resulting in direction and writing styles which differ immensely from one another at different stages in the series. Contributing a lot to the show are the classically-trained backgrounds of many of the guest stars and the talent of the writers and directors, many of whom have gone on to have tremendously successful careers. Another important element of the show's success is the, at times hauntingly beautiful, strikingly apposite music composed by Barrington Pheloung. The characters evolve throughout the series, almost to the point where Lewis metamorphoses into an obtuse version of Morse. In Hitchcockian-style, Colin Dexter makes a cameo appearance in nearly every Inspector Morse film. The deterioration of Morse's health from a nasty combination of both drink and diabetes, and his apathy toward its maintenance were his ultimate downfall; indeed the re"morse"ful day occurred in the final episode (same name, same poem, same pun) wherein Morse succumbed to a heart attack, fittingly on the lawn of an Oxford college. Although it is hard for one to simultaneously predict the future and judge in a contemporary environment, it appears that the series has all the requisites to be regarded as "timeless."


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